Motivations for and barriers to participation in tuition-aid programs and recommendations for the reduction of the major barriers

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Because of the increased number of large corporations offering tuition-aid programs to their employees, there is a need to collect data and study the motivation for participation and barriers to participation for this population.

A questionnaire, with items identifying motivational factors and barriers to participation in tuition-aid programs, was developed and sent to a sample of employees of a major corporation who do and who do not participate in that corporation's tuition-aid program. This study found that cost and time considerations are overwhelmingly cited as the chief barriers for participants and nonparticipants. Barriers identified as significant by both participants and nonparticipants were examined through a review of literature as to possible solutions to their elimination. The chief decision-makers in the 23 operating companies of the corporation rated each of the recommendations as to their feasibility in being implemented. The decision-makers rated prepayment and paying for material costs as the two lowest possible solutions they would consider implementing in order to reduce the barriers. What emerges clearly is the point that management must take a hard look at their present policies that appear to be barriers to participation in tuition-aid programs. The researcher developed a set of final recommendations along with a rationale for each.