Many companies offer scholarships with no strings attached. In other words, you are rewarded simply for being an employee. These are great scholarships to win since you are competing against so few other people. Often the only requirement is that you be an employee. Even if you only work part-time, you may find that this makes you eligible to win an employee scholarship.
Sometimes you just need to be creative and convince your boss that helping you further your education is not only a good deed but is also good business. This is especially true if your employer does not already have an education program in place.
The key to successfully negotiating education benefits from your employer is to address the following four concerns (steps 6, 7, 8 & 9) that your boss has about giving you free money. If you can present a strong and convincing case in each of these areas, then the chances are good that your boss will agree to provide you with some valuable education benefits.
This is the number one concern of your employer: Your boss needs to justify how investing in your education will profit the company. If your education ties in directly with your current job and will help you to do your work better, then the benefit is clear. However, if you want to get training in a different field, you may need to find a way to make a connection between college classes and an improved job performance. Maybe the skills you'll learn will help you progress up the ranks within the company. Maybe they will help you become a better manager or executive. You need to relate the knowledge you will receive as you expand your education to how it will help you be a better employee. The one exception is if you are thinking of changing careers and applying for a new job. When you are offered a position, you may negotiate education benefits with your new employer before you start.
No matter how much your education will help you do a better job, there are always going to be limits to the cost. Your boss probably has a budget for the year and will need to take out the money from this budget to pay for your education benefits. You need to make sure that whatever you are proposing is reasonable in terms of cost. This might mean you compromise and take fewer classes per semester in order to lower the cost for your employer.
Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.
By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Learn how to go back to school without going broke. This is the only book that shows you how to find the best scholarships for adult students, get your employer to pay, have your student loans forgiven and much more.