Requesting Support From Your Employer
Graduate school is an investment in your future — both personally and professionally. One often-overlooked financing option is employer support. Many organizations and companies offer employee assistance for education; however, if your employer does not offer assistance, you may still be able to petition for financial support.
Here are four important things to keep in mind as you think about enlisting employer assistance to help fund your education:
1. Research Your Company’s Policies
Your employer may offer support in the form of tuition assistance grants or scholarships. If this is the case, you can most likely request information. Check with your manager or the human resources department to discuss funding opportunities available to you.
If your company does not have an established tuition assistance policy, you may need to petition for funding. Most likely, you will not be the first employee to ask about education funding, and your HR representative should be able to explain your company’s process.
2. Know the Program
You should assume your company does not know anything about the Communications@Syracuse program, so it’s important to do your research. Be sure you understand the costs and time commitments of the program. More important, be sure you are able to discuss why earning your master’s degree will be beneficial to your career and to the company.
Demonstrating your knowledge of the program will show your commitment to your education, but it will also show your company that your education is a worthwhile investment.
3. Read the Fine Print
Often, companies that offer tuition assistance also expect something in return. This may be an agreement about your length of employment upon completion of the program or progress reports as you complete your coursework. You also may be required to maintain a minimum GPA. Be sure to ask your HR representative and manager what is expected of you if assistance is granted.
4. Negotiate Your Terms
While some employers are willing to fund an employee’s full education, others will offer partial support. Be sure to enter conversations knowing the amount of funding necessary for you to attend the program and be open to negotiating, if needed. The more flexible you can be, the more likely your employer is to agree to support your academic goals.