One of the things that holds many students back from graduate-level business education is the high cost of of an MBA in healthcare management. These programs are very popular and, in many cases, they cost as much for two years of study as a typical undergraduate program costs for four years. That can be an intimidating prospect for many.
The good news is that most employers will partially or fully assist with the cost of an MBA program if it relates to an employee’s job title and career prospects in an organization. Most healthcare providers realize that they benefit when their employees pursue education at the graduate level and beyond, since they:
- learn new skills
- enhance the ones they picked up during their undergraduate years
- bring a higher level of professionalism and competence to the workplace
How Does Tuition Reimbursement Typically Work?
Employers typically recognize that they have a vested interest in helping employees who wish to further their education and move into more advanced positions in the organization. They’ll often offer either full or partial tuition reimbursement to employees who pursue their MBA in healthcare management or other fields. But this reimbursement opportunity often has at least a few conditions and a bit of fine print.
First and foremost, many healthcare employers will only reimburse their employees for tuition expenses from a properly accredited program. Most times, that simply means that universities must hold a regional or national accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Increasingly, however, it also means that the MBA program must be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB. This most prestigious of business accreditations stands as a testament to the program’s quality. It assures the employer that they’re going to get a good return on their investment in the employee’s educational pursuits.
Many healthcare employers also offer terms and conditions that impact how much they will pay for the employee’s tuition expenses. Some employers will reimburse 100 percent of tuition costs up to the “going rate” at a local, accredited, public institution. If that school charges $1,700 per credit, for instance, that represents the maximum amount that the organization will pay per credit at any institution where an employee studies. Some employers will pay up to 75 percent of that rate, or up to half the employee’s tuition expenses. These conditions are often stated clearly in the employee handbook or in tuition reimbursement literature that can be obtained from human resources.
Conditions on Performance and Continued Employment
Many employers expect their employees to perform at a high level to receive reimbursement for their tuition expenses. This is another way that the organization focuses on maximizing the return on its tuition investment. To qualify for reimbursement, most healthcare organizations will require students to receive at least a B or better in each class they take. Since most graduate programs require a B or better in order to receive credit for the course, this is a sensible policy.
Finally, keep in mind that most employers will reimburse tuition expenses only if an employee agrees to work at that same organization for a certain amount of time after graduation. Requirements vary from one to five years of service in exchange for reimbursement. If graduates leave the employer before this time period is over, they will have to repay all reimbursed tuition amounts.
A Great Way to Afford an MBA in Healthcare Management
Working with an employer’s tuition reimbursement program is a great way to make MBA tuition more affordable. Keep in mind, however, that employers paying for an MBA in healthcare management will attach certain terms and conditions that will impact:
- total reimbursement
- student performance
- the ability to seek other employment after graduation.
Additional Resource: Top 10 Best Online MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Programs