By Abbey Slattery
Forty-four million people are weighed down by outstanding student loan debt. To put that in perspective, that’s about six times the population of New York City, AKA the most populated city in the country. On average, these an individual borrower owes about $37,172—or, to put that in perspective again, more than half of the national median household income per year.
While student debt is a concern for millions of people, some companies are stepping in to take a little stress off of their employees’ shoulders. Tuition reimbursement or assistance is a fairly new incentive where companies kick in a certain amount of money to cover education costs.
Here are just a few of the companies supporting the tuition reimbursement initiative and what they have to offer.
Microsoft (3.4 stars)
Microsoft offers employees a wide range of benefits, and tuition reimbursement is just one of the many. According to employees, the company offers a $5,000 per semester refund if you attend a regionally accredited undergrad institution during your employment.
In addition to the reimbursement, the company also provides access to a number of classes and courses, a speaker series, and an on-site library.
See Microsoft reviews.
Starbucks (3.2 stars)
Don’t have a college degree and need help getting one? Starbucks has you covered. For a few years now, the company has been offering a College Achievement Plan for eligible full-time and part-time employees who don’t already have a four-year degree. The plan includes 100% tuition coverage at Arizona State University’s online program, where you can select from 80 different fields of study.
If you don’t initially qualify for admission at ASU, Starbucks’ Pathway to Admission initiative grants potential students help from ASU support specialists with the end goal of eventually gaining admittance.
See Starbucks reviews.
Apple (3.5 stars)
Apple is kind of weird about making their benefits public, and they usually only share the details with employees. But according to a few employees on Glassdoor, Apple offers up to $5,000 for tuition per calendar year, as long as students maintain a B– grade average.
See Apple reviews.
T-Mobile (3.5 stars)
Whether you’re a part-time or full-time employee, as long as you’ve been with the company for 90 days, T-Mobile offers a couple options for tuition reimbursement. For full-time employees, you can net up to $5,250 per year, while part-time employees get half of that, coming it at $2,500.
While other companies offer reimbursements after you’ve paid, T-Mobile pays your school directly, so you never have to worry about coming up with the extra funds up front.
See T-Mobile reviews.
Procter & Gamble (3.8 stars)
Procter & Gamble pledges to reimburse up to 80% of tuition and education-related costs. The company’s cap is at $40,000, and since the average student loan debt sits at just over $37,000...the math looks pretty good.
Southwest Airlines (3.6 stars)
Similar to T-Mobile, Southwest also offers employees with yearly reimbursements up to $5,000 for graduate degrees or $2,500, for undergraduate degrees, although the benefit is only available for full-time employees.
Southwest is a company known in general for its positive culture and opportunities, with other education perks including Leadership Development Programs and cross-field training.
JetBlue (3.4 stars)
Through the JetBlue Scholars program, the company works to make a college degree more accessible for long-term employees who have previous college credits but no degree. Company-approved online courses can be taken at any time, while the last semester of credits is completed through a JetBlue partner university at a discounted cost.
Since the program started, 102 degrees have been conferred, more than $2.8 million tuition dollars saved, and employees boast a 90% average pass rate for their courses.
See JetBlue reviews.
Bank of America (3.3 stars)
For employees who have been with the company for more than six months—in either a part-time and full-time capacity—Bank of America provides up to $5,250 per year. The only catch is that the courses and degrees must be job-related.
Boeing (3.0 stars)
Boeing’s tuition reimbursement initiative comes in the form of their Learning Together Program. Available to full-time and part-time employees who have been with the company for one year, the dollar value varies but is available for both classes and courses.
Added bonus: your chosen degree or course-load doesn’t have to relate to your current job, and funding for engineering and technology fields is unlimited!
See Boeing reviews.
AT&T (2.9 stars)
AT&T’s employee tuition reimbursement is one of the more in-depth public policies. The program is available to all full and part-time employees upon completion of Net Credited Service. From there, students must maintain a “C” grade in each course and can only be enrolled in one approved degree program.
The total amount of tuition reimbursement varies based on employment status, but the lifetime cap is $20,000 for undergraduate degrees and $25,000 for graduate degrees.
See AT&T reviews.
Oracle (3.0 stars)
Similar to other companies on the list, Oracle offers full-time employees the chance to gain a degree in a job-related course during their time of employment. The company provides up to $5,250 for each year that students are enrolled, as long as their course grades stay above a B–.
See Oracle reviews.
Chipotle (2.8 stars)
For their tuition reimbursement program, Chipotle works with Guild Education, a company that partners with other companies to refine tuition-related benefits. As a result, Chipotle not only offers $5,250 a year in tuition assistance, but they also make on-the-job training and promotions credit-transferable for up to one-third of your degree.
In addition to the financial help, the company also provides students with access to Success Coaches who offer in-depth progress reports and weekly check-ins.
See Chipotle reviews.
Company rating snapshots, indicated in parenthesis, accurate as of May 5, 2019.