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March 9th, 2023 · 4 min read

Employer-provided education: A win-win for businesses and employees

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What is employer-provided education assistance?

Types of employer-provided education programs

Tuition reimbursement

Loan repayment

Scholarship programs

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The benefits of education assistance programs

Improves employee retention

Lower hiring costs and build your internal talent pipeline

Attract prospective job candidates

The challenges of traditional educational assistance programs

  • Accessibility: Traditional employer-provided education programs are largely inaccessible to the workers who need them the most. 
    For example, tuition reimbursement programs require that the individual pays for tuition in advance and then wait for reimbursement which can take weeks or months. This payment model favors those who are in better financial circumstances while alienating others who aren’t able to put down a large sum of money upfront.
  • Complicated enrollment processes: Many traditional education programs come with rigid eligibility requirements and complicated enrollment processes that are difficult to navigate without proper support. Between determining eligibility, figuring out how to enroll in the program and completing the required documentation, many individuals get lost in the red tape and decide to give up on taking advantage of the benefit altogether.
  • Lack of support: Without proper guidance and support, employees may enroll in education programs that aren’t relevant to their role or aligned to their career goals. Some might even lose interest altogether because navigating all of the different learning options becomes too overwhelming.
  • Benefit caps: It’s common for education benefits to be capped at a certain amount per employee. While this is certainly better than nothing, the numbers barely scratch the surface of the financial burden of modern tuition costs.
  • Difficult to measure ROI: Traditionally, employer-provided education programs have often been viewed as initiatives that merely check a box in a benefits booklet, not as a critical business strategy. Couple this with the fact that traditional programs are often lacking the proper technology to measure program performance, and determining the business impact of the initiative becomes nearly impossible.Not only does this inhibit HR administrators from being able to manage the program effectively, but it makes showing your leadership team a clear return on investment nearly impossible.

A modern approach to employer-provided education

  • Learning tailored to business needs
    The objective is not always to offer all of the education programs possible. Instead, it’s to select learning options that are strategically tailored to your long-term business objectives and designed to address the most critical skills needs of your workforce and organization.
  • Accessibility comes first
    Education initiatives can only be impactful if your people can actually take advantage of them. Leave reimbursement behind and opt for a direct-bill model that takes the financial burden off the shoulders of the individual. This opens the door for access to education for the employee populations that often need it the most.
  • Support for learners at all stages
    Navigating different academic institutions and learning options can be a daunting task even for the most motivated individuals. InStride’s Personal Education Advisors are available to offer live, unbiased guidance and support to employees as they start their learning journeys.
  • Measurable and easy to manage
    As with any business strategy, it’s critical that you’re able to show your leadership team how an education initiative is impacting the bottom line. InStride’s flexible technology platform provides program administrators with access to real-time reporting and analytics that deliver insights on everything from employee engagement to spending and ROI.

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