Employee Tuition Assistance and the ANU Advantage
Feb 02, 2016
“How will I pay for school?” It’s a question at the top of most prospective students’ minds as they seek the education that they need to advance in their careers. As employers seek a better educated workforce, and employees look for resources to fund their education, employee tuition assistance programs can be beneficial to both a company’s bottom line and an employee’s career.
Azia Williams is excited by the many paths that her career with Synchrony Financial might take--from marketing, to accounting, to management. She feels that those opportunities will soon be well within her reach thanks to the company’s employee tuition assistance benefits that she’s using to fund her business administration-management degree at the American National University Dayton Area Campus.
“I feel that my education will just open up so many different doors for me,” explained Azia, who works at Synchrony as a collections representative. “I appreciate them finally giving me that opportunity to get on that track that I wasn’t on before.”
"I feel that my education will just open up so many different doors for me."
ANU graduate Jaime York, who works in clinical support services at the Madison County Health Department in Berea, Kentucky, has always had a desire to continue her education. In response to her employer’s changing needs, she was able return to school using the agency’s employee tuition assistance program. “We just recently started accepting insurance, so we’re starting to file with insurance, and I knew this would be a benefit for our company,” said Jaime, who earned her diploma in the medical billing and coding program at the Richmond Campus.
Jaime’s supervisor, Libby Hess, the maternal health coordinator for the agency, said that Jaime has always been a hard worker, and the knowledge the she gained in her program at ANU has made her even more of an asset to the team. “With her schooling, Jaime has become our go-to person when providers and administrators have questions about coding,” Ms. Hess stated. “And she was instrumental in easing our transition to ICD-10. In addition, she has helped us collect more on insurance claims by troubleshooting the denials. Her value to our team increases weekly and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
While receiving the funding provided through employee tuition assistance was the first step toward allowing Azia and Jaime to continue their education, they both agree that, as working adults, the night classes and personal attention that they found at ANU were very important, as well.
“It’s kind of hard trying to find a school that will work full time with your schedule. I spent a lot of time trying to find the best fit,” recalled Azia. “[ANU] found something that worked for me, as far as [they] do offer night classes, or if you need tutoring [it’s available free of charge]. They were proactive about wanting to help you progress in school. I appreciate that.”
“I had tried three semesters at EKU right after high school, before I got hired as an employee of the health department, and it was too big,” added Jaime. “I felt overwhelmed, and I didn’t feel like I was getting the attention that I needed. That’s why I decided to check into ANU. They had easy scheduling, so I could go after work. It was late nights, but it was worth it.”
Azia also benefited from the ANU Business Partnership Grant, a grant available exclusively to ANU students, which matches funding from employee tuition assistance programs. “I am so thankful for that. At least I don’t have to worry about that extra expense every month,” she shared.
Both Azia and Jaime feel that their education will keep them moving ahead in their careers. Azia urges others to take advantage of the employee tuition assistance benefits that are available to them. “Everybody should take the opportunity to advance their education. A lot of people get stuck in life and say ‘I don’t have time’; ‘I have kids,’; ‘I work 40 hours a week.’” she said. “It’s not forever and you have to have an ultimate goal of what you want for your life. It’s only going to get better if you choose to make those steps to actually go to school and finish.”
“Try your best to improve yourself, not just for your family, but for yourself first,” Azia advised, “Because I think at the end of the day you have to look back at your life and say, ‘I’m happy with it.’”
Photo Top: Azia Williams is studying in the business administration-management program at the ANU Dayton Area Campus using her employee tuition assistance benefits from Synchrony Financial and the ANU Business Partnership Grant.
Photo Bottom: Jaime York has become even more of an asset to the Madison County Health Department after earning her diploma in the medical billing and coding program at the ANU Richmond Campus with funding through the agency’s employee tuition assistance program.