10 Companies That Pay For College Tuition

When you have earned your GED diploma, you qualify for a college or university education or apply for a job that requires applicants to hold a secondary education degree.

It used to be that you first went to college and then applied for a professional position. Today, however, more and more companies are offering their employees the opportunity to flip that order.

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This makes it a lot easier for workers to first secure a position with a major employer and then start working toward a college degree.

There’s nothing new about “Tuition Assistance Programs,” but the number of companies that offer full or partial reimbursement for tuition and books is growing, and employee benefits packages that are paid upfront are becoming more and more common.

Recently, Amazon announced it will extend its Career Choice program for hourly workers that now can earn a professional certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree at the company’s expense.

To qualify for Amazon’s Career Choice program, workers only need to be employed by Amazon for a 3-month period of time. The company will pay upfront up to $5,250 annually for full-time associates, while part-time workers can receive up to $2,625 annually.

So the trend is that these newer versions of tuition assistance programs are paying upfront for up to 100% of their workers’ college tuition, and many companies also compensate their workers for earning a GED® diploma that can now be done online as well.

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Let’s take a closer look at some of the companies that allow their workers to earn a college or university degree while entirely or partially picking up the tab for tuition and books.

Amazon

Amazon’s Career Choice Program will pay up to $5,250 annually (for full-time workers) and includes certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields, including commercial trucking, aircraft mechanics, nursing, and more. Check here to learn more about Amazon’s Career Choice Program.

The program not only benefits full-time employees. Part-time workers can also get up to $2,625 a year in college tuition compensation. Amazon is bringing the classroom to its employees, and many Amazon facilities include educational spaces where its associates can follow both in-person and virtual courses.

But first, of course, you’ll have to earn your high school or equivalent degree (GED) to be eligible to benefit from this great opportunity. Amazon also compensates its workers for the cost of GED testing and high school completion courses. The GED exam is scored straightforwardly. There are three passing score fields and the four GED sub-exams are scored on a 100-200 scale. Learn more here.

Starbucks

Under Starbucks’ Tuition Assistance Program, the “College Achievement Plan,” the company’s employees can earn a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, entirely at the company’s expense. Applicants can choose from more than 100 academic programs, and there are no requirements to keep on working at Starbucks upon completion of the program.

Starbucks was among the first major corporations that introduced full-tuition benefits for its workers, and the company pays fully for tuition and fees for all online Bachelor’s degrees at Arizona State University. The programs range from STEM to arts and design degrees.

To be able to benefit from this program, Starbucks workers must have worked at least 240 hours at the company, and it must be their first bachelor’s degree. Through the Starbucks “College Achievement Plan,” over 14,500 of the company’s workers have enrolled in ASU’s online college courses.

Boeing

Boeing’s Education Assistance (EA) Program (“Learning Together”) will pay 100% of the tuition cost for STEM programs. The company’s workers may choose from more than 300 educational institutions, and under the program, they can pursue all post-secondary academic degrees, including Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.

The aerospace manufacturer has invested almost $2 billion toward its tuition assistance program, and the employees have the option to earn their degrees in person or online from prestigious schools such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and The University of Washington.

Boeing employees that have completed an academic degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral) may also qualify to receive Boeing stocks, one more bonus. Workers that additionally take flight training courses through one of Boeing’s partner institutions to earn their flying licenses may receive special payment incentives.

Disney

Disney’s “Aspire” Tuition Assistance Program offers full reimbursement of tuition costs for undergraduate and graduate degrees. The company’s employees have the freedom to major in whichever academic field they choose. The costs for textbooks may be reimbursed as well, and after graduation, there’s no requirement to stay at Disney.

Disney employees can already benefit from the program when they’ve worked for the company for a 90-day period. Qualifying employees will get their tuition costs for online academic courses paid fully upfront, and there are more than 10 institutions of higher education that participate in the Aspire program, including The University of Florida, The University of Arizona, and The University of Denver.

The benefits for Disney workers cover certificate and trade programs and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Currently, over 11,500 of Disney’s massive workforce members are using the company’s Aspire program to earn their academic degrees. The most popular majors are hospitality, social science, business, and applied psychology.

Walmart and Sam’s Club

Walmart & Sam’s Club College Tuition Assistance Program is called the “Live Better U” program. Under this program, the retail giant’s employees can earn academic degrees totally paid upfront at a number of partner universities and colleges.

