Walmart, the largest private sector employer in the United States, announced a new plan that will pay for college its employees. Walmart currently employees approximately 1.4 million people.
According to multiple reports, Walmart will offer all full-time, part-time and salaried employees the opportunity to attend college for only $1 a day for the duration of their college program. Walmart will cover the full cost of tuition, fees, and books. However, there are a couple catches.
First, the dollar-a-day education is for online courses only and only through the University of Florida, Brandman University in Irvine, California, and Bellevue University in Nebraska. Furthermore, participants can only major in either business or supply chain management. Lastly, employees who wish to participate in the program must have worked at Walmart for at least 90 days.
Walmart says they expect that all Walmart associates who apply will be accepted.
Walmart will only cover associates and bachelor’s degrees in business and supply chain management since they are “parts of a broader approach to preparing the workforce to succeed today and into the future.”
“Investing in the personal and professional success of our associates is vital to Walmart’s future success,” said Greg Forman, CEO of Walmart U.S., in a statement. “We know training and learning opportunities empower associates to deliver for customers while growing and advancing in their careers.”
Walmart is partnering with Guild Education, a leading education benefits platform, which will provide academic counselors to help Walmart associates with everything from the application process to choosing the right degree. According to the Washington Post, Walmart expects as many as 68,000 associates to enroll in the program in the first five years.
According to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.4 trillion of student loan debt in the United States. Yikes.