Saturday 14 October 2006

Education costs - getting work to pay

It's always good to get some "free" money from your employer. Yesterday I had my application for study assistance approved, up to a maximum of $1200 this year. I'm currently doing a Masters in IT by distance education and my employer has agreed to reimburse me for 50% of the course fees for the subjects I'm doing this year (paid when I pass each subject). As the course fees are tax deductible [as "work related self-education" expenses] the refund from the company will be somewhat offset by the reduced tax deduction, but I'll still end up ahead by about $900.

As usual the process of applying for study assistance is extremely bureaucratic - I'd previously had an application to be reimbursed for the entire cost of the degree approved - unfortunately the approval was only "valid" for that particular financial year budget, and as the degree will take about 8 years of part-time study by distance education this ended up meaning I got nothing refunded for the subjects I completed that year. Working out how to submit an application worded in a way that means I'm entitled to get some money back within the current budget period took some doing!

As I'd already budgeted for paying my course fees, when I get the refund money I'll probably use it to by some shares for my new baby boy.

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