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Empowering Employees: The Rise of Student Loan Assistance and Educational Programs as a Must-have Employee Benefit

Empowering Employees: The Rise of Student Loan Assistance as an Employee Benefit, and Amazons Tuition Assistance ProgramThe cost of higher education continues to rise, fueling the student loan crisis in the United States. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, student loan debt reached $1.56 trillion in the first quarter of 2020.

In the pre-pandemic world, only 8% of employers provided student loan assistance as an employee benefit. However, the pandemic has redefined the way employers view and provide assistance to their employees.

There has been a 9% increase, bringing the percentage of employers offering student loan assistance to a record-high of 17%. In this article, we will explore the rise of student loan assistance as an employee benefit and Amazon.coms tuition assistance program for hourly employees.

Increase in Offering of Student Loan Assistance as Employee Benefit

In the past, employers have not provided much help to their employees in the form of student loan assistance. A study conducted by Willis Towers Watson in 2019 found that only 4% of employers offered student loan assistance as a benefit in the US.

A similar survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found just 3% of companies offered the benefit. However, the pandemic has made employers re-think their employee benefit offerings.

The pandemic has impacted everyone, including tuition-paying students. With many universities and colleges shifting to virtual classes, tuition rates remained as high as they were.

Therefore, some employers recognized the need to help their employees, and they decided to offer financial assistance for student loans. Student loan assistance programs are designed to help employees repay their student loans faster and, in some cases, incentivize them to stay at their jobs longer.

Post-Pandemic Increase in Employer Offering of Student Loan Assistance

Employers are constantly looking for ways to attract and retain talented employees. Therefore, offering student loan assistance can give them an edge.

According to a report by SHRM, 17% of employers offer student loan assistance post-pandemic. Its a massive 9% increase from the pre-pandemic rate of 8%.

These employers understand the burden of student loan debt on employees. Therefore, they provide the necessary support to help their employees manage their finances better.

Another significant aspect of student loan assistance programs is that they can be designed to meet the unique needs of employees. For instance, some companies offer direct contributions to employees student loan accounts.

Some programs offer hourly employees the opportunity to receive higher education through assistance programs. Others provide debt counseling.

The programs’ flexibility allows employers to customize the benefits to cater to their employees financial situations. Amazon’s Tuition Assistance Benefit for Employees

Amazons commitment to its employees is evident in their tuition assistance program.

All full-time hourly employees working at are eligible for upfront payments for tuition, textbooks, and required fees in a bid to help them invest in their development. Amazon’s tuition assistance program covers up to 95% of the course and textbook expenses for a total of $3,000 annually.

Eligible employees can benefit from this program from day one of their job. Amazon values their employees’ education and believes that their investments in education pay off in the form of better work performance and higher job satisfaction.

Therefore, the company has taken it upon themselves to ensure their employees have access to opportunities to develop their careers.


Student loan debt can be a significant burden for many employees. However, with student loan assistance plans, its easier for employees to find financial stability.

During the pandemic, employers realized the value of offering assistance to their workers. With the rise of tuition rates and student loan debt, student loan assistance is an essential employee benefit.

For hourly employees, programs such as tuition assistance offered at provides them with the opportunity to further their education, enhance their skills, and grow their careers. Ultimately, by providing these benefits, employers can attract and retain talented employees while building their brand reputations.

3) Aetna

Student loan debt is a significant burden on people in the US, impacting their daily lives and future financial plans. Aetna, a healthcare provider company, is looking to offer financial support to their employees.

Their new offering, which began on January 2019, includes a full match of up to $2,000 in student loan repayment per year, making Aetna the most generous company in America towards student loan payments. This benefit is available to all full-time and part-time employees of the company who have a minimum of six months at the company.

Aetna’s plan to pay for student loans works simply: every year, they match payments to employees student loan and pays $2,000 towards their loan balance. The student loan can be either a federal or private student loan, and the payment goes directly to the loan provider.

Employees can receive the benefit for the duration of when they continue to work for Aetna. The company’s plan to help its employees through the burden of student loan debt has received numerous praises.

The program offers an incredible opportunity to both their employees and the community, as it helps them make significant strides towards eliminating their student loan debt. Aetna’s offer of student loan assistance has become a business necessity, infusing energy into their workers, boosting morale, and reducing their workers stress.

