Employer Reimbursement for Courses

Did you know that 92% of American companies now offer tuition assistance but only 5% of employees use it? It’s true! We think that’s a lot of missed opportunities.

Tuition reimbursement in the workplace is on the rise. At Outlier, we want to help our students use it. 


How to Do It

The first step is to ask, but we know this can be intimidating. In our mission to make your education as accessible as possible, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to start this important conversation:

1) Prepare to amaze: When you arrive at the perfect moment to make this ask, you’ll want to have every talking point ready to go.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to prepare:

  • Is there a precedent for tuition reimbursement in my workplace? How can I use former approvals to advocate for myself?
  • What are the specific projects and priorities I can add value to by continuing my education with Outlier?
  • Is there a monetary value I can place on my new contributions? What is the return on investment for my employer? (Hint: Outlier tuition is extremely affordable! Any quantitive value you can attach to it may convince your employer then and there.)
  • What obstacles might my employer foresee with this option? Can I prepare to dissuade them before they arise?

2) Find your moment: Timing is everything. While no one likes to admit it, certain moments find us more agreeable than others. You know your boss best!

Ask yourself the following questions before choosing your window:

  • Is there a part of the week or day when my boss is more responsive, talkative, or friendly? 
  • Do I have an opportunity to showcase my skills coming up? (Asking after a slam dunk will help pave the way for a successful outcome! If you have a performance review on the horizon - and you are confident it will go swimmingly - this might be a great time to pop the question!)
  • Do things happen quickly in my workplace? (It’s important to manage your expectations for this moment. Most employers will need time to consider your request. You can promise to follow up with an email containing more info about your course. This will keep you on their radar and provide them with the right tools for researching Outlier.)

3) Focus on growth: By underlining the positive, forward-looking motivators around your request, you can set the tone of the conversation. 

Eliminate any ideas that your intent is based on increasing your earnings (although, hey, we want that for you too). Focus instead on the opportunities your education creates. For example:

  • “I really love the culture of growth you have created. Our trip to the Atlanta conference last spring really motivated me to continue developing the skills I contribute to the team.”
  • “I’ve learned to love our products and clients. It would be so personally fulfilling for me to develop my capacity to support them!”
  • “This company has continued to be a creative home for me. I look forward to finding new ways to continue that pattern of growth here. Outlier provides the perfect combination of quality and affordability— I think it could be our next great step!”

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