Your son or daughter has started looking at colleges, and at this point the discussion is pretty much centered around how pretty the buildings are, what kind of sports they have, and “the quality of the business program.” But are there even more important questions that should be being asked?
Like: “If I attend here, will I be able to get an off-campus job that offers me tuition reimbursement?”
A fantastic fringe benefit for college students
Most students work for money while they’re in college. Highly strategic students don’t just work for money, they work for a paycheck plus a check that their employers write to their colleges to help pay their college tuition bills.
“No student loans hanging over my head—thanks to Starbucks.”
Caitlin Muir Anderson, who blogs for Lumerit (a company that specializes in coaching and mentoring students age 14 − 24 to debt-free bachelor’s and master’s degrees) writes with glee about how Starbucks helped her toward a debt-free college degree. She writes: “As a former barista, the company was good to me. Not only did I get cheap health insurance, great hours, and a flexible schedule but I got something that really helped me. Tuition reimbursement. Between my paycheck, tuition reimbursement, CLEP® savings, and some money from my parents which was quickly paid off, I was able to graduate without student loans hanging over my head.”
“An associate, a bachelor’s, and a master’s degree, all debt free—thanks to Verizon.”
A comment appearing on that same blog post concurs. “DJ” writes: “Verizon Wireless pays (up to) $8,000 a year. It’s prepaid, meaning they pay the school directly and you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. From the first day of employment, you can sign up. Many schools give you a 10% discount because of Verizon, too, so the tuition dollars stretch farther. You don’t have to pay Verizon back or stay with the company under any sort of contract provided you graduate with at least a C or better and stay employed until you finish the class. I got my associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree – along with two other certifications – paid for over 6 years and graduated debt free with no student loans. Done and done!’
This is great news, but students who are really strategic can carry this one step further.
Student, why not set a goal of getting a tuition reimbursement job working for the type of company you’d love to work for as a degreed professional one day?
Do you love technology? What could be better than getting tuition reimbursement by working at Google®? (And just in case you’re tempted to immediately shoot this idea down by saying: “Well, I don’t want to live in California for college,” let me remind you that Google® has 40 offices in 70 countries, including Lenoir, North Carolina and Council Bluffs, Iowa. (You can see all Google® locations here: http://www.google.com/about/careers/locations/.)
Don’t stop with Google®, though. If you love fashion merchandising, apply for a college job at Ann Taylor or Gap. If your goals are in the finance industry, look for openings at Bank of America or Wells Fargo. If your career goals involve aviation technology or aerospace engineering, find out where all the Boeing and Lockheed Martin offices are, apply to colleges nearby, and apply for tuition reimbursement jobs in your industry prior to your freshman year of college.
Student, could you do this? Here’s your first step.
Set a goal of working for a company that offers tuition reimbursement during college. Then, specifically choose a college that’s located in a city or a town where you’ll actually be able to do that.
On page 175 of this book, I provide a list of over 30 large, national employers that offer tuition reimbursement to employees:
You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see the “Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH,” here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1-3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it – especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
What about you? What companies do you know of that reimburse their employees’ college tuition?
Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, author, speaker, and podcast host. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.