Employer-provided Benefits and Supports for Post-Secondary Education

Increase access to and persistence through postsecondary education

Problem Statement

  • Too few Black students successfully enroll in college. This is driven in part by low completion of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, without which students can’t qualify for either state or federal financial aid, and Indiana’s general lack of a college-going culture, which discourages students from applying to college.
  • Too few employees take advantage of employer tuition assistance benefits to earn additional degrees or credentials, in part driven by policies requiring expense reimbursement upon completion of training. This can serve as a barrier for low-to-middle-income employees. In addition, not every employer offers a tuition assistance benefit program.

Action Steps

  • Help defray the cost of post-secondary education for students and adults from lower-income households by:
    • Raising awareness of the importance of FAFSA completion, through:
    • Providing financial literacy and other support to encourage FAFSA completion by disseminating the free FAFSA toolkit created by INvestEd, an Indiana nonprofit.
  • To support the upskilling of the existing workforce, employers should:
    • Establish an employee tuition assistance benefit program that supports the efforts of employees to earn additional postsecondary degrees andcredentials.
    • To lower barriers to access, ensure tuition assistance benefit programs are structured to provide funding on an upfront basis (versus reimbursed upon completion). Model employer programs include those offered by The Cook Group.

Hiring and Promotions Task Force Recommendations

Education to Workforce Talent Pipeline – Data Analysis

Interactive data visualization highlighting the pervasive disparities in education outcomes for Black and Hispanic children and adults in Indianapolis and Indiana and the troubling consequences.

Racial Gaps in Education to Workforce Talent Pipeline Report

The Learning and Talent task force developed this research paper and its related interactive data tool to analyze education and workforce data to identify disparities in education outcomes for Black and Hispanic children and adults in Indianapolis and Indiana, along with their troubling consequences.

Education and Workforce Development Program Database

Explore a database of 200 existing education and workforce development programs in Marion County, Indiana that complements the BEI Learning and Talent Opportunities Taskforce’s recommendations for companies to improve education and workforce development outcomes for Black and Hispanic individuals and identifies specific programs and initiatives in which the corporate community can engage.

Provide training for your workforce on DE&I topics

Consider your workforce’s skills limitations for hiring and serving minority populations by offering implicit bias or anti-racism trainings.

Expand access to high-quality early learning program participation

Expand access to high-quality early learning program participation by an employer-offered benefit program, stratified by family income, that improves the affordability and accessibility of high-quality early learning.
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