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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

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Wonkishness  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 12:53:51 PM(UTC)
Wonkishness

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/10/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1
United States
Location: Alexandria, VA

First time poster here and I thought I’d share some info that may be of value to my fellow feds. I’ve been a fed for 7 years and I have been considering grad school the entire time. For a long time, I steered clear because I didn’t want a lot more debt and my supervisor seemed to believe that getting the agency to pay for grad school was impossible. It seemed odd to me that the agency would pay thousands for external trainings on Lean Six Sigma, Speed of Trust, etc., but wouldn’t pay for grad school classes.

A year ago I moved to a different agency and I asked about tuition reimbursement. No one seemed to know if they could approve it or what the policy was. This time, however, I had a good supervisor. After a little back and forth with HR, the boss decided that my tuition for a semester could be paid out of the training budget. That was it for me for elective, external training for the FY (Alas, no more Lean Six Sigma!), but a semester was paid for.

In the end all I had to do was fill out an SF-182 and they put it on the office’s credit card that they used for training. It was that simple, which blew my mind.

The SF-182 is for external training and supervisors have a lot of discretion to decide what training is germane to the work. I’m sure that there are agencies with restrictive policies that would prevent this kind of approach, but in the absence of such restrictions – it is all about the personality of the supervisor. If your supervisor is willing to make the pitch and fight for you, then this benefit is in reach.

One last note - the agency paid the school upfront rather than reimbursing me later. This was an arrangement that the school was apparently very familiar with and even better than the reimbursement I had expected.
NoodleCounter  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:27:44 PM(UTC)
NoodleCounter

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/20/2020(UTC)
Posts: 18
United States
Location: Utah

Not very helpful without knowing which agency this is.
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