My current employer offers Educational Assistance to employees, up to a certain spending limit per calendar year. I wish I had known that sooner. I have been through quite a bit just trying to refinance my student loans. The great thing about this program is that they pay for tuition UP FRONT with letters of credit. My previous employer had an educational assistance program also, but that program used a tuition reimbursement strategy; meaning that the employee had to put up all of the necessary funds for classes and then wait until the end of the course(s) to be reimbursed. What if you didn’t have the funds before the class start time? In that case, too bad! No educational assistance for you.
Due to the presence of this lucrative up-front educational assistance employee benefit, I decided to enroll in the University of Phoenix online campus. Because why wouldn’t I? If your company offers a program such as this and you are not taking advantage of it then you are “leaving money on the table” as the old saying goes. I’m not saying that the University of Phoenix is the best route to take. In fact, I’m going to have to dedicate an entirely new post to my impressions and experience so far with the University of Phoenix (hint: not good).
ASU (Arizona State University) now has their own completely online degree programs. I am currently researching one of their degrees and I may just decide to give their online program a try in the near future.
I also know a few people that highly criticize the value of a degree and make negative remarks about a college education. These people tend to say that your work experience and knowledge is all that counts and that “any idiot” can get a degree. Well guess what? Your educational program is what you make of it. If you truly have a desire to put forth the effort, learn and better yourself, than a degree program might just be for you. Even if you have no interest in obtaining a degree, you can still use your employers tuition assistance program to take college classes that interest you! I have taken many courses at community college that were not part of any degree program. I took these courses to expand my knowledge and to continue learning, without any concern for what “degree” they might fit into.
Does your company offer educational assistance, in advance or in arrears (reimbursement)? If so, are you taking advantage of it? If you are not, you are missing out on a learning experience and practically losing money!