**UPDATE: The list of businesses that will pay for college has been updated. The Ultimate Guide To Companies That Will Pay For College Tuition Through Tuition Reimbursement.**
College is expensive. For some students, financial aid, scholarships, and savings can only cover so much of the cost of their degree. Some jobs will pay for you to go to college while you are collecting your paycheck. Sounds too good to be true, but I assure you it’s not! There are dozens of businesses that will pay for college through their company’s tuition reimbursement program. A tuition reimbursement program is where an employer gives money to an employee to help cover some of the education costs of going to school.
Some companies pre-pay upfront while others provide reimbursement when you’ve proven you’ve completed the courses with passing grades. I highly recommend you work for a company that will help pay for your college education while you earn money, it’s not only wise it’s very efficient.
The cost of college is on the rise, and it’s not entirely because tuition has increased. Other expenses, like housing, meals, books, parking, fuel, car insurance, computers, and other basic school supplies all have increased as the cost of living has soared. These are the latest averages that it costs for a student to attend a university and/or community college, the numbers are staggering.
Average Cost To Attend A 4-Year University
According to Collegedata.com, the average university tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are, Public: in-state, $10,740, out-of-state $27,560, Private, $38,070.
Average Cost To Attend A Community College
According to CommunityCollegeReview.com, the average community college tuition and fees for the 2022 academic year are $4,989 for in-state and $8,712 for out-of-state.
If a student goes to an in-state university, it’s approximately $43,000 for all four years. For two years at a community college, it’s approximately $10,000. If you attend community college and then transfer to a university, which is what I recommend for almost all students, it will cost approximately $31,500. That’s a savings of $11,500 just by attending a community college first! If you live in one of the 20 states where community college is FREE, you are saving $10,000, making your total savings $21,500!
These are big numbers, but don’t let them scare you too much. I say too much because I want you to feel the pressure a little. Pressure will force you to think outside of the box about how you’re going to pay for college. When we are uncomfortable, we grow, and we get creative. We work toward thinking twice, planning, and focusing on approaching college with efficiency in mind. It’s natural in times of uncertainty that we feel anxious and confused. We can’t fix normal, nor would we want to. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun Tzu, The Art Of War. Remember, there is always opportunity in every stressful situation, you just have to look for it.
Amazing Tuition Reimbursement Programs
Fortunately, there are many businesses that will pay for college. Tuition reimbursement programs or tuition assistance programs are offered as employee benefits. Through these programs, the employer reimburses their employees for a pre-determined amount that can be applied toward a college degree. This helps employees advance their skills and education, while significantly reducing out-of-pocket expenses and student loan debt.
There are a lot of companies that will help pay for college. This list is not remotely comprehensive. In fact, I chose to list only those companies that are widely known and have jobs readily available for students. I have also included a shortlist of prominent companies. However, it is much harder to get employment with them as they usually prefer degrees.
Be sure to check all requirements, each company will have different terms and conditions. This is where reading the fine print will help you.
Here is the list of businesses that pay for college…
Amazon offers employees fully funded opportunities. Up to an annual maximum benefit, Amazon will pre-pay 100% of tuition for you to pursue everything from bachelor’s degrees to certificates. Funds can be used for tuition, books, and fees.
Amazon employees who have been with the company for at least 90 days are able to use the benefit. Employees must continue working part-time or full-time at Amazon while taking classes. Workers at Whole Foods, which Amazon owns, are not eligible.
Chipotle offers employees 100% tuition coverage for select programs, and up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement. They partnered with Guild Education, which offers online classes, programs, high school diplomas, and degrees from a variety of universities.
Taco Bell launched a new education partnership with Guild Education. Guild Education partners with Taco Bell to help employees utilize tuition reimbursement dollars, scholarship earnings, and federal aid. In addition, they walk with students through the process of going to school to help with time management and choosing a program that fits their needs and goals.
Sign up to learn more information about Guild Education today.
