Target and Walmart Now Offering Debt-Free Education Assistance to Their Employees

Stock image of an exterior photo of a Target store.
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Target said it will invest $200 million over the next four years in the program.

Target wants to make “education accessible for everyone” and will be offering to pay for their employees' college education, according to an announcement made on Wednesday by the retailer.

The debt-free education assistance program will offer its workers “the most comprehensive program available in the retail industry” and will apply to more than 340,000 U.S.-based part-time and full-time frontline team members, according to a company news release.

The new initiative that starts in the fall will provide “debt-free undergraduate degrees, certificates, certifications, free textbooks and more with no out-of-pocket costs,” according to the company.

Target said it will invest $200 million over the next four years in the program, according to the company release.

“Our team members are the heart of Target’s strategy and success, and we have a long history of investing in industry-leading pay, extensive benefits, and career opportunities to help our team thrive and have rewarding careers at Target,” Target’s Chief Human Resources Melissa Kremer said in a press release.

Employees will get support in areas that include high school completion, college prep, English language learning, and select certificates, certifications, boot camps, associate and undergraduate degrees. Target will pay for tuition at more than 40 schools, colleges and universities. Employees wanting to have their tuition paid for will have the option of choosing to enroll in 250 business-aligned programs.  

Some of the academic institutions participating in the program include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, eCornell, and some of the historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) including Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College, the company said.

On July 27, Walmart, the largest U.S. private employer in the country, announced that it was "committed to investing nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career-driven training and developing."

The retailer said it will provide “100% of college tuition and books" for associates through its Live Better (LBU) education program. Approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club employees in the U.S. are eligible, the company said.

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