ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled
Saved to My Favorites. View My Favorites
Articles / Paying for College / Seven Companies That Help Pay For College

Seven Companies That Help Pay For College

Joy Bullen
Written by Joy Bullen | Nov. 22, 2021
Five Companies That Help Pay For College

Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

These Well-Known Companies Pay All or Most of Tuition for Eligible Employees

Many large companies help employees pay for school, but some offer particularly generous education benefits for employees who want to save money on college and earn a degree while working. These seven companies will pay for all or most of college tuition for eligible employees, and they offer some other good perks too. Students who are looking for full or part-time jobs might want to consider how working for one of these companies could pay off by saving on the cost of college.

These seven companies have generous education benefits that cover all or most of the cost of tuition for eligible employees:

  1. Target
  2. Walmart
  3. Starbucks
  4. Disney
  5. Chipotle
  6. Amazon
  7. UPS

Read on to find out more about the education benefits that each company offers, plus some other great perks of working for each one.

Target is now offering debt-free education to employees

There's already a lot to love about Target, but here's one more thing to add to the list. The company is now offering employees the chance to get a debt-free education. Through a partnership with Guild Education, Target team members will be able to choose from over 40 programs at over 40 colleges and universities. Target will pay the schools directly, minimizing the time and admin work that many tuition reimbursement programs require. Target will pay 100% of tuition plus the cost of books for select programs at in-network schools like Arizona State University, Oregon State University, and Morehouse College. The company will also pay up to $5,250 a year for other undergrad programs at schools that our outside of the Guild network and up to $10,000 a year for employees who want to earn a Master's degree. All full and part-time employees are eligible for this debt-free degree program starting on their very first day on the job.

Bonus benefits: Target offers a slew of other benefits for employees, including career coaching and mentoring, and online programs designed to help employees improve their sleep, manage anxiety, or lose weight.

Walmart will pay 100% of education costs with no fee

Slides showing how Walmart's Live Better U education program has evolved over time.

Around the same time Target announced its new debt-free education benefits, Walmart unveiled improvements to it's education benefits. Most notably, Walmart dropped the $1 per day fee that they previously charged employees who used their Live Better U education benefits, which were first introduced in 2018. Walmart and Sam's Club employees can not get up to 100% of the cost of tuition and books, covered with no fees attached. The company committed to investing $1 billion over the next five years in education and career training programs for employees. Walmart also expanded to include over 60 partner schools, including University of Denver, University of Arizona, Southern New Hampshire, and Purdue University Global.

Bonus Benefit: Walmart's Centers for Excellence program offers employees facing big health challenges access to some of the world's best medical facilities and care.

Watch one Walmart employee's story about participating in the Live Better U education program below.

Starbucks covers the full cost of tuition at ASU Online

Starbucks first unveiled their revolutionary partnership with Arizona State University in June 2014 and seven years later the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP) is still going strong. For eligible employees, Starbucks will pay 100 percent of tuition at ASU Online, which has been ranked the#1 Most Innovative School for the past six years by the U.S. News and World reports. ASU also ranked in the top ten for best first-year experience in 2019 and 2020. Starbucks associates can choose from the 100+ online bachelor's degree that ASU offers, and SCAP is available for both full-time and benefits-eligible part-time employees.

Most people who take advantage of SCAP are baristas or managers who work in one of the coffee chains' thousands of retail locations in the U.S. But employees, or "partners" as they are called, at other Starbucks-owned companies, like the juice brand Evolution Fresh, Siren Retail Corporation, and Starbucks Manufacturing, may also be eligible for Starbucks tuition benefits.

Bonus benefit: As a Starbucks employee, you'll also get 30 percent off of food and beverages, which is good because you'll probably need to stay caffeinated and nourished when juggling work and college.

Disney pays for 100 percent of tuition at select schools

The Disney Aspire program offers eligible hourly employees and cast members 100 percent tuition at schools within the Aspire Network. Disney partners with Guild Education to provide programs at schools like Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, University of Arizona, Brandman University, University of Florida Online, and University of Denver, among others. The program covers books and fees as well as tuition, and doesn't have a requirement to stay employed by Disney for a certain amount of time after graduation.

Bonus benefits: Disney also offers free theme park admission after two weeks of employment, and special discounts on certain hotels, restaurants, and recreation locations. Get paid to dress up like your favorite Disney character, college paid for, AND discounted vacations? Sounds like Disney really is the place where dreams come true.

