A college education may well be considered a luxury every high-reaching student would love to easily afford but with tuition increasing up to 6% each year, not everyone gets the chance to fulfill their college dreams. It’s hard to do that with even public colleges already reaching the $35,000 mark for boarding and college tuition alone.
It’s time to bring out the big guns.
Thanks to a number of employers, working Americans now have ways to alleviate the average student’s financial woe to the collective tune of $1.5 trillion dollars in student loans.
It’s no secret how college is no easy task, especially if you’re being employed while at it. A day in the life of a hard-earning college student (and working one at that) packs up knowledge, socials, tasks, extracurriculars, more tasks, and the burden of worrying about how to reduce the college loan.
Today, large telecommunications, electronic commerce, and fast food corporations have created assistance programs that generously subsidize college tuition for part-time and full-time employees seeking to attend college and earn a degree or two.
Fortunately for their employees, they picked the right business leaders and won’t have to be part of some 40% that drop out of university before completing a degree. Who are these generous industry leaders who commit to helping pay for the load (and groans) to get you to the top of the educational ladder?
With a net worth of $141.9 billion, founder Jeff Bezos recently landed the spot as the wealthiest man in the world in 2018. That’s because Amazon is now hailed as the highest revenue-earning online retailer. That said, the enterprising owner has no problems funding at least $12,000 in courses of up to four years with associate degrees and certificates in computer design, aircraft mechanics, medical lab technologies, machine tool technologies, and nursing disciplines.
Jeff Bezos himself wrote, “I believe high standards are teachable. In fact, people are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure.” More than 6,000 employees in over 10 countries are already taking part in Amazon’s Career Choice Program. The company pays up to 95% of tuition and the lucky student only 5% of the total amount. How’s that for extra benefits?
Bezos adds that he’s looking up to the transportation, mechanical and skilled trade, healthcare, IT and computer science industries as the fastest growing and most sought-after fields that could play a key role in shaping the future.
As the biggest mobile phone and landline provider company in the United States, and second largest donor when it comes to the country’s political campaigning (at nearly $50 million).
AT&T offers educational assistance to regular union-represented employees working in offices and subsidiaries in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands. A separate Tuition Aid Program with varied terms is offered to represented employees in subsidiaries AT&T Mobility and DIRECTV call centers in Idaho and Montana.
Each program comes with specific terms for eligibility. In both, however, AT&T lists its approved degrees for which the company will provide reimbursements capped at $20,000 and $25,000 for one undergraduate and undergraduate degree respectively, including for rehires.
Bank of America
As the ninth largest bank in the world, Bank of America has a total asset of $2,281.23 billion. In 2016, they invested $40 million for employability skills development of at least 100,000 young adults. They also partnered with non-profit organizations all over the country for training and internships specially for the new generation. The company expects their assistance to go a long way.
Employees of Bank of America who are graduates and undergraduates that have worked at least six months and dedicated at least 20 hours a week on their job can receive up to $5,250 annually.
The CEO and founder of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, noted that investment for the career skills and opportunities of young adults will create meaningful impacts for self and community. He’s hopeful for the kids of tomorrow.
Everybody’s loved Best Buy since the ‘80s, and especially the Geek Squad tech support team at customers’ beck and call. But the company is also known for helping out full-time employees in good standing with its Tuition Assistance Program.
The company offers employees who have worked for least six months on or prior to their course start date “up to a calendar year maximum of $3,500 for undergraduate and $5,250 for graduate-level coursework.” Subject to terms and limits, Best Buy reimburses its employees for the difference between the sponsored grant, scholarship, or other forms of monetary assistance they receive and their remaining tuition cost.
From 1999 to 2013, Best Buy has offered more than $20 million worth of financial aid.
With over 22 million subscribers in the United States, Comcast is the second biggest multichannel video service in the country.
Through the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, the company awards “college scholarships to high school seniors identified as the best and brightest by their principals and guidance counselors.” Comcast looks beyond academic performance; they consider each candidate’s “positive impact on their communities” as the company promotes successful leadership in the workforce.
Comcast’s education assistance program takes care of books, tuition plus other educational expenses of up to $5,750 every year for both graduates and undergraduate employees.
Comcast recently partnered with Ashford University for online college degrees so full-time employees working at Comcast NBC Universal can learn their way up.
The Walt Disney Company
In August 2018, The Walt Disney Company revealed a new program that will “cover 100 percent of tuition upfront” and reimburse other fees for employees. Certainly a floor up to their castle toward higher education, Disney Aspire is a $75million investment program benefiting 80,000 of its workers who are earning their college and master’s degrees or high school equivalency or completing English-language learning, vocational training, and similar courses and workshops.
What makes the comprehensive educational assistance program even more magical Is that for Disney Cast Members—or employees working the Disney Store or at Disney Parks also get assistance for their studies—can choose to pick their courses freely; they do not have to be in line with their current job at the company.
A leading national and international courier service, Federal Express runs the Tuition Assistance Program that “financially subsidizes eligible employees in their pursuit of additional higher formal education.”
FedEx also offers a reimbursement program for workers on part-time employment. Part-time non-package handlers and operations managers can receive up to $1,500 and $2,500 per year, respectively, as of February 2017.
Through its college tuition assistance program for employees, FedEx encourages career advancement within the company.
A world leader and innovator, Google has set a pace for the world to follow. As cloud computing, search engine, software, hardware, and technology king, all employees at Google are more than happy campers in their high-tech and a fantastic factory full of innovation’s best-kept secrets. And that’s not all, they get dozens of free perks from all-you-can-eats, fitness benefits, museum discounts, to Google Talk with famous icons.
