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In recent years, more employers have begun partnering directly with universities to ensure students receive the formal education they need to succeed in  jobs in their respective fields. And with skills gaps persisting as a problem throughout the United States economy, more employers than ever are turning to university partnership opportunities to bridge those gaps and improve their recruitment processes.

If you are preparing to start school, better understanding what these educational partnerships entail can work to your advantage. From there, you could find programs that include academic partnerships designed to fuel student success while preparing you for the real world.

What Is a University Partnership and Why Are They Important?

A university partnership refers to a formal collaboration between a school and an employer. Typically, this employer is located within the same geographical area as the school itself—though with more schools offering online programs and more companies recruiting across state (and country) lines than ever, this does not have to be the case.

With a university partnership, students in specific programs of study may receive some financial assistance with tuition, fees, and other expenses related to their education directly from the company sponsoring the partnership. In exchange, the university tailors its program to ensure graduates receive the formal education they need to thrive in their fields.

In some cases, students reaping the benefits of a university partnership may be current employees at the sponsoring company or organization. When this is the case, a non-skilled worker in an administrative role could pursue a degree without accruing large amounts of debt. Meanwhile, they could acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to move up the ladder within a company, saving the employer the costs associated with outside recruiting and training.

The Undeniable Benefits of University Partnerships

One perk of university partnerships is that they are mutually beneficial to all involved. On the employer’s end, current and aspiring employees alike receive advanced training and education to prepare for roles within the company. This, in turn, saves employers the hassle of conducting outside recruiting because they can often hire recent and upcoming graduates from school programs. This also cuts down drastically on the costs associated with recruiting and onboarding.

Likewise, employers sponsoring current employees in a university partnership may enjoy the advantage of increased retention. When employers offer such a key benefit as helping to pay for their workers’ college education, they could drastically increase loyalty to the company, reducing turnover and ultimately saving money.

Students also benefit greatly from a university partnership because these programs help offset educational costs while providing students with real-world career skills. Plus, when you consider that the annual cost of a bachelor’s degree program in the U.S. may exceed $36,000 per year, it is easy to see why the potential to save money is so important to aspiring graduates.

What Are Education Partnerships and How Do They Lead to Success?

Similar to academic partnerships, educational partnerships may exist between schools as well. Rather than an agreement between a school and an employer, these partnerships form between two different schools.

This type of arrangement most often occurs between schools that wish to expand their offerings to students but do not have the ability to form their own degree programs. By creating a partnership, schools may collaborate with one another to offer a more robust selection of degree and certificate options to students in a particular area of study. These partnerships are less common than university partnerships with employers, but they do exist and could be a viable way for students and schools to benefit mutually.

Who Is Eligible?

If you are an aspiring college student looking to cut down on tuition and fees, you may be wondering whether you are eligible for a university partnership. The eligibility requirements for these programs vary based on the school and the company sponsoring the partnership. With that in mind, you should always inquire directly through your chosen school to determine eligibility requirements for a specific academic partnership.

Still, there are a few basic eligibility requirements to keep in mind to help guide you through your options.

Degree Types

No matter what you are thinking about studying in college, there is a chance you could find educational partnerships to help cover your costs and prepare you for the field. However, you would generally find the highest concentrations of these partnerships where notable skills gaps create obstacles in recruiting and hiring. Some examples of these industries include:

  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Software
  • Business and finance
  • Logistics
  • Engineering

Of course, this is not to say that you could not find an academic partnership if your field of study is not on the list. It just means you would need to do some research and find the opportunities that apply to you.


The particular benefits of any given academic partnership may vary based on the school you attend and the company sponsoring the partnership. Your benefits could also differ based on whether you are a current employee at the company or an aspiring one.

In general, university partnerships help cover at least some of the cost of tuition and related fees. In some cases, these costs may be completely covered provided that the student maintains a certain grade point average during enrollment. It is worth noting, of course, that the cost of attending college is not limited to tuition and fees. Room and board, along with living expenses, must also be factored in. For students commuting to campus for classes, transportation costs may need to be considered as well. It is unlikely that an academic partnership would cover these costs, but not impossible.


Ultimately, the specifics of an educational partnership boil down to what the sponsoring employer and school have mutually agreed upon. In most cases, an employer would only sponsor costs associated with certain degree programs relevant to their industries. This means that even if you qualify for an academic partnership, you may be limited in the course of study you can pursue. This is why it is so important to do your research and find partnership opportunities specific to your field.


Still have questions about educational partnerships and what they could mean for your college experience? We have answered some of the most asked questions about academic partnerships below so you can be better informed as you move forward.

How Do Universities Choose Which Institutions to Partner With?

This really depends on the university itself, as each school has its own unique process for finding partners and deciding the criteria regarding whom to work with.

It is not uncommon for colleges and universities to publish that they are actively seeking and open to partnerships. From there, companies and other institutions can reach out to discuss the opportunities further. In some cases, an employer may approach a university directly to propose a partnership.

It all comes down to whether the company and school could reach a mutually beneficial agreement for all parties involved. If so, then they can sign a formal agreement and form a partnership.

What Types of Partnerships Exist Between Universities?

There are various types of partnerships that can exist not only between companies and schools but also between different schools. While most people think of academic partnerships as exclusively between schools and companies, this is not always the case.

In some situations, schools may form mutually beneficial partnerships with each other. For example, if one school offers a bachelor’s program in one field but does not have the resources to offer a specialized master’s degree option, the school may partner with a university that does to increase enrollment. This could be a win-win for both schools and students who want to pursue an advanced degree.

How Have University Partnerships Evolved Over Time?

University partnerships are hardly a new concept, as they have been around in some form for decades. In the past, however, these programs were often referred to as tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs. These were largely available only to current employees looking to pursue a higher education.

Now that many industries face a skills gap that makes it difficult to fill option positions, more companies are turning to true partnerships or collaborations with colleges and universities to recruit more proactively. No longer are these kinds of programs available only to current employees. Instead, assistance is available to any eligible student enrolled in a sponsored program. This has made academic partnerships more accessible and beneficial not just to current employees, but aspiring ones as well.

What Impact Can University Partnerships Have on Students and Faculty Members?

Both students and faculty members can benefit from university partnerships. Students may enjoy reduced education costs, which could save them thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a study program. Meanwhile, students also enjoy the advantages of a more tailored educational experience that prepares them for the realities of working in their respective sectors.

Faculty members stand to benefit from university partnerships, too, as they often have a major say when it comes to the types of programs and educational material that go into a sponsored program. Likewise, faculty may enjoy higher rates of enrollment and the benefits that go into it. Many professors and instructors also enjoy the ability to develop a working relationship with a local employer.

Consider a Partnership for Your Educational Journey

These days, it is more important than ever for educational programs to focus on the skills and concepts entry-level workers need to succeed in their fields. University partnerships and educational partnerships could do just that, giving students and employers added confidence and peace of mind as they prepare for the challenges of their career paths.

Interested in learning more about university partnerships or exploring the options available to you? Post University is proud to offer numerous educational programs with partnerships from reputable companies, including customized tuition reimbursement programs and more. These partnerships apply to our online programs, so you could enjoy the flexible education you desire while cutting down on your costs. Learn more about our university partners today or reach out to request additional information!

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s programs and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.