The programs are also helping schools hold onto staff like McGuinness of Mount St. Vincent, whose degree helped her earn a series of promotions—from data entry clerk to prospect researcher, to development coordinator, and then to her current role as associate director for development systems.
"The minimum educational requirement for an administrator is a bachelor's degree, so I would not have been eligible otherwise," she says.
[Check out the Paying for Graduate School guide.]
Though tuition remission can help university employees advance their careers, Dan Predoehl, a recruitment and enrollment counselor at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., says he wouldn't encourage applying to work at a university solely for the tuition benefits.
"It is important to understand the overall benefits structure of a company," says Predoehl, who is considering applying to George Fox's D.B.A. program.
"I personally did not choose to work for the university based on this benefit," he says, "but since it is available, I plan to utilize it to the greatest extent possible."
Gina Vergel, assistant director of communications at Fordham University in New York City, believes there's nothing wrong with applying for a higher education job to take advantage of a tuition break. "If someone is considering grad school and can get [a job] at a university, why not?" says Vergel, who used her employer's tuition break to get an M.S. in education.
But she warns that being a university employee doesn't guarantee admissions. "You'll have to apply like anyone else," she says.
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