Deirdre Getty

Deirdre Getty

Apr 18, 2023

Tuition Re-imbursement vs Loan Repayment Help

Employee Benefits

Tuition Re-imbursement vs Loan Repayment Help

Same, but different

Companies live their values when they offer education benefits.

These benefits also serve as a powerful tool for recruitment and retention. Tuition reimbursement programs are traditional offerings; student loan repayment assistance is a new option supporting a skilled and educated workforce.

Tuition Reimbursement

Programs offer employees money for taking courses while employed with the company. Typically, the employee pays initially and following a successful result, the employer reimburses the employee. The reimbursement amount is determined by a company’s education policy. Some employers may pay for tuition and additional expenses, like course materials or a laptop.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Student loan repayment assistance helps repay existing debt, offered to employees who previously incurred the debt to attend a post-secondary institution. It is applicable to any Canadian government student loan regardless of where the employer or employee is located.


The two programs are not mutually exclusive, rather each serves a different purpose. Tuition reimbursement promotes a ‘from within’ environment and shows the organization values and supports lifelong learning and career development. Student loan debt relief creates a benefit that prizes education and supports employee financial health and wellness.

Creating an education policy

This is no simple task. Considerations may include employee demographics, budgets, objectives, eligibility, procedures, administration, etc. All must be identified and evaluated to ensure programs align with organizational objectives.

Begin with data! If your organization is looking for a place to start building a policy, you can contact us at [email protected]. We have data to share, to help you on this journey.