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16 Companies That Will Pay for Your College

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College is expensive. And when you’re working while attending school — or while thinking about attending school — you’re no doubt feeling a little overwhelmed with everything on your plate. Figuring out how to pay for your education is one huge concern.


Luckily, many employers attempt to alleviate that burden by paying for all or some of your college tuition through tuition reimbursement programs.


Why do Some Companies Pay for College?


Employers don’t just do this purely out of altruism — although it is generous. There’s something in it for them, too. Tuition reimbursement programs make employers more attractive to candidates and help retain talent. 


This may sound a little counterintuitive — if you’re paying for workers to upskill and gain credentials, then won’t they move onto new jobs? — but actually, it can have the reverse effect. Employees often feel loyalty toward employers that have given them benefits like this, and after gaining new qualifications, many will choose to stay at the company in higher-level roles that utilize their skill sets. This also serves to improve the company, keeping talent in-house.


Moreover, people gravitate toward organizations that offer benefits like these. You’ve likely seen corporations like Starbucks make headlines for their generous education benefits, and the positive attention helps their reputation.


How Do Tuition Reimbursement Programs Work?


Companies offer different types of tuition reimbursement programs that have varying rules and procedures. Many offer to pay for full tuition for degree attainment designated schools. Others have annual and/or lifetime caps on the amount they’ll pay for education. 


Some exclusively pay for graduate school, undergraduate college, or high school diplomas, while others provide some or all of these options. Additionally, employers may pay for approved or designated courses and/or certificates.


Employers either pay ahead of time or reimburse expenses after. Many employers post their policies on their websites. You can also inquire directly about how the programs work.


Companies that Pay for College


1. Amazon


Amazon’s Career Choice program pays 95% of tuition and fees for eligible employees toward certificates or diplomas in “qualified fields of study.” In some cases, courses are taught on-site at Amazon facilities (Amazon does not specify how COVID has impacted this arrangement). The tech giant boasts that more than 10,000 employees around the world have participated in the program.


2. Bank of America


Bank of America’s Tuition Assistance & Academic Support Program offers prepaid vouchers or reimbursements in the amount of up to $7,500 ($5,250 accounting for taxes) per calendar year for educational programs. Employees can also receive free, personalized career and education guidance.


3. Chipotle


Chipotle pays 100% of tuition for select degrees (75 fully funded associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are available), high school diplomas, and college preparation courses, including many with online options. Employees can also receive up to $5,250 per year to cover certain other programs. Additionally, the company offers one-on-one coaching.

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4. Disney


Through Disney Aspire, full-time and part-time hourly employees can have 100% of their tuition paid upfront at networked schools, which include high school diplomas, skilled trade diplomas, undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, language learning programs, and more. Disney specifies that courses do not need to be relevant to the employee’s current role.


5. Fidelity


Fidelity’s Tuition Assistance Program reimburses full-time employees with at least six months of service 90% of costs of courses, which must be completed at an accredited college or university, up to $10,000 per year. The program must be work related or part of a work-related degree or certification program. 


6. Home Depot


Salaried and full-time and part-time hourly associates can take advantage of the Home Depot’s Tuition Reimbursement Program, which applies to associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and technical degree programs. Salaried employees may receive up to $5,000, full-time hourly employees up to $3,000, and part-time hourly up to $1,500 per calendar year.  


7. Intel


Intel covers up to $50,000 per program with no annual limit in many instances. Additionally, the company offers free resources, seminars, courses, tutoring, and more through Intel University. On a case-by-case basis, employees may be reimbursed for additional courses that apply to their jobs.


8. McDonald’s


Through the McDonald’s Tuition Assistance program, employees can receive financial support for courses taken at approved two- or four-year private or public colleges or universities, vocational schools, and graduate or postgraduate schools. The specific rules and amounts vary by position and additional criteria. 


9. Oracle


Oracle reimburses tuition fees of up to $5,250 per year for approved programs of study. The program is open to all regular, full-time employees, and specific programs must relate to their current or anticipated job within the company. Students must pass their courses with a grade of at least a B-.


10. Procter & Gamble


Procter & Gamble’s tuition program enables employees to receive 80% of tuition and education expenses, with a limit of $40,000 in total. To participate, employees must find a program that is relevant to their current or prospective role at the company.


11. Smuckers


Smuckers offers both a Tuition Assistance Program and scholarship opportunities. The company will offer employees up to $5,700 for tuition reimbursement for approved courses and programs. Employees must maintain a certain grade in order to receive the award.


12. Starbucks


Through this famous program, full-time and part-time Starbucks employees may receive full tuition coverage for first-time bachelor’s degrees at Arizona State University’s online program, with more than 100 degree options available. Additionally, veteran employees may extend the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to a qualifying family member, who will receive the same benefits.


13. Target


Target’s tuition reimbursement program will cover up to $3,000 for undergraduate programs, $4,000 for graduate programs, and $5,250 for MBA programs at accredited technical schools, colleges, and/or universities. Students must be employed at the beginning of the course and at the time of payment.


14. UPS


The UPS Earn & Learn Program enables part-time employees to receive up to $5,250 in tuition assistance per calendar, with a lifetime maximum of $25,000. Employees are eligible to receive the benefit the day they’re hired (prorated if they start working at UPS mid-semester).


15. Walmart


In partnership with Guild Education, Walmart offers online education programs through the Live Better U benefit. Eligible employees pay the equivalent of $1 per day for associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and high school diplomas. College degrees may be in technology, business, or operations. Employees may also take college prep courses and earn certificates in technology programs.


16. Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo reimburses eligible tuition expenses of up to $5,000 annually. Part-time and regular employees are eligible to receive the benefit, but flexible employees are not. Additionally, the company offers several scholarships ranging from $1,000-3,000 to children of employees.


How to Find an Affordable College


While paying for college may seem overwhelming, there are many options available to help support you in addition to employer tuition reimbursement programs. A number of colleges and universities meet 100% of demonstrated financial need, and some of their financial aid packages are no-loan as well. 


To find out how much you’ll need to pay toward your education, check out CollegeVine’s chancing engine. This tool will estimate your family contribution based on the income you provide, as well as offer free tips for navigating the admissions process and improving your profile.


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.