Walmart to Pay 100% Tuition and Books for Employees

Salinas, United States - April 8, 2014: Walmart store exterior.
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Walmart is investing nearly $1 billion over the next five years in “career-driven training and development” for its employees. The largest U.S. private employer is paying 100% of college tuition and books for its 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates through its Live Better U (LBU) education program.

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“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart, in a company statement. “This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees.”

According to the company, the LBU program was designed to increase completion rates among adult working learners by removing the burden of college debt. LBU launched in June 2018, offering 50 programs for associates for $1 per day; however, this fee was removed in Aug. 2021 due to changes in the economy and job market. 

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“We’re also excited to add in-demand college degree and certificate options in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. These additional offerings join a robust catalog of programs to set associates up for new career opportunities,” Stomski said. 

Walmart has also added four additional academic partners including Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream. These are in addition to partnerships with Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University and Voxy EnGen. 

According to Walmart, these institutions were chosen due to their history of successful adult and working learner programs and their focus on degree completion.

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Since the launch of LBU, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program and 8,000 have graduated. 

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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