ARCHIVED  October 1, 1995

Tuition assistance encourages employees to further education

Northern Colorado employers appear to be a generous lot when it comes to helping workers further their academic educations, if a handful of high-profile bosses are any indication.

At Hewlett-Packard Co., for example, any of its 2,400 employees who takes classes on his or her own time is reimbursed 100 percent of the cost of tuition, books, lab fees and other related expenses.

And the worker doesn’t necessarily have to ace the course to merit such a generous payback. A “C” of better will do, or merely successful completion of a pass/fail class.

“All you have to do is get management approval” for the course of study, H-P spokesman Jim Willard said.

Most H-Pers involved in the company’s education-assistance reimbursement program are pursuing master’s degrees in electrical engineering, computer science or business administration, Willard said.

The schools of choice: Colorado State University and National Technological University. NTU offers long-distance degrees.

Hewlett-Packard has plants in Loveland, Greeley and Fort Collins.

Anheuser Busch Co. Inc. education benefits are only slightly less generous. The company reimburses employee-students 75 percent of the costs they incur in pursuit of baccalaureate and post-graduate degrees.

The plan covers its 160 salaried employees. Workers under the Teamsters bargaining agreement haven’t lobbied for educational fringe benefits, said Jim Walsh, assistant human-resources manager.

Walsh said that about 10 percent of eligible employees use the program, most of them women. Colorado State University and the University of Denver (for its women’s studies curriculum) are the typical sites for matriculation.

Like Hewlett-Packard, Anheuser Busch’s payback plan is good for As, Bs or Cs. Walsh said the only criticism he’s heard about the program is that it should reimburse an “A” 100 percent.

“Of course, that suggestion comes from the straight-A students,” he noted.

Northern Colorado employers appear to be a generous lot when it comes to helping workers further their academic educations, if a handful of high-profile bosses are any indication.

At Hewlett-Packard Co., for example, any of its 2,400 employees who takes classes on his or her own time is reimbursed 100 percent of the cost of tuition, books, lab fees and other related expenses.

And the worker doesn’t necessarily have to ace the course to merit such a generous payback. A “C” of better will do, or merely successful completion of a pass/fail class.

“All you have to do is get management approval” for…

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