Going to college is a transformative experience for many. But it can also be an expensive one. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of programs out there that make it easier for students to afford higher education. You may be surprised—there are even companies out there that will pay for you to attend college!
Why Do Employers Pay for College?
It’s no secret that companies are struggling to find top talent. With more people graduating from college, companies have to fight for the best and brightest.
Today, companies want to attract and retain their employees by offering incentives like tuition reimbursement programs. A company that offers this benefit can be more competitive when it comes time for recruiting. It’ll be more likely to keep current employees because it advances people’s careers without them needing to quit or move.
How Does Tuition Reimbursement Work?
Tuition reimbursement is a great benefit for those who want to get their college degree. It can help pay for tuition and fees, room and board, and other expenses. Every company offering this benefit may have unique requirements. But generally, here’s how it works:
- You must work a certain number of hours for your employer to qualify. Many ask that you work at least 20-30 hours a week to get tuition reimbursement.
- You get reimbursed after completing the coursework and passing with a certain grade.
- Your employer may allow you to use benefits on other college expenses, such as housing, travel, and food costs. Some even offer help to pay off student loans!
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How to Get a Company to Pay for College
You can get a company to pay for college in two ways:
- Apply for a job with the company—and do it as soon as possible. The earlier, the better, as this will give employers time to review your application before they make their final decision. You’ll be more likely to get your tuition costs covered when it comes time for school if you do this soon.
- Apply for a scholarship sponsored by the company. Companies like Coca-Cola have scholarship awards that they give to students each year. If you want to avoid committing to working for them, then applying for a scholarship is your best bet.
10 Companies that Pay for College
Many companies pay for college. Some offer tuition reimbursement programs, while others give their employees scholarships and grants to help them attend school. Here’s a list of popular ones:
Target has a tuition reimbursement program that covers up to $5,250 per year for employees who work at least 20 hours per week. This award is for people pursuing non-master’s degrees. Student workers going for a Master’s degree can get up to $10,000 annually. The program is open to full-time and part-time employees. You must meet the eligibility requirements.
This company also has a Debt-Free Education pathway that can cover 100% of your college costs. You must pursue a specific field within the program to qualify.
Starbucks offers 100% tuition assistance for eligible employees. You must be a part-time or full-time worker pursuing a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) for the first time.
Google is a fantastic place to work. It also happens to be one of the companies that help pay for college! This company offers tuition reimbursement to workers pursuing higher education in a field that is relevant to their roles. If eligible, you can get up to $12,000 a year. The catch is that you must earn grades A or B in courses to receive reimbursement.
The company also has its education initiative called Google U which offers scholarships to students who want to study computer science or engineering. It has a network of universities that offer courses on the Google Cloud Platform. Students can learn valuable skills while earning credit toward their degrees. Since everything is online and available 24/7, students have total flexibility over when they take the classes.
Amazon is a massive company that offers a wide variety of products. It’s also known for its competitive prices and high-quality customer service. But did you know they also pay college fees for those who work with them for at least 90 days? Through an initiative called Amazon Career Choice, the company will prepay 100% of tuition and fees. Students must enroll in a program through an Amazon partner institution.
For employees enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, UPS will pay up to $5,250 per calendar year toward tuition and fees. Employees can use these funds for any degree, from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s to an MBA or beyond.
Chipotle is one of the top companies that will help you pay for college. It offers 100% tuition reimbursement for hourly and salaried employees enrolled in a degree program for at least two years long. Candidates must enroll at least half-time and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Home Depot
Home Depot’s tuition reimbursement program is available to all full-time and part-time workers who are attending school. Participants may qualify for up to:
- $6,000 per year (full-time employees)
- $3,000 per year (part-time workers)
- $2,500 per year (immediate family members)
- Waste Management
Waste Management offers an attractive education assistance program (EAP) to its employees. Those pursuing a Master’s degree can get up to $12,000 per year toward college expenses. If you’re pursuing a GED or an undergraduate degree, Waste Management covers 100% of the costs for tuition and fees. Unlike other companies, this company allows spouses and dependents to use this benefit.
Lowe’s has a partnership with Guild Education, which offers a robust benefits package. Part-time and full-time workers can earn a college degree in select programs. Eligible participants get access to 100% debt-free education programs. Lowe’s employees can get up to $2,500 for tuition fees at over 150 academic programs.
Imagine working for one of the most iconic brands in the world, building your resume, and getting your college costs covered! Disney offers a tuition reimbursement program that pays for 100% of tuition costs. It also gives reimbursements for books and other fees. The company has a stellar reputation when it comes to culture and values, making it an appealing place to work. You’ll also love the smaller perks like free food and fun events!
Look Into Company Funding for Higher Education
Regardless of where you want to go for college, company funding can help defray the cost of tuition and fees, room and board, and books. Besides applying for federal and school scholarships or getting a part-time job, see what companies will pay for your education! With a plethora of out there, you’re bound to find a company that aligns with your interests, values, and career goals.