And of course, there’s the more than generous tuition reimbursement program other companies have a hard time matching. For employees in pursuit of a higher education in the field related to their career in Google, the multibillion-dollar company gives up to a whopping $12,000 assistance per year. Simply work full-time and receive A’s and B’s with flying colors, and it’s every Google employee’s extra trophy.
“Lifelong learning is inherently Googley. That’s why we offer extensive opportunities for personal and professional development. Whether it’s onsite coding or cooking classes, degree programs, or the guitar lessons you’ve been meaning to take, we’ll support you in doing what you love,” said the company.
Like the forward-thinkers that they are, Google is always looking for ways to skyrocket from the ground up. Learn more about their educational projects and resources.
The Home Depot
As part of its Reimbursement Policy, The Home Depot has rounded up a list of approved courses and certification requirements as of June 2018. A part-time, full-time, and salaried associate at the company must be actively employed while attending an accredited school and should earn a “pass grade” or a grade of “C” or better.
In terms of Reimbursement Limits, The Home Depot reimburses “50% of the cost of tuition, books and reasonable class registration fees” and “50% of mandatory fees up to a maximum reimbursement” up to the specific annual caps ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 based on job classification.
With more than 37,200 fast food chains worldwide and a lot of French fries, McDonald’s is easily the world’s best friend fast food chain. It was awarded the most valuable fast food brand internationally in 2018. They’re not planning on skimping on food delivery anytime soon, and the same goes for their educational assistance programs for their beloved employees.
McDonald’s program, called Archways to Opportunity is an educational and tuition assistance program that promised to invest at least $150 million in a span of five years. Already 400,000 McDonald’s employees are eligible if they are at least 90 days with a 15-hour weekly shift minimum.
Part-time employees like Primary Maintenance, Floor Supervisors, Shift Manager Trainees or the general crew can receive $700 if they meet the qualification requirements. Non-managerial position holders can, in fact, receive up to $2,500 and managerial position holders get as high as up to $3,000 annually. To add, trainees for full-time General Manager, Department Manager, full-time Store Manager and Certified Swing Manager, with a consistent performance of “significant performer” throughout the entire course, can earn up to $5,250 in college education financial assistance. Way to go, Ronald!
Archways to Opportunity covers high school diplomas, community college, 4-year university, trade school, ESL studies, as well as gives unlimitedly free passes to education advising services. The best part is that there is no lifetime limit how much an employee can receive for their tuition aid.
The Starbucks College Achievement Plan, in partnership with Arizona State University, was introduced in 2014 and offers both part-time and full-time U.S. Starbucks workers with fully-funded tuition reimbursement for Americans that graduate with ASU online degrees. Arizona State University is ranked as one of the highest for online programs in the United States, and with collaboration with a world leader in coffee, together, they make a perfect cup bean.
Associates working at least twenty hours weekly looking to earn a bachelor’s degree can be eligible. Moreover, there are over 60 amazing undergraduate degree options, plus free tutoring 24/7. Starbucks also gives free counseling for their workers who can pay classes upfront and later be reimbursed.
For associates that don’t get accepted at Arizona State University, Starbucks still gives them a second alley with its Pathway to Admission program, so they can get back on track without having to pay for it.
It’s more than just delicious, crunchy or spicy taco and meaty goodness, the favorite food bell has been offering up the “Start with Us, Stay with Us” platform since 2016 in support of their employees’ quest for learning.
In partnership with Guild Education, Taco Bell employees get up to $5,250 in higher education assistance each year. The company assigns their candidate an education coach and begins building their credit up even as a still on-the-job trainee at the chain.
From Business Administration Masters to Associate of Arts program options, Taco Bell offers plenty of opportunities for their workers. Bellevue University, University of Denver, Wilmington University are just some of the best accredited non-profit universities they partner with.
As a top-ranking logistics company in the USA, UPS has the Learn and Earn program offered to their full-time and part-time union workforce, including their management employees working part-time.
With the program, UPS is giving away up to $5,250 annually, with a $ 25,000-lifetime cap. Workers can be eligible as soon as their hiring date. Since 2014, over 14,000 students have been provided with support amounting up to $16 M in educational expenses already.
Furthermore, UPS collaborated with Thomas Edison State University for college credit accreditation for candidates that pass online degree programs involving corporate training courses. The company spends over $565 M yearly just to further the ranks of their employees in the company. Up we go!
Verizon, the largest 4G LTE provider in America, has already given over $77 million in tuition assistance to its employees. Workers or associates can receive up to $8,000 annually with career path courses that extend to their line of work at the company.
A Verizon Tuition Assistance Plan details how the company supports its employees so they “enhance your existing skills or learn something new and evolve your role at Verizon.”
In May 2018, Walmart revamped its employee development program through the Associate Education Benefit Program in partnership with Guild network.
Walmart “will subsidize the cost of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution equivalent to $1 a day.” The subsidy will cover the cost of tuition, books, and fees.
All Walmart U.S. and its warehouse club-owned Sam’s Club associates can apply to earn degrees offered through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University. Walmart had said the three non-profit higher education institutions were selected “for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working adult learners.”
Education is your ticket to a future brimming with limitless possibilities and prized achievements. Working hard for it is well worth it from the beginning. And when challenged meets excellence and excellence meets the opportunity such as college tuition support from superb professionals, you know life is on your side. Work hard and aim higher, success is waiting just around the corner.