July 29, 2021
America’s largest retailer, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, announced on Tuesday, July 27, that it will pay for full college tuition and book costs at some schools for its US workers—the latest effort by company to sweeten its benefits as it seeks to attract and retain talent in a tight job market, CNN reports.
Walmart said it was expanding its current program, which began in 2018, to include new academic partners—bringing the total to ten—and offering more degree and certificate options in areas such as business administration, supply chain, and cybersecurity.
The roster of learning institutions now includes the following:
- Johnson & Wales University
- The University of Arizona
- The University of Denver
- Brandman University
- Penn Foster
- Purdue University Global
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Wilmington University
- Voxy EnGen
Participants must remain part-time or full-time employees at Walmart to be eligible.
According to CNN, the company said that it will drop a previous $1 a day fee paid by Walmart and Sam’s Club workers who want to earn a degree and also begin covering the costs of their books. Around 28,000 workers participate in the program, which Walmart began in 2018. Walmart has around 1.5 million workers.
“We feel that eliminating the dollar a day investment removes the financial barriers to enrollment, and it will increase access,” said Lorraine Stomski, SVP of Learning and Leadership at Walmart, in a call with reporters.
Walmart has incentive to expand the program. Employees who have participated in the program are twice as likely to get promoted and are retained at a “significantly higher rate” than other workers, Stomski said.
Research contact: @Walmart