New voluntary benefit option: College assistance program

By Higginbotham on March 25 , 2015

Thinkstock_Saving for education

Financial stresses are a big distraction for employees during work hours, and those stresses are a growing drain on their productivity. That’s one of the findings of the 2014 Financial Wellness in the Workplace Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). According to the survey, almost 40 percent of employees are facing greater personal financial challenges today than they were at the onset of the recession in 2007.

And for employees with children in high school or college, one of the biggest stresses is the skyrocketing cost of a college education. When adjusted for inflation, tuition and fees have increased over 1,100 percent since 1978 according to And there’s no sign of the trend slowing down. It’s estimated that by 2020, a four-year public college education will cost over $130,000, and a four-year private college education will be over $300,000.

But the high cost is only part of the stress. The entire college process can be confusing and full of conflicting advice and information.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of professional help. There are more than 21,000 independent educational consultants across the U.S. to choose from. But hiring one of them can be pricey, costing an average of $4,000 per student. So that option is out of reach for many of your employees.

The CAP solution

The College Assistance Plan® (CAP) – offered through CAP Advisory Services, Inc. – can help take some of the stress off of your employees and their families by providing a better, more affordable way to navigate the college process. Specifically designed to meet the needs of families with students in high school or college, CAP provides valuable resources and advice to help them plan for, prepare for, and lower the cost of a college education.

The best part? The CAP is available as a convenient and affordable voluntary benefit for your employees. The same way you might offer voluntary disability, life, or long-term care insurance, you can now offer your employees a benefit that contributes to their financial wellness while helping them:

  • Figure out how to pay for college
  • Prepare their kids in high school and better plan for the ACT and SAT tests
  • Understand the college search, admissions and interview processes
  • Navigate the complex financial aid/student loan/FAFSA process

Who is eligible and how does it work?

All employees are eligible, and they can easily enroll through your HR representative or sign up directly at Either way, they’ll have access to a host of resources that can take much of the stress out of the college process:

  • Over 30 on-demand webinars with accurate college information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • College Segmented Guides with unbiased information and expertise to help you avoid costly mistakes
  • The CAP Toolkit to help them understand strategies to appeal and negotiate for reduced tuition

How much does it cost?

CAP gives families access to these resources for all of their students for just $399 per year, and payment can be set up through automatic payroll deductions. That’s a small investment for such a comprehensive, versatile, convenient and cost-effective solution to such a significant financial decision.

Let’s face it – the college process is stressful, confusing and expensive. CAP can relieve a lot of that stress and cost for employees and their families. And for employers, it’s a great way to contribute to employees’ financial wellness, boost employee retention and improve productivity.

Ready to learn more?

Higginbotham Insurance has partnered with CAP Advisory Services Inc. to offer this exciting voluntary benefit, so contact us today to find out how you can get started.

Tags: Employee Benefits