Tuition reimbursement

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by b*rizzle, Jan 8, 2006.

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  1. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info 5+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    This is a generalized question for my friends already in pharmacy school:

    I'm investigating the logic behind tuition reimbursement, and I can't seem to make a super-positive case for it. It seems like a great deal, because Target offers $3000 a year for pharmacy school, but it seems like no matter what you do, you pretty much end up as an indentured servant for X number of years after you graduate, depending on how long you choose to benefit from the money, thus lowering your overall value when you graduate and are wheeling-and-dealing for jobs.

    Can anyone make a positive case for it?
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  3. imperial frog

    imperial frog Pharm.D 5+ Year Member

    If you need the money, take it. If you don't want to work for them in the end, it will convert to a loan which at 12,000 you can probably pay back in about 3 months.
  4. imperial frog

    imperial frog Pharm.D 5+ Year Member

    I really have never heard of any indentured servant getting $90,000 a year.
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    gone to seed
    Maybe indentured employee would be a better term to describe getting totally shat upon relative to one's peers as a consequence of accepting an obligation to work for a certain time period as a condition of recieving funds. :p

    I guess it could be worth it if you absolutely know that you want to work for the company making you the offer, and being there is worth the crap you put yourself at risk for.
  6. pharmaz88

    pharmaz88 10+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    nothing's stopping you from using your sign-on bonus from one employer to pay back the tuition reimbursement from another. long as RPh's are in demand, you still hold the upper hand when bargaining, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
  7. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info 5+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    See...trying to avoid extra loans. I have enough as it is and I haven't even started pharmacy school yet.
  8. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member


    Do you have some examples of the above? I am trying to decide whether to "sign" with my current employer for tuition assistance. Some examples of what it is like for recent "indentured" graduates relative to other pharmacists who don't owe the company money would help me, I think.

  9. ICA

    ICA Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    from the Bay to L.A.
    Let's say you get a $5,000 tuition reimbursement and you decide not to work for the company after you graduate. I know the $5,000 will probably be payable immediately, but is there any interest (or default fees) tacked on top of the original "loan"?
  10. BiOGoly

    BiOGoly 10+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2003
    Portland Oregon
    I've looked into tuition reimbursement quite a bit and have came to the conclusion that it's just not logical. You are obligating yourself at a point when you have little bargaining power, and you are getting peanuts. If you just wait four years when you have your Pharm.D in hand you will have more leverage. A lot of places have $10K/year student loan repayment...and maybe even a sign on bonus to boot.

    Remember, good things come to those who wait...
  11. pharmagirl

    pharmagirl 5+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    My employer requires 7.5% interest (or something like that) be added to the repayment.

    I think these programs are good if you are pretty sure you want to work for the company when you get out of school. If you are totally up in the air about what you want to do then I'd probably pass.

    I passed because I don't know what my future holds and if I have a baby after pharmacy school I don't want to be required to work full time because of the tuition reimbursement thing. (I like having options!)

    Many employers offer to pay money towards your student loans as part of the incentive package. My company has done that for other fresh graduates, so I'm hoping that I can get a package like that despite the fact that I turned down their tuition help earlier.
  12. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

    The key is to convince them to pay off your loans AFTER you graduate. That's my plan, anyway.
  13. pharmagirl

    pharmagirl 5+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Yep! That IS a good plan. :)
  14. highlyfavored

    highlyfavored obligated to serve God... 5+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    That makes the most sense to me. Tuition forgiveness instead of tuition reimbursement. I've seen several jobs that offer this. One offered $7,000 for each year you work for them up to 3 years. I image you get the money after you complete each year. Atleast that way, you don't have to feel pressured to stay just so you don't have to pay back a "loan". Now that sounds like a sweet deal!! :D
  15. WSU2007

    WSU2007 Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Can't really make a positive case only offer my viewpoint. I've looked into "tuition reimbursement" and have generalized that they are basicly a student loan that will be repayed by that organization or company if you work for them after graduation. I look at in this way: if you need a loan to pay your tuition or living expenses your going to borrow the money from somewhere (Gov't, bank or private company). The bottom line is that most of us will be repaying student loans when we graduate. When taking a loan I look at the interest rate and repayment agreements in choosing a loan. If you look at in this respect I don't believe that you become locked in or hurt your negotiating power upon graduation. the nice thing about this loan is that there is a chance you may not have to pay it back. I think some of my fellow students get to wrapped up in their "negotiation" upon graduating. Choosing your practice should be based more on wether or not you will enjoy your practice, money of course is important but I don't believe there is a position out there that will grossly underpay you.
  16. alwaystired

    alwaystired 5+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Las Vegas
    I think this is a very naive way to think. If a company has your guarantee to work for them, then why would they waste their time trying to recruit you with more generous salarly offers. Of course you can always pay back the money and look elsewhere, or you could just not make the deal to begin with.

    Why would you want to commit yourself to working for company X for a mere $2,000 per year. So you have $6,000 less debt when you graduate, big still owe $90,000.

    I would just hold off on accepting offers. Even if the money difference isn't that great, you should just keep your options open.
  17. WSU2007

    WSU2007 Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    When I investigated tuition reimbursement I did not get the impression that by participating I was "guaranteeing" that I would come to work for them. That is why the reimbursement programs are set up as loans and not true reimbursement packages. My point is simply that if you have to take loans to pay for your education I treat the reimbursement packages offered as simply another loan option. You don't have to go work for that compnay, the advantage to going to work for them is that you do not have to pay back the loans, hence the reimbursement. I think it is more of a recruiting tactic rather than a tactic aimed at paying you less. There is such a great demand for pharmacists that a tactic such as this (aimed at paying you less) would be unsuccesful. I believe that your salary offer would be the same regardless of wether or not you have a loan from the company. What do they have to gain by letting you go because of the low balling that you proclaim is out there? Nothing! If you ask me they have more to lose by letting you go because they obviously have already invested time and resources in putting together the reimbursement package. And in most cases you probably have interned there for most of your pharm school years so you have experience in their system, so you are more valuable than someone who was not "brought up" in their system. It is up to the recent graduate to realize this and not allow this type of low balling to occurr.
  18. Shovingit

    Shovingit well, well, well 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    When employers pay off your loans after graduation, do you get ripped off at all when it comes to your salary? Or would you get a solid amnt + loan payment? Seems like that'd be a sweet way to go.

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