The traditional order of things has always been to first go to college after you’ve earned your High School or GED diploma and then apply for a professional position. Well, that is… according to most parents. On this page, we discuss some major corporations that pay for your college tuition.
These days, however, that order is often flipped. Growing tuition benefits at some major corporations make it a lot easier for employees to start out with a job at one of these big-name companies and then start working toward a college degree.
So if you work at one of the following companies and still need to get your GED®, don’t hesitate and sign up for Onsego’s My Advantage program. You can be sure to earn your GED fast so that you can benefit from the tuition assistance programs provided by these large corporations.
If you get your GED, these corporations allow you to get a college degree for free! We recently added Tyson Foods as well.
Tuition Assistance And Reimbursement Programs
As such, tuition assistance or reimbursement programs are nothing new and are often included in employee benefits packages. Recent studies have even shown that in 2019, for example, more than half of all U.S. employers offered their workers some kind of tuition assistance, generally as cash reimbursement.
But today, we see new phenomena. The latest tuition assistance programs often pay (up to) 100 percent of an employee’s college tuition fees upfront. And what’s even more important, perhaps, is that these newer programs, rather than focusing on workers looking to earn a more advanced degree, are geared toward employees who didn’t go to college or university in the first place.
So the main difference is that now, employees are not required to choose between taking some time off to earn a college degree and pursuing a rewarding career. These new tuition assistance programs allow them to do both at the same time. And let’s face it; online studying opportunities have definitely contributed to this phenomenon.
So Let’s take a closer look at some of America’s big-name corporations that allow you to earn a college for free or at a reduced rate.
Starbucks Tuition Assistance
- Starbucks covers 100 percent of tuition and fees to its employees for online academic degrees from Arizona State University.
- The employees can choose from more than 100 bachelor’s degrees.
- The company does not require workers to stay working at the company after graduation.
Starbucks was one of America’s first major corporations to offer full-tuition benefits for all of its workers. Starbucks introduced its program (the “College Achievement Plan”) in 2014.
Under the “College Achievement Plan,” Starbucks pays an employee’s tuition upfront for an online bachelor’s program from Arizona State University. Available programs range from STEM to arts and design degrees. To qualify for the program, an employee must have worked at Starbucks for at least 240 hours.
Additionally, it needs to be an employee’s first bachelor’s degree. So far, almost 15,000 Starbucks employees have enrolled in college courses under the program, and around 20 percent of them are actually first-generation college enrollees. The company has committed to reaching at least 25,000 college graduates by the year 2025.
Amazon Tuition Assistance
- Amazon pays up to $5,250 per year (for full-time employees) or up to $2,625 (for part-time workers) upfront.
- The program recently expanded and now also includes bachelor’s degrees.
- Textbook reimbursement is also available.
In 2012, Amazon launched its “Career Choice” program, a tuition reimbursement program that covered 95 percent of tuition and fees to help its employees earn certificate and associate degrees in high-demand positions such as nursing, commercial trucking, and aircraft mechanics.
But recently, the retail giant expanded the program and now offers full-time workers up to $5,250 to earn a bachelor’s degree as well. Part-time employees also qualify for tuition assistance up to $2,625 annually.
And perhaps the best part is that Amazon is bringing the classroom to its workers. The retail company has also set up educational spaces right within its facilities so its employees can follow in-person courses and virtual classes much easier.
Boeing Tuition Assistance
- Boeing pays 100 percent of the tuition costs for STEM programs.
- The company’s employees have more than 300 partner institutions to choose from.
- Boeing’s tuition benefit program extends to all sorts of post-secondary college degrees, including Doctoral and Ph.D. degrees.
Boeing, America’s global aerospace manufacturing leader, has invested almost $2 billion in tuition assistance for its workforce. Through Boeing’s “Learning Together” program, employees can earn a wide range of certificates or college degrees (both online and in-person) in a number of STEM programs. The employees don’t need to furnish any out-of-pocket fees or other costs for their education, and the costs of study books or entrance exams are covered as well.
The most popular educational institutions for Boeing’s employees include MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and The University of Washington. Employees who complete an academic degree while working for the company, be it an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, are also eligible to receive stocks in Boeing.
Additionally, Boeing offers special payment incentives to employees taking a flight training course with one of the company’s partner institutions and earning a flying license.