Already after having worked at Walmart or Sam’s Club for just one day, the employees can sign up for online certificate, associates, or bachelor’s programs, and the areas of study include business, healthcare, technology, and supply chain management. It goes without saying that, to benefit from this amazing opportunity, applicants need to hold a high school or equivalent diploma. Employees that do not can easily benefit from Onsego’s GED prep course that’s fully recognized by the GED Testing Service.

Walmart and Sam’s Club employees have six non-profit academic institutions to choose from, including Wilmington University and Brandman University. In earlier days, Walmart employees had to contribute $1 a day for as long as they were enrolled in the program, but today, the program is entirely free for the company’s employees.

Discover

Discover’s Tuition Assistance Program will pay fully for college tuition and fees, including supplies and books for a number of online technology and business degrees. Employees of the financial services company can benefit from this program from the moment they’re hired.

Discover’s “College Commitment” program works together with the Guild Education organization, and through the program, both full-time and part-time workers have the opportunity to earn a college degree for free (including supplies and textbooks) at partner institutions that include Paul Quinn College (among the oldest historically Black academic institutions of higher learning in the nation), Wilmington University, and The University of Florida.

Under the program, Discover employees can earn bachelor’s degrees for free in business management, business administration, computer science, and computer & network security. Discover additionally offers to pay for tuition costs at non-partner institutions, but then the reimbursement is capped at $2,500 to $10,000 annually,  depending on the school and the academic degree level.

Papa John’s

Papa John’s “Dough & Degrees” Tuition Assistance Program will pay for tuition costs for certification and undergraduate and graduate degrees at The University of Maryland Global Campus and Purdue University Global. To qualify for the program, Papa John’s workers must have been employed for at least three months for at least 20 hours per week.

Additionally, the company offers tuition for their workers’ family members living in the same household at discounted rates at these schools. The discount ranges from 14 to 25 percent. Papa John’s motto, “Apply-Earn-Learn,” underscores that the company actively promotes the educational efforts of its workforce.

The pizza giant has partnered with Purdue-Global and UM-Global Campus to offer academic degrees to its employees without them having to spend a dime on both tuition and textbooks. The company’s workers have the freedom to major in any discipline of their choice at both academic institutions.

T-Mobile

Through T-Mobile’s Tuition Assistance Program, the company partnered with five institutions of higher education where company employees can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree entirely at the company’s expense. This applies to both part-time and full-time employees.

T-Mobile, currently the second-largest wireless network in North America, allows its workers to benefit from this opportunity when they have worked for the company for only 90 days. Under the program, all tuition costs and fees are paid upfront, and the cost of books, required study material, and software is included as well.

T-Mobile’s full-time workers can choose academic degree programs offered by The University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, Ashford University, Purdue University-Global, and Capella University. Part-time T-Mobile workers don’t have that choice. They can only benefit from online academic courses offered by The University of Phoenix.

Chipotle

Chipotle’s Tuition Assistance Program will pay for all tuition costs of academic programs for qualifying employees upfront. There are more than 75 online academic programs available that offer associate and bachelor’s degrees. To qualify for the program, holding a high school or GED diploma is a requirement.

The Cultivate Education program by Chipotle initially offered tuition reimbursement, but since the company started to work with Guild Education, the program offers fully funded academic degrees. To be able to qualify for Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program, the employees must have been working at the company for at least 120 days and 15 hours a week.

Chipotle pays for tuition costs for over 75 online academic degree programs in technology and business at 9 educational institutions, including Oregon State University, Wilmington University, and Purdue University Global. Chipotle will also include degrees in agriculture, supply chain management, and culinary arts in the program.

BP

BP’s Tuition Assistance Program will reimburse up to maximally 90% of the cost of tuition from a number of academic programs. The program’s benefits extend to all required materials, including study books.

The company’s employees can choose from any accredited academic institution, and the benefits apply to both in-person and online programs. The good thing is that BP allows its full-time employees to benefit from the program starting on the first day the company hires them.

Under the program, BP provides tuition reimbursement, as said earlier, up to 90%. Prior approval and successful completion are required and the compensation only applies to degree programs that align with the employees’ current positions. The compensation includes tuition and fees, books, certification or exam fees, and more.