CAEL interviews PepsiCo on turning its tuition assistance into talent development tool

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PepsiCo leaders realized that they were overlooking a larger opportunity to support talent development. In addition, the organization's disparate policies and processes were causing unnecessary obstacles and costs in administering the program.


In this recent case study from CAEL, PepsiCo shared some important lessons learned. For example, EdAssist benchmarked PepsiCo's policies, based on a review of other companies' policies. "It is extremely important to our business to have the marketplace pulse," said Chad Ryan, Director of Retirement Plans for PepsiCo. "All the benchmarking data was valuable. It really shaped the decisions we made to harmonize the benefits and build the program."

PepsiCo executives then chronicled how they implemented a comprehensive education assistance program that provided industry-specific educational and financial advising for employees, new accreditation requirements for credit approval, and an automated tuition reimbursement system with built-in compliance, and negotiated tuition rates at 220 institutions.

In addition, PepsiCo shared how the company boosted the program's impact through increased coverage, higher annual reimbursement caps, and new branding to emphasize career development.


  • Saved more than $1 million through improved policy compliance.
  • Eliminated $182,000 in administrative management fees.
  • Reduced employees’ tuition costs by $130,000 in a single year
  • Gained better analytics about employee purchasing behavior

Facts & Figures

Industry: Food and beverage 
Total employees: 274,000 employees  

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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
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