According to Forbes, it further highlights how employers care about and recognize the importance of employee financial wellness.

4) BP and BP3 Global

Educational and vocational courses can significantly improve a person’s skills and enhance their career development. For this reason, BP pioneered the educational assistance program to encourage their staff to take educational and vocational courses that would upgrade their skills.

The program began in 1954 in BP’s London offices and is open to all full-time employees, irrespective of their position in the company. The program offers reimbursement of up to $100 per month to qualified employees.

The reimbursement can be applied towards course and study costs, including course fees, textbooks, and travel expenses. Employees attaining a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher are eligible for full reimbursement of the course cost.

BP3 Global is an Austin-based software company and a leading provider of Intelligent Business Process Management software and services. They have followed BPs lead in 2018 by launching their own Educational Assistance Program.

The program offers an excellent opportunity for employees to take introductory courses to gain knowledge on a wide range of necessary workplace skills. The company reimburses 90% of any course that their employees pass with a grade of ‘B’ or higher.

BP and BP3 Global are also included in the 25 Best Small Workplaces by Fortune magazine. The companies value their employees development, productivity, and their quality of life.

They want their employees to have the necessary tools and skills to do their jobs effectively, which translates to better services and happier customers. The educational assistance programs by both companies represent the importance of investing in employee development to drive business success.


The employer-assisted educational programs such as those by BP and BP3 Global and student loan match by Aetna are significant steps towards providing financial and development support to the employees. As more employers recognize the value of investing in their employees future, we can expect more creative programs, and more employees can benefit from financial and career development assistance.

Empowering employees successes not only benefits the individuals but benefits the company as a whole.

5) Chegg and CommonBond

Chegg, a California-based education technology company, and CommonBond, an online lending platform aimed at student loan refinancing, have been offering student loan repayment benefits since 2015. Chegg first started their program as a part of their Equity for Education initiative where they committed $1 million to help the students pay for their loans and eliminated the need for them to take out excessive debt.

Their program offers employees repayments of up to $5,000 per year towards their student loans. Chegg’s student loan repayment program has been designed specifically to help ensure that employees can afford the cost of loan repayment without compromising on their financial well-being.

This benefit is made available to all full-time, regular employees with a minimum of six months of work experience with the company. CommonBond provides up to $100 per month towards their employees’ student loans the equivalent of $1,200 per year.

Employees can use the benefit for any student loan, which is especially useful for those who have multiple loans. The program, which CommonBond describes as their GiveBack Benefit’, has become increasingly popular with their employees, boosting their retention rates.

Both companies’ student loan repayment programs have received high praise, winning them awards such as the Best Benefits and Perks by Glassdoor.

6) Estee Lauder and Fidelity Investments

Estee Lauder is the brand owner of popular beauty brands such as Clinique and MAC. The company provides its employees with a student loan repayment benefit of up to $100 per month.

The program is available to all full-time and part-time employees of the company who have completed six months of employment. The employee can use the benefit for any outstanding Federal or Private student loans.

Fidelity Investments introduced the Step Ahead student loan repayment benefit in 2016. The program works by providing eligible employees with up to $2,000 per year towards their student loans, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per employee.

Fidelity’s program provides eligible employees with regular contributions of $167 per month, which go towards paying the principal and interest payments on their student loans.

Fidelity Investments allocated $55 million to pay for student loans.

The company has committed to contributing up to $10,000 over the course of five years for each eligible employee participating in the program to alleviate the financial burden of repaying student loans. The contributions to the student loan repayment programs by Estee Lauder and Fidelity Investments has been helpful in mitigating the effects of debt on the lives of their employees.

The programs not only help in reducing the burden of student loan debt on employees but also helps the company retain their best talents.


The student loan repayment benefits offered by companies show an increase in their efforts towards employee welfare. Offering such benefits enables companies to attract and retain employees while furthering education and development goals.

As the student loan debt in the U.S. reaches new heights, the student loan repayment benefits provided by companies offer the much-needed relief to employees. The contributions by companies like Estee Lauder and Fidelity Investments, and the student loan match by Aetna further advocate the importance of companies’ social responsibilities beyond their need for generating profits.

