One effective strategy is to work for an employer that offers tuition reimbursement. The good news is that you don't have to start a whole new career to enjoy employer reimbursement. By working part-time at one of these well-known restaurant or retail chains, you can get a serious assist on paying your college tuition.
Many people don't realize that companies have two powerful incentives to offer tuition reimbursement:
- Hiring is expensive and time-consuming. It's more cost-effective to cultivate good employees and promote them than it is to hire new people.
- Companies can take tax deductions for tuition reimbursement, which can yield savings of thousands of dollars (or more) per year in tax payments.
Here are some companies that have decided to make the investment in their part-time employees. Best of all: Most of these programs involve online education, which often fits in nicely with people who need to work while attending college.
Long touted as one of the best places to work, Starbucks is leading the field with tuition reimbursement. Seventy per cent of Starbucks' employees are students or aspiring students and for good reason: The world's most popular coffee chain offer tuition reimbursement for both part-time and full-time benefits-eligible employees.
One catch: You have to take classes through Arizona State Online University. But with 70 majors to choose from, there's probably a major that meets your needs.
Bonus: Employees get a 30% discount and can take home a free bag of coffee every week.
Chipotle has partnered with a company called Guild Education to offer tuition reimbursement at a number of accredited online universities, such as the University of Florida, Wilmington University, and the University of Denver.
The restaurant chain claims that some employees may only pay $250 out-of-pocket per year for college. Note: Some degree programs may require in-person classes as well as online classes.
3. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have also partnered with Guild Education to subsidize full- and part-time workers' studies in business or supply chain management. Employees are required to pay $1 a day during their studies, but Wal-Mart will cover tuition, books, and fees.
Classes are offered through three online schools: University of Florida, Brandman University,and Bellevue University. Students can also earn college credit for on-the-job training.
4. Taco Bell
Taco Bell had a pleasant surprise after it rolled out its tuition reimbursement program at select locations several years ago: A 30% improvement in employee retention.
That inspired the company to take the program national, for all team members in all restaurants. The benefit is offered from day one of employment.
5. Home Depot
Home Depot's tuition reimbursement program also kicks in on the first day of work. Part-time employees can receive up to $1,500 for tuition per year. Students may also be reimbursed for 50% of costs for books and fees.
Thinking about starting your studies online? Check out 8 Reasons Why Online Education is Better than Traditional.