Disney Tuition Assistance
- Disney fully covers the tuition costs for undergraduate and graduate college degrees.
- The company’s employees are free to choose any academic field.
- Textbook reimbursement is also available.
- Disney doesn’t require employees to stay at the company for a certain timeframe after they graduate.
In 2018, Disney launched its tuition assistance program called “Aspire.” Employees can benefit from the program after just 90 days of employment. The program is available to workers at Disney’s hotel properties, corporate employees, and cast members in Disney’s parks.
Eligible Disney employees get 100 percent of the tuition costs paid upfront for online academic courses from some of Disney’s partner institutions, including The University of Florida, The University of Arizona, and The University of Denver. Disney’s “Aspire” program covers trade and certificate programs and undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Currently, over 11,000 Disney workers are enrolled in the company’s Aspire program, and the most popular majors include hospitality, business, psychology, and social science.
BP Tuition Assistance
- BP reimburses up to 90 percent of the tuition costs of certain academic programs.
- The benefits of the program also include study books and other materials.
- The company’s employees can opt for in-person and online programs from accredited educational institutions.
At most companies, employees must first work a number of years to qualify for tuition assistance programs, but at BP, full-time employees can benefit from the company’s tuition assistance program from day one.
BP, the London-based energy giant, provides tuition reimbursement for maximally 90 percent of all qualifying expenses for a college degree as long as the degree is in line with the worker’s current position.
BP’s qualifying expenses include fees, tuition, software, books, and certification and exam fees. To receive reimbursement, BP’s employees first need to get approval to sign up for a program and complete the academic course with passing grades.
Chipotle Tuition Assistance
- Chipotle’s Tuition Assistance Program pays upfront for all tuition costs.
- Workers can choose from more than 75 online academic programs.
- The program is for associate’s and bachelor’s college degrees.
The “Cultivate Education” program from Chipotle started out as a tuition reimbursement program. In 2019, however, the company teamed up with Guild Education (an organization that manages education assistance benefits for companies), and today, Chiplotle’s Cultivate Education program includes fully funded college degree programs as well.
The company pays tuition costs for over 75 online academic degree programs in technology and business from nine colleges and universities, including Oregon State University, Wilmington University, and Purdue University Global. So if you don’t have a GED or high school degree and still want to benefit from his initiative, get your GED as soon as possible and start working toward a great career.
To qualify for the program, employees must have worked for at least 120 days at the company for at least 15 hours a week. Chipotle will also include supply chain management, agricultural, and culinary arts programs in the program.
Discover Tuition Assistance
- Discover pays for all costs associated with tuition and fees, books, and supplies for a number of online technology and business degrees.
- Discover’s partner institutions include The University of Florida, Wilmington University, and Paul Quinn College.
- Employees can benefit from this program from the first day they’re hired.
In 2018, Discover, the financial services corporation, teamed up with Guild Education (the company that organizes education assistance benefits) to offer the “College Commitment” support program.
Through this tuition assistance program, both part-time and full-time Discover employees can earn a college degree (including tuition, fees, textbooks, and supplies) from partner institutions, including Paul Quinn College, one of America’s oldest historically Black academic institutions.
Available programs offer bachelor’s degrees in business management, business administration, computer science, and computer & network security. A high school degree or GED is required to qualify.
Discone additionally offers partially funded solutions for employees who choose to earn a degree from non-partner institutions. There is, however, an annual cap that ranges from $2,5K to $10K, depending on the school and the degree level.
Papa John’s Tuition Assistance
- Papa John’s tuition assistance program covers tuition for academic courses from The University of Maryland Global and Purdue University Global.
- Employees can earn undergraduate and graduate college degrees.
- The program also includes tuition discounts for employees’ family members.
Papa John’s motto is “Apply, Earn, Learn.” The company has worked hard to spread the word about its tuition assistance program, “Dough & Degrees.” If you don’t hold a high school or GED diploma, Gedeno may help you get on track at no cost s well. Without a secondary degree, no college degree, so get your GED fast!
The pizza giant has teamed up with partnered with The University of Maryland Global Campus and Purdue University Global to help the company’s team members earn an undergraduate or graduate degree without having to spend a dime on textbooks or tuition. The company’s workers can major in any discipline they prefer at both academic institutions.
