Drive competitiveness and profitability with educational achievement

83 percent of U.S. companies offer tuition assistance to their employees – an investment of approximately $19 billion annually.  However, only 2 to 3 percent of employees utilize these benefits in most organizations, and rarely do they meet the needs of frontline workers, the employees who would most benefit.

  • 31 million individuals in the U.S. with some college, but no college degree
  • 40 million working adults in the U.S. without a high school diploma or GED
  • 72 % of working adults know they need further skills and knowledge to advance in their careers
  • 80 % of working adults say that tuition and fees are the main barrier to pursuing education
  • U.S. student loan debt is fast approaching $1.5 trillion

Organizations that reinvent their approach to educational assistance can reduce turnover costs, improve employment skills, deepen engagement, enhance productivity and increase consumer satisfaction.

Pearson Accelerated Pathways provides the structure and programs to deliver educational assistance benefits. Our unique insight and world-class expertise comes from our long history of working closely with learners, teachers, researchers, authors, thought leaders and companies.

Our size, stability, reputation and deep skills help us create change at a scale that powerfully improves the companies and academic partners we work with—and most importantly, the individuals we touch through learning.

Here’s how we help:

Other benefits to emerge from corporate debt-free* college programs:

  • Emergence of new talent pools
  • A strengthened connection between skills and work
  • Breaking the cycle of underemployment and low wage attainment
  • Increased economic participation by frontline workers in and around their communities
  • Transformation of frontline jobs into true “first careers”
  • Reduced gaps between retirement of skilled workers and emerging new talent
  • Increased employer brand value
  • Enhanced corporate sustainability practices

Providing debt-free* educational attainment opportunities to frontline workers may be the best way for you to recruit workers.

According to a Gallup poll, workers are “most likely to change jobs for benefits and perks closely related to their quality of life [and]…are interested in jobs that offer them a way to balance work and home better, gain a deeper sense of autonomy and secure their financial future.”

In many industries, recruiting and retaining a robust frontline workforce is an enormous expense. “Among positions earning $30,000 a year or less, which includes more than half of all U.S. workers, the cost of replacing an employee is slightly less than among positions earning less than $75,000 annually.” For a company that has 10,000 frontline workers earning $30,000 or less a year and loses 85 percent of them annually (a common turnover rate), it costs an average of $4,800 per employee to find, rehire and retrain a replacement. That’s $40.8 million each year simply to fill job vacancies from voluntary turnover.

Forward-thinking organizations deploy strategies to develop frontline workers by training them not only for their current roles, but also for the jobs and careers they want in the future. By connecting frontline workers with relevant educational opportunities, employers are building clear competitive advantages in employee engagement and loyalty.

Companies that have analyzed ROI for frontline education programs have seen significant return, including 100 percent retention rates during enrollment and workers who stay twice as long with the employer as a result of their education benefit.

Not providing these opportunities comes with a cost. Without clear purpose and opportunities, employees rapidly disengage. “Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each in lost productivity. These workers are more likely to steal from their company, negatively influence their colleagues, skip work, and drive customers away,” according to Gallup.

Providing debt-free* educational attainment opportunities addresses current skills gaps while improving talent management pipelines and processes from attraction to advancement. It helps deepen development discussions between employees and managers and reduces transience in frontline roles.

Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation committed to studying and showcasing ROI of talent investments, estimated that Discover Financial achieved 144 percent ROI for its overall tuition assistance program, with even higher ROI for its call center employees. “For the agent population, the ROI of Tuition Reimbursement Program (TRP) was both positive and substantial: TRP produced an ROI of 243 percent due to participants being retrained, promoted and transferred more often and being absent fewer days than non-participant peers, helping Discover avoid $7.2M in talent management costs.”