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A college education opens doors. Successfully earning a degree can set an individual on the fast track to a lucrative career. Too often in the past, prospective students taken the college plunge without giving enough thought on how they will pay for their education.  In 2013, 70% of the graduating class entered the work force with an average of $28,400 in student loan debt.

With the startling number in mind, current and future students should gear up to face the uphill battle to escape the student loan pit. Federal grants, scholarship contests, a part-time job, or planning to locate job with the federal government are the traditional methods of paying for college.

There is another option: working for a company who pays for college. Many businesses have begun to recognize the importance of an educated work force, as well as the difficulties that their low income employees have accumulating the funds to attend college. In order to help their employees overcome that problem, many companies have added a tuition reimbursement plan to their benefits package.

Individuals who have college dreams and student loan nightmares, might want to think about applying to work at one of these companies.

Fiat Chrysler’s free college tuition program helps their employees earn their associate, bachelor, or master’s degree. The program is open to all part- and full-time employees who have worked at the company for thirty days. Chrysler will pay 100% of tuition, fees, and books upfront when their workers attend Strayer University. Individual dealerships must pay a fee to the overall corporation for their employees to participate.

Smucker’s tuition reimbursement benefit will pay 100% of tuition costs for company approved courses.

Starbuck’s College Achievement Plan will pay 100% tuition coverage when their employees attend one of Arizona State University’s 49 online bachelor degree programs. The plan includes all employees located in the United States.

Verizon Wireless’s tuition assistance program offers full-time employees up to $8,000 and part-time employees up to $4,000 when they pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s or MBA degree.

Monsanto’s tuition reimbursement Program will reimburse full-time employees up to $7,500 and part-time employees up to $3,750 every year for eligible courses. The employee must maintain a good grade to remain qualified for the program. The program will also reimburse employees for CLEP exams fees, certification courses, entrance exams, and licensing exams.

Bank of America’s tuition reimbursement plan will reimburse their employees who have been employed for 6 months up to $5,250 per year. The plan will cover tuition, per unit credit fees, registration fees, any other class fees, and textbooks for job related courses and non-job related courses if they support a job related degree.

Oracle’s college tuition reimbursement benefit will reimburse full-time employees $5,250 per calendar year. The degree must either be related to current or future job responsibilities and the individual must maintain a grade of B- or better.

Apple’s plan will reimburse employees that work more than twenty hours a week up to $5,000 per year.

Best Buy’s college benefit plan will reimburse employees who have worked for them for 6 months $3,500 for undergraduate degrees and $5,250 for graduate degrees.

Disney’s tuition assistance program reimburses employees $700 per credit unit, 100% of purchase price of all books, and up to $100 per course for the cost of materials. College courses covered by this program must relate to the employee’s job duties.

This article was contributed by guest author Samantha Stauf.