The International Foundation’s recent Educational Assistance Benefits: 2015 Survey Results evaluated the most prevalent types of assistance/tuition reimbursement programs, characteristics of offerings, program requirements and limitations, and strategies and implications. The responses provided a number of key takeaways pertaining to educational assistance offerings. As part of our analysis, the Foundation compared responses from successful programs with those that aren’t experiencing success. What differentiates successful programs from unsuccessful programs? Here are ten key factors.
These ten statistics addressed substantial differences in educational assistance programs between surveyed groups:
- Covered Groups—Successful programs are more likely to offer educational assistance benefits to multiple employee groups, including part-time employees.
- Program Variety—Organizations with successful programs offer more types of educational benefits while covering more types of coursework and educational expenses.
- Partnerships—Respondents with successful programs are more likely to collaborate on partnerships with educational institutions.
- Management Support—Management support is a key component of educational assistance program success. Successful organizations are more likely to grant more time off for studies. In addition, workers are less likely to view a lack of management support as a top challenge.
- Organizational Impact—Organizations with successful programs have had more success with recruiting and retention efforts. In addition, they are more likely to have increased their emphasis on education benefits in the past five years.
- Employee Interest—Representatives of organizations with successful programs are less likely to cite employee interest as a challenge.
- Participation Rates—In addition to high employee interest, successful programs from our survey have higher participation rates, with particularly greater utilization in professional certifications.
- Program Tenure—Long-established programs are yielding better results. Organizations that have offered educational benefits for a longer period of time are more likely to claim success.
- Payment Timing—Successful programs are more likely to offer assistance money upfront, compared with reimbursing students after they complete coursework.
- Benefit Limitations—Despite more robust and flexible offerings, successful programs are more likely to place limits on benefits, particularly limiting reimbursement to accredited institutions. However, successful programs tend to have less stringent grade requirements.
For a more in-depth analysis and data on which program initiatives are working the best, check out the full results here. Stay tuned for further reports addressing successful educational assistance benefit strategies.
Justin Held, CEBS
Educational Program Specialist/Research Analyst at the International Foundation