To qualify for the program, the employees must have worked at the company for at least 90 days for a minimum of 20 hours per week and have a high school or equivalent degree. Papa John’sadditionally offers tuition discounts for a worker’s household members for up to 25 percent.
T-Mobile Tuition Assistance
- T-Mobile pays 100 percent of all tuition and fees for part-time and full-time workers.
- T-Mobile employees can choose from five online academic institutions.
- The program covers undergraduate and graduate academic degrees.
Currently, T-Mobile offers the second-largest wireless network in America. The company allows its workers to benefit from its generous tuition assistance plan after they’ve worked with the company for only 90 days. T-Mobile’s plan covers all costs of fees and tuition upfront, including textbooks, software, and more necessary class materials.
T-Mobile full-time employees have the option to sign up for programs from five partner institutions: Capella University, Ashford University, The University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, and Purdue University Global. Part-time workers may also benefit, but they are limited to programs from The University of Phoenix.
Walmart and Sam’s Club Tuition Assistance
- Walmart pays all tuition costs upfront for academic offerings by partner colleges and universities.
- Walmart employees can earn certificates or bachelor’s degrees from the first they work at the company.
- The employees have several study fields to choose from, including healthcare, supply chain management, technology, and business management.
Walmart and Sam’s Club are under the same corporate umbrella, and both entities offer one and the same college tuition assistance program. Through the company’s program, “Live Better U,” the employees have the chance to earn an online college degree from six academic institutions, including Wilmington University and Brandman University.
It used to be that Walmart employees had to pay $1 for each day they participated in the tuition assistance program, but Walmart changed that, and now, the program is totally free.
Walmart employees additionally have the opportunity to earn college credits when they take some of Walmart’s paid training courses, which allows them to complete a college degree faster. Walmart also offers a generous $1,500 graduation bonus to employees who never went to college before they joined the program.
Target Tuition Assistance
- Target offers its employees the chance to get a totally debt-free education.
- The workers can choose from more than 40 academic programs from more than 40 educational institutions.
- Target will pay 100 percent of tuition and fees as well as the cost of textbooks.
Target teamed up with Guild Education to offer its employees the opportunity to get an education absolutely debt-free. Target employees can choose from more than 40 academic programs and degrees from more than 40 universities and colleges.
Target pays the academic institutions directly, which minimizes the administrative work and time compared to other tuition reimbursement programs. Target pays 100 percent of tuition and fees plus the cost of textbooks for a number of programs from partner schools such as Morehouse College, Arizona State University, and Oregon State University.
Additionally, Target will pay up to $5,250 annually for undergraduate programs from academic institutions that are not in the Guild Education network and maximally $10,000 annually for Target employees looking to earn their Master’s degree. All Target employees (fully or part-time employed) may qualify for this great debt-free college degree program from day one on.
UPS Tuition Assistance
UPS employees can receive up to $5250 annually in tuition assistance under the company’s “Earn & Learn” Program. Over five years, this may even accumulate to $25,000 for education support from a number of colleges and universities.
From the day they’re hired, UPS employees can benefit from the company’s tuition assistance program, which offers academic courses at over 100 locations across the U.S. UPS started the “Earn & Learn” program in 2014, and according to the company, they have already provided more than $200 million to help some 120,000 UPS workers earn a college degree.
Additionally, UPS offers its employees skill-development programs through UPS University and through Business Resource Groups, which allow senior management employees can benefit from career mentors.
The UPS tuition assistance program started out as a Women’s Leadership Development initiative, but since then, it has rapidly evolved into a career support and mentorship program for many groups, including Asian, African American, Latino/Hispanic employees, and employees identifying with the LGBTQ community, and so on.
In addition to the 13 corporations listed above, Tyson Foods established a cooperation with the University of Arkansas (as one of 35 colleges and universities) where Tyson employees have the chance to earn certification or an academic degree at no cost to the employees.
Tyson’s Upward Academy Tuition Assistance Program covers tuition, fees, and books for approximately 120,000 of the company’s U.S. employees, 24,000 of which are employed in Arkansas. This way, Tyson Foods encourages its employees to stay with the company while providing pathways to interesting career advancement options.
Last Updated on February 14, 2024.