Walmart, America’s largest retailer, has committed to paying full tuition and textbook costs for eligible employees as part of an agreement with select colleges, waiving the previous $1 fee per day workers paid to earn a degree.
The program, called Live Better U, includes 10 universities, and part-time or full-time employees at Walmart are eligible. Walmart’s intent with the program is to encourage an educated and well-trained workforce while improving employee retention and recruitment.
“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Senior Vice President of Learning and Leadership Lorraine Stomski in a statement.
“This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees,” she added.
Expanding Program Benefits
The company announced that it will invest $1 billion over the next five years to ensure that around 1.5 million of its part-time and full-time employees can receive a college degree without having to worry about student debt.
The universities participating in the program include Brandman University, Johnson & Wales University, Pathstream, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver, Voxy EnGen, and Wilmington University.
The program plans to offer more opportunities for degrees and certificates in business administration, cybersecurity, and supply chain. Employees in the program are given preference in promotion and retention within Walmart.