Background: I worked as a Data Analyst for a small Healthcare company for about 8 years. I learned computer languages (perl), MS-SQL Server, Access, etc. I built a data warehouse from the ground up with only a book, which I lost and it was a great book on data warehousing. I quit that job to be with my partner. His job moved him to a new state and new city. I was unable to get a job doing what I was doing regardless of my experience. I wouldn't get in the door because of no degree in CS or CIS.
Now, I'm 44 and entering a four year university as a Junior. I have spent the last couple of years working hard full time for a bank, and going to community college. I graduated with my Associate's Degree. I've used it to transfer to the university. It was hard. I had to adjust my work schedule, a tweak here and there. Started later, and went home a bit later, and studied my a** off. I worked hard at both of my jobs. Work and School. The result, I'm happier, I was able to find a better job at the bank, using my experience and the fact that I have just an Associate's Degree. It was the combination that helped. And work is still working with me. It is to their advantage that I continue my studies and receive I higher degree.
If they value you and will help you with a degree with tuition reimbursement then they should work with you as you go to school. You may not be able to do more than a couple of classes at a time per semester and it will be hard. It will also be more rewarding than you can imagine. First talk to your employer and let them know your dilemma. Work with them towards a solution, and then apply to school and go. You won't regret it.