Yes, it is possible to get a $25,000 discount on your college tuition, or even go to school for free. With tuition costs rising 6 percent annually — and the price of a degree potentially reaching $500,000 by 2035 — a bit of assistance could go a long way.
Some employers offer that assistance, including tuition reimbursement, as a part of their benefits package. According to financial literacy site iGrad, in some cases, the school defers student tuition payments for a period of time before classes start, while in other cases, students pay a portion up front and the employer reimburses their costs at the end of the semester.
Starbucks' tuition assistance program covers the full cost of earning an online bachelor's degree at Arizona State University, and offers students "support from a dedicated team of coaches and advisors, 24/7 tutoring on a variety of subjects and a choice of more than 70 undergraduate degrees through ASU's research driven and top-ranked program."
Here are some other companies with similar opportunities:
Verizon employees are eligible for up to $8,000 a year in tuition reimbursement. Coursework must be related to Verizon's business.
AT&T employees can receive up to $8,000 in tuition assistance annually, with a lifetime cap of $25,000 for undergraduate costs and $30,000 for graduate costs, a company rep tells CNBC Make It.
Disney employees can receive up to $700 for each college credit and have the full price of books covered, as well as up to $100 per course for additional materials.
Wells Fargo employees can receive up to $5,000 of tuition reimbursement per year. That's in addition to educational scholarships for the children of employees, a Wells Fargo representative tells CNBC Make It. The program provides $1,500 each year, for up to two years, for selected full-time students.
Bank of America offers up to $5,250 annually for job-related courses.
Employees of Wal-Mart or Sam's Club who study at American Public University can receive a grant that covers up to 15 percent of tuition.
Chipotle employees are eligible for up to $5,250 each year for academic expenses. The company has partnered with Guild Education to offer programs and degrees from various universities.
According to Smucker's website, employees are eligible for "up to 100 [percent] reimbursement of tuition costs for Company-approved college courses."
In most cases, students must maintain a minimum grade-point average, complete a required amount of coursework and have been employed with their respective company for a certain period of time to receive tuition assistance.
The average cost of one year at a public university now rings in at $20,000 for in-state students and $34,000 for out-of-state students, and roughly 44 million Americans hold $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. It may be wise to check to see if your employer offers a tuition assistance program.
Correction: This story was updated to delete incorrect information about Comcast's reimbursements to employees for academic expenses.
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