Looking for a way to pay for college? Some businesses are offering to pick up the tab

With extremely low unemployment rates, more and more companies are offering to cover the cost of college. It’s a move that could save you money as your student starts to think about higher education. Chipotle is the latest in a number of businesses to offer free tuition to its employees.

Of course it comes at a cost. Employees must work at least 120 days and work a minimum of 15 hours per week, and this is only applicable for specific schools, unfortunately not Wisconsin Madison. Prior to this offer, Chipotle offered tuition reimbursement.

Starbucks and Disney also offer to cover the cost of tuition upfront. Companies like AT&T, Home Depot and UPS offer tuition reimbursement. Experts told News 3 Now that more mid-sized companies may start offering similar benefits.

“We are seeing an increase in midsize and smaller companies offering tuition reimbursement. It’s certainly harder for them than the Starbucks of the world but with the job market the way that it is, with such a low unemployment rate companies are really having to be creative in the packages that they can offer to employees to attract and retain them moving forward,” Kristin Uttech a marketing professor at Madison college said.

In addition to attracting a talented workforce, Uttech said companies are attracted to the tax benefit of tuition

Reimbursement is tax-deductible up to $5 to $250. Critics of this benefit argue it doesn’t go far enough. A lot of these programs don’t cover the cost of books or housing, which can be costly.

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