7) First Republic and Freddie Mac

First Republic’s Student Loan Repayment Assistance program is a unique offering that provides tiered payment plans to employees with student loan debt. The program offers a tiered payment plan that starts at $100 and goes up to $200 per month for up to five years, after which employees can renew for another five years.

The amount an employee receives depends on their tenure at the company, with payments starting at $100 per month for employees with one year of service and increasing to $150 and $200 for those with two and five years of service, respectively. Participants in the program are also eligible for a one-time payment of $1,000 to help pay off their student loans.

The benefit offered by First Republic provides a great opportunity for employees to reduce their debt while also allowing them to focus on their professional growth. The bank’s unique offer not only helps recruit and retain talented employees but also differentiates them from other financial institutions.

Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprise responsible for providing liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market, provides their employees with a long-term debt reduction program. The program helps reduce employees outstanding student debt through financial education and counseling sessions.

To be eligible for the program, employees must have been with the company for at least one year, have a minimum of $9,000 in student loan debt, and remain in the program for five years. Through the program, Freddie Mac provides a customized plan for loan repayment, focusing on the payment of loans with the highest interest rates.

The program is intended to take a holistic approach, with debt counseling, refinancing options, and investment education, making Freddie Mac a leader in employee debt reduction programs.

8) Google

Google’s Financial Wellbeing Plan includes a range of benefits aimed at improving employee financial health. One of the student loan repayment benefits is a student reimbursement plan.

The plan gives employees who are also full-time students an annual reimbursement of up to $12,000 for tuition and other related expenses. The reimbursement is separate from any tuition assistance or reimbursement provided by Google’s educational assistance program.

The student reimbursement program is just one aspect of Google’s comprehensive financial wellbeing approach, which also includes pay equity analysis and an equity refresh program. The company recognizes that an employee’s financial wellness is essential to their work performance and overall wellbeing.

The company’s approach to benefits is the latest addition to Googles efforts to make sure that their employees’ financial worries aren’t preventing them from achieving their professional goals. Google’s Financial Wellbeing Plan is providing a great model for other companies to follow.

The company recognizes the need to provide support to employees’ financial health, whether it’s through debt reduction, repayments, or educational assistance. Employee wellness programs are making companies more attractive to future employees, leading to reduced employee turnovers and higher levels of job satisfaction.


In recent years, more employers are offering student loan repayment benefits to distinguish themselves in the talent marketplace while also helping employees overcome their financial concerns. The variety of approaches companies are taking with their student loan assistance benefits programs is commendable, and it is encouraging to see that student loan assistance benefits go beyond just assistance in paying down loans.

By offering long-term debt reduction, student reimbursement, tiered payment plans, and financial wellness programs, companies demonstrate their commitment to employee financial health and well-being. By investing in their employees financial future, businesses can improve employee engagement, commitment, and productivity, ultimately making them more competitive in the labor market.

9) Kronos and LendEDU

Kronos, a workforce management solutions company, provides an attractive student loan repayment assistance program that can contribute up to $500 annually towards student loan repayment. In addition to the benefit, the company offers tuition reimbursement and a 401(k) plan, further showing their commitment to their employees future.

The student loan repayment program is available to all full-time, regular employees, irrespective of their seniority. LendEDU has been offering programs that pay off student loans with a maximum of $200 per month towards principal and interest on student loans.

The benefit is available to all full-time employees after their first 30 days on the job. The program aims to help employees reduce their debt quickly while also saving some money.

Additionally, the program offers employees access to valuable financial advice and educational resources. The strategy is aimed at providing long-term staff retention by keeping them satisfied with their financial benefits.

These programs provided by Kronos and LendEDU not only attract top talent but also retain the best employees. Companies need to focus on ways to help reduce the burden of paying off student loans on their employees.

10) Live Nation and Nvidia

Live Nation, an American entertainment company, started providing student loan assistance benefits to employees in 2019. The company set aside $4 million for the program, which reimburses employees up to $100 per month for qualifying student loans.

The benefit can be used towards both federal and private student loans and is offered to all full-time employees after six months of employment. The program is also available to part-time employees, but they will receive a reduced amount.

Nvidia, a technology company that creates high-performance computing and visualization products, introduced an employee benefit package in 2019 that provides eligible workers with up to $6,000 per year towards student loan payments. The payment structure requires that employees work with the company for at least three months, for a minimum of 20 hours per week to qualify.

The payment is made directly to the student

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