Many employers encourage their employees to take continuing education courses and work-related study to improve their skills and benefit the business or institution. Some employers reimburse employees for the tuition fees and other expenses they incur while taking courses. This is considered a type of financial aid. In some cases, this can even be applied to pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree for career advancement. Most employers approve of this because it helps them maintain a highly trained and professional workforce. If this is the case, the employee can send a tuition reimbursement letter that documents the request and contains all the pertinent information.
It is important for the employee to know the rules and guidelines about their employer’s tuition reimbursement policies. There is no point in signing up for a course that is not on the list of courses for which the employer will pay. There may also be limits on total payout, different exclusions and basic rules such as how long the employee has worked for the company before they are eligible for reimbursements. There may also be time limits after the end of the course in which to request reimbursement.
When an employer agrees to pay for his or her employees to improve their skills or status, they will almost certainly be expecting something in return. Along with conditions, there may be tax issues. There are four things to consider before sending a tuition reimbursement letter.
• The reimbursement will most likely be a refund. In other words, the employee will be expected to pay for the course up front including textbooks and supplies. However, there are employers who will pay as soon as enrollment is verified. This is a bit different than regular financial aid for higher education.
• The employee should find out the company’s conditions for tuition reimbursement. They may require a certain grade point average, or they may expect the employee to continue working while they are attending the course.
• There will be some conditions connected with the reimbursement. It may be that the employer expects the employee to remain with the company for a stipulated number of years. The employee should think long and hard about this because promising to stay and then breaking that promise after the coursework is finished is not wise. It will not only give the employee a bad reputation in that company, but could affect other job applications. The employee may also be liable for the full cost of the tuition.
• Tuition reimbursement may be considered as income and could be taxable. They should consult an account to find out before the employee requests reimbursement.
The letter should contain the employee’s name, job title, name of courses and how they are relevant to their job. Some employers may require a short description of the course content. Proof of completing the course as well as any grades or evaluations should also be enclosed with the letter.
Other than employers, private individuals and government agencies also offer tuition reimbursement. Whereas the employer may insist that the course relate to the employee’s job, other agencies or people may allow for a wider range of coursework.
Here is a sample tuition reimbursement request letter. It should be sent by certified mail, so the employee has a record of the time and date it was sent and received. Any enclosures such as course outline or tuition bills should be copies and not original documents.
Sample Tuition Reimbursement Request Letter
City, State, Zip Code
Employer’s Title such as Human Resources
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Employer,
This letter is to formally request tuition reimbursement for the amount I spent on a course at Name of Institution to learn how to make pastries. I have been a station chef at your restaurant for the past five years and have made salads, soup, appetizers and entrées, but I would like to improve my position to be head pastry chef. The course took place in the evenings three times per week for four months. It was comprehensive for all types of breakfast and dessert pastries, and I finished at the top of the class.
Enclosed is my tuition bill, list of courses and final evaluation. I am requesting reimbursement for the entire amount of my tuition bill, which includes extra fees for certain ingredients. I believe that I can help enhance the reputation of your restaurant with a selection of fine pastries. According to my contract, reimbursement for tuition is possible if the course directly impacts the quality of the food served in the restaurant.
Thank you for your attention to this. If you have any questions I can be reached at 555-123-4567 or Name@email.com. I hope to hear from you soon.
Employee’s Name Printed
List of Enclosures
By Andre Bradley