Businesses leading the way to economic opportunity for America's workers

From Tuition Reimbursement to Tuition Disbursement: Key Components and Considerations

By Jaime S. Fall (UpSkill America) & Kevin Martin (i4cp)

Changing the way your business manages its tuition assistance program can make it easier for your employees to expand their education and learn new skills to help keep your company competitive. By moving away from a reimbursement model to a disbursement model, businesses can remove one of the primary barriers for many employees who want to pursue a better education.

For employers who want to create a learning culture within their company, Upskill America and i4cp developed a guide to walk you through the key steps and decisions needed to make the transition from a tuition reimbursement model to a tuition disbursement model. Click here to download now.

Discover Financial Services recently changed to this model for many of its employees. After studying its previous program, the company realized it needed a new approach, which is already seeing success.

“First announced in May 2018, this program has engendered overwhelming internal enthusiasm among both participants and nonparticipants alike,” writes Jon Kaplan Vice President of Training and Development at Discover Financial Services. Click here to read Discover’s blog.

The Tuition Disbursement model tool is the second in a series of tools to be released in 2018, thanks to a grant from Walmart to support UpSkill America’s work to equip businesses with tools to educate, train, and support frontline workers’ development to advance their careers. The work builds on UpSkill America’s 2017 UpSkilling Playbook for Employers.

About the Institute for Corporate Productivity

i4cp discovers next practices in human capital management. The research firm provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance. To learn about i4cp, go to

About UpSkill America at the Aspen Institute

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement that promotes training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs, with the goal of expanding opportunity for America’s workers and helping our economy and communities thrive. UpSkill America is a part of the Economic Opportunities Program of the Aspen Institute. For more information, visit