Tuition Reimbursement Partnerships
Mount Vernon Nazarene University has partnered with many Ohio employers who provide tuition reimbursement or assistance to their employees.
Current on-campus and online GPS students whose employers have partnered with MVNU’s tuition assistance program can take advantage of this benefit by submitting a copy of their employee ID or other employment documentation to GPS@mvnu.edu. A business partnership discount providing tuition assistance makes it easy for adult learners to invest in themselves by continuing their education. It’s important to note that current GPS students who have been billed and paid for their last payment period cannot have the business partnership discount applied to their account.
Prospective GPS students should work directly with their enrollment specialist if they are interested in receiving this tuition discount. Adult learners should work directly with their employer to take full advantage of the tuition reimbursement that may be offered.
The following Ohio employers currently partner with MVNU to provide tuition assistance to their workforce:
- Licking Memorial Health System
- Knox County Community Hospital
- MTD Products
- Ciena Healthcare Management & Laurel Health Care
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Knox County Career Center
- Avita Health System
- Shannon Staffing
- Mechanics Bank
- JELD-WEN, Inc.
Don’t see your employer listed here? Interested working adult students are advised to reach out to their company’s human resources department to ask about in-house tuition assistance programs and any requirements.
How Tuition Reimbursement Works
Students may apply employer-offered tuition assistance toward several educational costs:
- The tuition itself, even if it’s not for a degree program.
- The cost of books, supplies, and equipment needed to complete the class or course of study.
- Lab and any other educational fees.
However, tuition assistance won’t cover everything. Generally, your employer expects you to pay for meals, transportation, lodging, entertainment, and your computer, unless they’re specifically for a degree program or related to the employer’s business.
Within these parameters, employer tuition assistance doesn’t always hinge on the completion of a degree or certificate and may be applied to full-time, part-time, online, and hybrid formats for undergraduate and graduate studies. However, performance isn’t completely out of the picture. Employers may base their tuition assistance programs on a few factors:
Employers may base their tuition assistance programs on a few factors:
- Grades: Employers have been known to require their workers to earn at least a “C” to receive reimbursement at the end of the semester. You may further need to furnish transcripts and grade reports to support your academic performance.
- Longevity: Employees may only be able to participate in an employer’s tuition assistance program if they have worked at the company for a particular amount of time—commonly, you should have been there for at least a year.
- Long-Term Career Goals: Whether you’re thinking about completing your bachelor’s or earning a graduate degree, employers view additional education as an investment in their workforce. As the counterpoint to this, they want to ensure you’ll use your newly acquired knowledge on the job. For this reason, employees interested in participating in a tuition assistance program may need to sign a contract stating they plan to stay with the company for two to five years after completing their course of study. Failure to remain with the business may require you to pay back part or all of the assistance you received.
Receiving Tuition Reimbursement
Employers may decide to reimburse your education through a number of methods:
- Paying you for your class at the start of the semester or course period
- Providing reimbursement to you after you complete a course
- Contributing payments to your student loans after you have completed your course of study
- Reimbursing you for out-of-pocket costs after you have received need-based financial aid.
On this last note, employers generally encourage workers interested in tuition assistance to first apply for need-based aid, as any reimbursement they provide may offset your financial aid package or change your eligibility for scholarships and loans.
Within this framework, tuition assistance up to $5,250 each year is not considered taxable income on your behalf, and for your employer, this amount remains tax deductible on a per-employee basis. However, tuition assistance above $5,250 is considered taxable income unless you can show it’s a workplace fringe benefit:
- The course or degree is considered training for your current job, a way to improve your skill set, or necessary for retaining your existing position.
- The tuition reimbursement can be considered a necessary business expense.
Courses and degrees that an employer does not consider relevant to your existing position will not qualify, nor will training or certifications for a new, unrelated trade.
For your own and your employer’s benefit, you may need to provide receipts for all courses taken and related expenses at the end of the year, semester, or academic period.
Why Employers Should Invest in a Tuition Reimbursement Program
As an employer, you want a well-educated workforce that understands the latest technologies and industry standards. Although on-the-job training keeps workers’ skills up to date, tuition assistance programs take this a step further: your workers gain new knowledge and a degree or certificate in the process. Based on a 2018 survey from SHRM, 51% of all employers offer tuition assistance for workers pursuing a bachelor’s degree, and 49% provide assistance for graduate programs.
The benefit goes both ways. As your workforce looks to tuition assistance to fund advanced training, your employees—particularly Millennials and Gen Z members—have a higher likelihood of staying on your team and are less likely to start looking for other opportunities. In offering this benefit:
- Your company helps close the knowledge gap, ensuring your workforce has the skills they need to succeed on the job
- You create a better-prepared workforce, allowing your industry-knowledgeable employees to obtain additional training on the latest technologies and techniques
- Your employees are more likely to stick with the company, be promoted within its ranks, and receive higher salaries, according to a report from CNBC
- You acknowledge your hard-working, high-striving employees by helping them achieve their educational and career goals.
Learn More about Tuition Reimbursement at MVNU