The world's second-largest employer and largest retailer Walmart has introduced a new tuition benefit for its employees and eligible family members in the US.
Introduced in partnership with education benefit platform Guild Education, the new tuition benefit was implemented on 30 May 2018 and was developed as a wider approach to help Walmart employees succeed by providing an easier means to a college education.
Through the new tuition benefit, employees have access to attain degrees in business or supply chain management from three partnered schools: Bellevue University, Brandman University and the University of Florida.
In an e-mail to Benefits Canada, senior manager of corporate communication Erica Jones said: “We created this program to remove those barriers that have prevented associates from pursuing higher education. And as we developed this program with Guild Education, we looked for universities that were tailored toward working adult learners and that had a dedication to completion.”
The cost of books, tuition costs, and fees are being subsidized by Walmart which currently has 1.4 million US employees, in other to cut down potential student loan debt. Employees are subject to contribute $1 per day of classes towards their college degree under the scheme. That’s about $75 per semester. Also, employees can compete paid training at Walmart Academics as a way of building college credit before undertaking their degree course.
In addition, the new tuition benefit provides employees with coaching by Guild Education that can support Walmart employees on some of the college enrollment procedures such choosing the appropriate degree and application process.
The Lumina Foundation was also commissioned by Walmart to undertake an independent evaluation of the results of the company's new scheme.
Eligible staff for the tuition benefit includes part-time, full-time and salaried U.S. employees working in Walmart's supply chain, home office, and stores. The initiative is also available for Sam's Club employees.
Other educational benefits offered by Walmart are all valid still and will run alongside the new tuition benefit. They include tuition discounts, education coaching, financial aid assistance, access to professional development courses, and high school diplomas paid by the employer.
In June 2010, Walmart announced investing $50 million for a three-year program that will provide tuition assistance to its employees in the US, a program aimed at assisting the employees to complete their degrees and prepare for college-level work.
Sam's Club and Walmart employees received up to 45 percent of the credit required for a bachelor's or an associate degree during the program according to reports from philanthropy news digest.
“Investing in the personal and professional success of our [employees] is vital to Walmart’s future success. We know training and learning opportunities empower [employees] to deliver for customers while growing and advancing their careers.” Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said in a press release.