Whether you love to work or hate the grind, there are perks to having a job. Plenty of employers offer paid time off, medical and dental help and retirement savings. However, more and more employers are offering one of the most progressive, sought-after benefits to date: tuition assistance. And, according to Forbes, less than 10 percent of employees take advantage of their company’s tuition reimbursement plans. In the past, tuition assistance has been reserved for full-time employees at select companies, but the policy is now extending to part-time employees at some of the largest, most well-known retailers and corporations. With these options, students can be strategic about where they work in order to help pay for school. As higher education costs continue to rise, why not get a college degree for free?! Take a look at some of the big names offering tuition assistance.Walmart: Walmart began offering $1 a day tuition for its employees. Under this plan, employees only have to pay $1 a day toward college tuition, and Walmart will cover the rest. This policy extends to both part- and full-time employees. On top of this, Walmart now offers free ACT and SAT prep and the promise of zero college debt with degrees in technology, business or supply chain management through the Live Better U (LBU). According to a corporate press release, Walmart has “one of the largest employer-based educational benefits programs in the U.S.” You can enroll in the LBU on the first day of employment, even as a part-time associate. Disney: Tuition reimbursement for Disney employees extends to both part- and full-time employees, and their plan covers the entire tuition bill. In 2019 Disney partnered with the University of Central Florida to offer more than 30 graduate and undergraduate degrees to choose from. The program is called Disney Aspire and it provides a complete college education paid for - 100 percent. Interested in working at Disney? Consider a Disney college-program internship!Starbucks: For a few years, Starbucks has worked with Arizona State University (ASU) to provide full tuition for ASU’s online learning programs and degrees. Eligible employees and students pay very little or nothing to get a college degree. Taco Bell: Their program “Start With Us, Stay With Us” provides employees with a college advisor and pays up to $5,250 yearly for upfront education costs at via their Guild Education partnership and approved network of universities. Some of these partnerships are with colleges that provide online degrees too! These partner universities include: Bellevue University, Brandman University, University of Denver, University of Florida, and Wilmington University. Chipotle: Chipotle allows employees to use up to $5,250 in tuition assistance, regardless of part- or full-time employment status. They are able to use these funds at two-year, four-year or vocational/technical schools. Additionally, Chipotle is offering to pay full tuition for students studying business or technology at five different colleges, which are the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Wilmington University and Southern New Hampshire University.McDonald’s: Hourly employees can receive up to $2,500 in tuition assistance, and salaried workers can take up to $3,000. Both on-campus and online degree programs at schools are eligible. You only have to be an employee for 90 days to stake advantage of this educational program. Papa John’s: Dough & Degrees is a tuition reimbursement program offered to eligible employees. It pays for the full, online-tuition costs for undergraduate and graduate degrees. The Purdue Global partnership provides online degrees in information technology, cybersecurity, accounting, finance and business. Pizza Hut: Available only at Excelsior College, hourly employees can receive up to 45% off undergraduate tuition and 15% off of graduate degrees. FedEx Ground: Package handler employees are eligible for up to $1,500 in tuition assistance each calendar year. UPS: On the day employees are hired, UPS will provide up to $5,250 per calendar year and up to a lifetime maximum of $25,000. Publix: For college and university enrollment, employees can take up to $3,200 per calendar year and a lifetime limit of $12,800. For all other courses of study, employees can receive up to $1,700 per calendar year and $3,400 over a lifetime. Home Depot: Employees are eligible on day one of employment for a variety of tuition assistance benefits. Salary employees can receive up to $5,000, full-time hourly employees $3,000 and part-time hourly up to $1,500 per calendar year. Amazon: Amazon offers to pay 95% of their tuition, fees and textbook costs for hourly workers. They can take advantage of up to $12,000 over four years. AT&T and Verizon: Both of these tech retailers offer competitive tuition assistance benefits. United States Armed Forces: Another form of employer tuition assistance can come from joining the military for active duty service. Service members in the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Army, Navy and Space Force can get much of their college education paid for and in some cases a full tuition scholarship.
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