Student loans are an unfortunate and sometimes inevitable part of college life for many students in the United States. Yet, long after many graduates have hung their hard-won diplomas on the wall and joined the working world, they are making what feels like a never-ending series of monthly payments to student loan providers.
There are a few ways that students can maneuver around crushing student loan debt, but some of the solutions are a bit draconian. For example, the U.S. military pays college tuition. Still, although serving your country is a rewarding and noble undertaking, the time committed to serving may clash with long-range career plans.
Some nations like Brazil, Finland, Germany, and Norway cover tuition costs, but there are conditions like becoming a European Union citizen.
But fear not; there is another resource! Some U.S. companies offer to help pay off student loans as a perk. That's what we will be covering today. Next, it's time to look at what organizations are willing to do to help you pay off student loan debt.
But first, how did we get into this situation in the first place?
How College Tuition and Student Loan Debt Have Escalated
Inflation is a fact of life, but let’s face it; some expenses have increased faster and more dramatically than others. According to Educationdata.org, a 4-year college program at a public university cost $3,349 in 2000. Private college costs $14,616 for a similar program. In 2020, those figures became $9,349 and $32,769, respectively.
That means college tuition increases have outpaced the inflation rate by 171.5 percent!
According to an article from the U.S. News and World Report, private national university tuition and fees have increased 144 percent, while the out-of-state tuition and fees at public national universities jumped 171 percent. However, in-state tuition and fees at public national universities have experienced the worst increases, skyrocketing 211 percent.
Consequently, more U.S. college students have undertaken more outstanding tuition debt. Educationdata.org reports that the student loan debt as of March 2022 is $1.479 trillion. This graph, also provided by Educationdata.org, shows how bad the situation has become:
So, we’ve established that college tuition has experienced runaway inflation over the decades, and as a result, more students are taking out bigger loans. Now let’s see how the corporate sector can help mitigate the pain by helping to pay off student loans.
The Top Companies That Help You Pay off Student Loan Debt
If signing up for a hitch in the military or changing your citizenship is not on your “to-do” list, you can still seek out the business world to lend a helping hand with that pesky student loan debt. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement as a perk, in one form or another.
In fact, considering how companies are trying to alleviate pandemic-based personnel shortages and coping with the Great Resignation, more companies may offer tuition reimbursement to lure new prospects onboard.
But for now, here’s a list of the top ten companies that will help you pay off some of that student loan debt. Note that things can change quickly in today’s constantly evolving business world, so be sure to verify the information before committing. This information is from late 2021 to early 2022.
- Aetna: This health care giant provides student loan repayment, and tuition assistance for employees enrolled in school. Aetna matches student loan payments on one dollar for one dollar to a maximum of $2,000 a year and $10,000 total.
- Amazon: Amazon offers the Amazon’s Career Choice program, prepaying up to 95 percent of the employee’s tuition and fees if they are earning a degree or certificate in an in-demand field. There is a maximum yearly limit, and the perk kicks in after one year of employment.
- Carmax: Full-time CarMax employees can get up to $5,250 a year in reimbursed funds, covering tuition, fees, and textbooks. Employees can take courses in any field, but they must get a grade of C or better.
- Deloitte: Deloitte is one of the Big Four corporations, one of the largest professional service accounting networks globally. They offer employees who have been with the company for at least a year to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement per year. In addition, high-performing employees who have been with Deloitte for two years or more may qualify for graduate school tuition assistance.
- Fidelity Investments: This financial services giant began offering student loan assistance as of December 2021. The program gives employees up to 90% of costs, or a maximum of $10,000 per year in student loan assistance. In addition, work-related college courses must be taken at an accredited institution. This benefit kicks in after the employee has worked at Fidelity for six months.
- Google: The search engine titan launched a new tuition reimbursement program for its U.S. employees in 2021. Google will match a maximum of $2,500 annually per employee.
- Intel: Intel has two significant benefits for employees. First, Intel has Intel University, its training organization that it holds in-house for starters. As a result, employees enjoy a choice of over 7,000 courses. Second, Intel offers 100% reimbursement of tuition, textbooks, and fees, with a lifetime limit of $50,000.
- J.M. Smuckers Company: The company owns popular brands like Smucker, Dunkin Donuts, and Pillsbury and reimburses 100% of tuition for qualifying college courses.
- McDonald’s: The fast-food corporation offers The Archways to Opportunity program, which provides eligible managers with up to $3,000 a year in tuition assistance for qualified managers and up to $2,500 a year for eligible crew.
- Oracle: This multinational computer technology corporation provides up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement for full-time employees taking courses related to their current or planned position. Candidates must get a passing grade of B- or better.
Presenting an Alternative to Expensive College Loans
Although the companies listed above (and many others like them) offer a means to lessen the pain of college tuitions, there's still the matter of getting hired to one of them in the first place! Unfortunately, U.S. college costs show no sign of dropping, and the school loan industry continues to prosper. So it looks like the options are limited for an aspiring IT professional who wants a good education and not break the bank in the process.
But there’s hope. Once upon a time, it was considered a given that a student would immediately start their studies at a college or university after finishing high school. However, nowadays, more graduates enjoy taking a "gap year," essentially a year off from studies, before starting their collegiate academic endeavors.
But Simplilearn, the world’s #1 online bootcamp provider, can help aspiring IT professionals put that gap year to good use. Simplilearn provides many certification courses and bootcamps in diverse IT-related fields, giving students the skills needed to succeed in today’s digital market.
For example, since cloud computing is a rapidly growing part of today’s digital world, why not sign up for Simplilearn’s Caltech Cloud Computing Bootcamp? This bootcamp helps you become an expert in designing, planning, and scaling cloud implementations. The course enables you to master the core skill sets needed to design and deploy dynamically scalable and reliable applications on cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and AWS.
Who knows? Perhaps your IT career aspirations don’t even hinge on working through a four-year college program! Simplilearn’s programs provide a cost-effective, convenient way of gaining the skills that IT recruiters are looking for. Check out Simplilearn’s bootcamps today!