Many companies offer tuition assistance so workers can go to college


As a growing contingent of Americans feel excluded from a college education, tuition assistance may be the most valuable incentive companies use to attract and keep workers.

Over the past few years, more and more companies have added or expanded the benefit offerings of free college programs. Not only does free or discounted higher education improve recruitment and retention, it also reduces student debt loads while improving long-term employee well-being, experts say.

Major brands including walmart, McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Amazon, Home deposit, Target, UPS, fedex, Chipotle And Starbucks have programs that help cover the cost of returning to school. Waste Management will not only pay for employees’ college degrees and professional certificates, but will also provide this same benefit to their spouses and children.

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Of course, employers paying for their employees to graduate are nothing new. For decades, corporations have taken over college education and white-collar MBAs.

However, many companies are now extending this benefit to frontline workers — such as drivers, cashiers and hourly workers — while heavily promoting the offer more than before.

Coming out of the pandemic, these types of benefits play an important role in competing for workers and more and more companies are now offering opportunities to develop new skills, according to the Society for Human Resource’s 2022 benefits. Management. investigation.

At this point, 48% of employers said they offered undergraduate or graduate tuition assistance as a benefit, according to this SHRM survey. A separate Willis Towers Watson survey in 2021 found that 80% of large employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Programs can open ‘career paths to higher paying roles’

“I thought about college, but I didn’t think I had the resources to work full time and go to school,” said Tara Sims, 39, an associate at a Walmart store in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Walmart is pairing Tara Sims with her daughter Brylie.

Source: Tara Sims

Sims is now almost a year after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration through Walmart’s Live Better U education program. Sims, who will be the first person in her family to graduate from college, said she was motivated by her 12-year-old daughter, Brylie.

“I actually made the honor roll last fall and sharing that email with her was really exciting for me,” Sims said.

Five years ago, Walmart unveiled an ambitious education relief plan for its workers. Then, in 2021, the nation’s largest employer said it would make the program completely free for all full-time and part-time associates — covering 100% of tuition and books.

Walmart unveiled a new benefit for employees - tuition

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