Corporate Tuition Assistance Programs

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The amount of funds available to an employee to finance degree-based education is most frequently determined by the IRS guideline of $5,250 annually, rather than the actual cost to obtain a degree. Employers do not have a clear picture for planning purposes of how many years and how many dollars an employee might need in order to reach a certain goal.<br /><br />Bellevue University&rsquo;s Human Capital Lab and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) have announced their collaboration on a series of two research projects designed to shed light on the true impact of tuition assistance as a human capital investment. The first research report, the recently released &ldquo;The Market Price of Tuition,&rdquo; looks at the actual price corporations pay for a semester credit hour of accredited degree-seeking education. <br /><br />&ldquo;Understanding the real market price of tuition can assist corporations in constructing tuition programs that align dollar allotments and allowable degrees of study with business goals in order to realize a sizeable, measurable return on the investment,&rdquo; stated Dr. Michael E. Echols, Ph.D., vice president and director of Bellevue University&rsquo;s Human Capital Lab.<br /><br />&ldquo;By examining the market price of tuition in U.S. colleges and universities and removing the impact of discounts, the new report offers a truer picture around the nature of the investment required,&rdquo; said John Zappa, an expert in tuition assistance programs and senior vice president for learner services at CAEL who has managed the tuition assistance programs for corporate clients for more than 20 years. &ldquo;The Market Price of Tuition&rdquo; also explains how costs relate to types of degree and courses of study. It compares this data with the typical $5,250 tuition cap and time to degree completion and provides data on employee preferences in courses of study.<br /><br />The second joint Human Capital Lab and CAEL research project will analyze tuition policies and how they can be designed to align with business goals. <br />

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