In most tuition assistance programs, a student will pay the cost of tuition and fees up front. Then, after a semester or course is complete, their employer reimburses them according to the terms of the company’s program.
As with any employer program, the employer gets to set the rules. It’s important to read the fine print before you jump in.
For example, some employers pay only up to a certain dollar amount each year. Others make reimbursement contingent on grades, with some employers even using a sliding reimbursement scale based on letter grade performance (e.g., full reimbursement for A’s, 80% for B’s, 60% for C’s, zero for D or F grades).
In some companies, tuition assistance rates vary by position and employment status.
Obviously, employers want to safeguard against paying an employee’s higher education costs only to watch that employee resign before the ink on their diploma is dry. Thus, you may be required to remain at the company for a set period or reimburse the company for part of the tuition assistance if you leave before the period’s up.