Getting your boss enrolled in your journey: Tips on reimbursement for the altMBA

Reimbursement policies vary for each organization. If you’re interested in having the conversation with your boss, we’ve compiled some advice from alumni who were in your shoes.

Below we have eight alumni who shared thoughts on reimbursement… Plus an extra quote at the end by an alumni who insisted on sharing his two cents.

PS For what it’s worth, here’s our take on reimbursement:

At most companies, it's on a case by case basis, so don't count on it.

But when it comes through, it's a nice bonus, plus it establishes that your organization is serious about developing and challenging its people.

As more and more organizations see how valuable this sort of workshop is, our expectation is that reimbursement will get easier. Feel free to tell your boss about the other organizations that have backed their employees—and if you're successful, let us know so we can spread the word and tell the others.

If you're looking for more help, check out the reimbursement letter template we've created. It can help you get started.



I was able to get reimbursed for a portion of the tuition fee. I think the "pitch" should be tailored to the specific manager.

My boss is the CEO so I was able to discuss with him broadly the value of managing change in the organization. If my manager was a manager of a function or in middle management, I probably would have spoken more specifically about how it helps the tasks I'm currently responsible for.

In either case, I think it's important to emphasize the focus on actual results rather than a certificate or credential, although HR may want to see something like that.
Skip C., altMBA4
In my company there is continuing education program and has a internal website through which I could apply for reimbursement for up to $1500. The main thing was to talk with my manager and get his approval. And second thing is the certificate of completion which we don’t have for altMBA. I uploaded screenshot of slack message by Seth on our completion of the program.
Touseef L., altMBA6
I was able to get my company to reimburse me for the course. We do have formal tuition reimbursement, but I was unable to get them to approve this course through that avenue. They expect accreditation and I expect that is a common hurdle.

I wrote a proposal to negotiate with our company's SVP to get it in my department's budget as career development.

The write up included an explanation of the content of the course, the type of skills it teaches, Seth's credentials and a solid paragraph on what my goals were with the course and how they related to future gains/goals for my company. My direct supervisor also worked as an ally to help me reach the right people, she was insanely supportive.

Few of my coworkers actively pursue career development courses and I made sure to pitch it as a high ROI for the company. I tried to show it was an investment in our business's success, not just mine.
Alexa R., altMBA4
I found it helpful to present Project 14 and clearly show my manager and other leadership stakeholders the value that my participation in the altMBA conveyed directly to my position in the organization, and how it contributed to make positive changes in our organization.

We’re a 10,000 person global company, slow moving, so I filled out their tuition reimbursement paperwork and was completely surprised when a check for the full amount arrived just before the holidays (nice timing).
Nathan P., altMBA7
In my case I didn’t need to get permission from a boss. I have though been asked by friends and colleagues how they could “sell” this to their boss and 2 key factors seem to be a common thread:

1) Breathes new life and new perspective into the company/ organization in a time where big companies / organizations are struggling to “think like a startup.”

2) Connections, the connections that are built within the altMBA (current cohorts and alum ) are priceless and a meaningful resources for any individual and/or company.
Derek W., altMBA1
I initially asked our HR for reimbursement… but when they declined I went to the dean and requested funding for “faculty development/conference.” That worked. Good luck!
Lana C., altMBA6
Regarding cost for the altMBA, my company is an S-Corp and my tax person wrote the cost off as an expense for 2015.
Brigitte C., altMBA1
I work for a large organization (US Department of Veteran Affairs). Being that it's a large organization, I assumed there was some way to have the company pay for altMBA. In asking around, I was surprised to learn that there was a specific fund for my department for this, and that through a fairly straightforward application process, it was possible to request and receive funds.

In my case, I had to meet a lot of timing criteria—namely that the approval had to occur before altMBA began, and that I needed a letter from altMBA that I had successfully completed the requirements of the class.

I understand that I work for a unique organization (the federal government). But my advice to those seeking to have companies reimburse would to ask the question ahead of time. I would imagine most bosses would balk at asking for a reimbursement after the fact.

Given altMBA's website's professionalism and accolades, and given that altMBAers are a forward-motion group, it shouldn’t be hard for someone to advocate for funding ahead of time.
Dan H., altMBA6
(bonus)
I couldn’t get my company to reimburse me. I paid out of pocket and it was 100% worth the money.
M.K., altMBA4

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The program dates:

Spring: April 23 – May 23, 2018
Summer: July 9 – August 8, 2018
Fall: October 1 – October 31, 2018

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