Chipotle supports employees in earning debt-free degrees

Chipotle Mexican Grill offers a Debt-Free Degree program which pays 100 percent tuition on select programs and schools for hourly employees. Chipotle covers full tuition at many schools, including Brandman, Purdue University Online, and Paul Quinn College, which is one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the country. Chipotle also offers up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement each year for employees attending other colleges. Employees must have worked at least 125 days to be eligible for the debt-free degree program.

Bonus benefits: Chipotle also offers crew members the opportunity to earn an extra week's pay each quarter if their restaurant does well. They also get a free meal and drink for each shift worked, and discounts on a gym membership, which seems like it could come in handy after all those burritos.

Amazon provides up to $12,000 tuition reimbursement

Amazon's Career Choice program will pay up to 95 percent of college costs, up to a max of $12,000 over four years for employees who have been with the company over a year. Amazon also offers on-site classes in their fulfillment centers,to make going to school more convenient. Unlike some other tuition reimbursement programs that aim to prepare people for a corporate career at their company, the Career Choice program encourages fulfillment center employees to study whatever they want in college, even if it's not related to a future career at Amazon. Past participants in Amazon's Career Choice program have studied everything from aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, and nursing.

Bonus benefit: In addition to their Career Choice program to help pay for college, Amazon has committed over $700 million to the Upskilling 2025 initiative. Upskilling 2025 programs train employees in technical skills that will be in-demand in the coming years. Amazon offers the training for free for employees, and provides paid study time so employees can gain skills in high-demand technical areas like machine learning, IT support, and cloud computing.

UPS will provide up to $25,000 in tuition for select schools

UPS's Earn & Learn Program allows our part-time employees to earn up to $5250 a year in tuition assistance, up to a max of $25,000 for education over five years. There is no waiting period for UPS tuition assistance benefit - eligibility begins the day of an employee hired and the benefit can be used at over 100 locations all over the country. The Earn & Learn program first began in 2014, and according to UPS, they have provided over $200 million to help around 120,000 students get their degrees.

Bonus benefit: In addition to their generous tuition assistance program, UPS also offers opportunities for learning and networking, including skill-development courses through UPS University, as well as Business Resource Groups, which pair employees with career mentors in senior management positions. The program started as a Womens' Leadership Development initiative, but has since expanded to provide mentorship and career support tailored for employees that belong to a variety of groups, including African American, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino employees, as well as employees who identify as LGBT & allies, millennials, multicultural, veterans, working parents and more.

Remember, before applying to a job because you think it'll help you pay for college tuition, make sure you do your research, read the fine print, and can answer these 9 important questions about their educational benefits or tuition reimbursement.

First published March 2021. Updated November 2021

Written by

Joy Bullen

Joy Bullen

Joy Bullen is College Confidential's Senior Editor and Head of Content. She is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she majored in English and Creative Writing. She also earned a master’s in Psychology from The New School for Social Research in NYC.

Before becoming a full-time writer and editor, Joy coached thousands of prospective and enrolled college students on admissions and academic and career success. She also managed a team of academic and career coaches and consulted with universities on how to create programs that have better outcomes for students.

More on Paying for College

See all

What are Scholarships and How Can You Find the Best Ones For You?

Scholarships can be a great way to reduce the burden of college tuition and make college more affordable, but finding the best on…


Colleges That Offer Tuition Waivers and Scholarships for Native American Students

A state-by-state list of colleges and universities that offer tuition waivers and scholarships for Native American students.

With …


Federal Student Loan Repayments: What You Need to Know

Ascent hosted an engaging webinar recently to address what’s on many people’s minds – federal student loan repayment. Embarking o…

pointing at screen - john-schnobrich

Scholarships for Hispanic/Latinx Students 2022-23

In honor of October being Hispanic / Latinx Heritage month, below is a list of scholarships currently accepting applications that…


How to Handle 529 Plans in a Volatile Stock Market

Have you looked at your 529 plan recently?


If you do take a look at your 529 plan, you may be shocked at how the value has c…

Get a student loan that goes beyond tuition.

Ascent offers cosigned and non-cosigned student loans with exclusive benefits that set students up for success.

Explore Now!
Find Your Scholarship

Want to find money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back? Access insights and advice on how to search and apply for scholarships!

Find Scholarships