• 5-20% discounted tuition rates with many universities
• Flexible programs to fit your dreams
• Academic coaching to help you apply for scholarships, including the live mas scholarship
• Financial advising (federal funding, loans and more).
• School credit from Taco Bell Training
• Bachelors or master’s degree
• Language or certification course
Tuition reimbursement program rates for Home Depot employees vary by job position. Full-time associates get up to $6,000 per year. A part-time associate can get up to $3,000 a year. Immediate family members can get $2,500 per year.
At Starbucks, every eligible U.S. partner working part- or full-time receives 100% tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree. The degree must be gotten through Arizona State University’s online program. I currently have a family member taking advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP).
Walmart / Sam’s Club
Walmart has a great tuition reimbursement program, making it one of the best businesses that pay for college. They will pay 100% of college tuition and books for associates through its Live Better U (LBU) education program. LBU offers associate’s, bachelor’s, certificates, as well as high school diplomas. Since launching LBU in 2018, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program to date. Approximately 8,000 have already graduated.
Debt-Free Education: Target will support team members taking courses for high school completion, college prep, English language learning and certifications, boot camps, and undergraduate degrees. Team members can attend classes at more than 40 schools, colleges, and universities. They can choose from 250 business-aligned programs from Business Management and Operations to IT, Computer Science, Design, and more. Team members who opt into this program won’t have any out-of-pocket costs and will have the flexibility to find opportunities that fit their interests, schedules, and career goals. Academic institutions include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, and eCornell along with HBCUs Morehouse College, Paul Quinn College, and more.
Tuition Assistance: For team members pursuing educational opportunities outside of the select business-aligned programs within the Guild network of schools, including master’s degrees, Target will provide direct payments to their academic institution of up to $5,250 for non-master’s degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year to reduce the burden of up-front, costly tuition payments.
Educational Supplies: Target will also ensure that smaller out-of-pocket expenses and fees, such as textbooks and course fees, that may hinder team member participation, will also be covered at no cost to them.
In addition to scholarships, Chick-fil-A offers tuition discounts and grants to their Team Members (and sometimes their families, too) that can be applied to more than 100 colleges and universities through a partnership with Scholarship America. The list includes private institutions such as Boston University and Oglethorpe University; public research institutions like Purdue University; and many online universities and programs. Check out the full list.
Best Buy’s Tuition Assistance Policy is designed to build on its goal of becoming a world-class learning organization. To participate in the Tuition Assistance Program you must meet the following requirements: you are an active, full-time Best Buy employee, in good standing, working at least 32 hours per week; you have completed six months of continuous service on or before the course start date; and you are listed as a full-time Best Buy employee in the HRIS system, at both the course start date and reimbursement date. Note: If you meet the above requirements, but are on a Leave of Absence, you are still eligible for tuition reimbursement. You will receive the following benefit for approved expenses incurred and associated with an eligible course of study up to a calendar-year maximum of $3,500 for undergraduate and $5,250 for graduate-level coursework.
Champlain College Online’s truED Alliance offers preferred pricing for industry-driven academic programs to Comcast employees, their spouses, domestic partners, and eligible adult dependents. truED students can earn an accredited college degree from a nonprofit college committed to helping them achieve their career goals quickly.
In addition to your preferred tuition rate, Comcast supports your education with tuition reimbursement up to $5,750/year for undergraduate programs and $8,000/year for graduate programs. You will need to talk to your manager or HR about eligibility, rules, and restrictions. Please note that in order to qualify for these funds, your course applications must be submitted to the EdAssist website and approved by your Manager before the course start date.
Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime & Athleta
Employees of Gap and its sister companies, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta are eligible for the tuition reimbursement program after working for the company for a year. For employees looking to develop skills related to their job, the tuition reimbursement program covers up to 100% of tuition for up to two classes per term, 100% of up to two books per term, and approved fees. In total, the program will reimburse up to $5,000 a year.
Verizon and Bellevue University have teamed up to make your university degree affordable. Full-time employees can qualify for up to $13,250 per year, part-time employees can qualify for up to $8,000 per year, and family members up to $2,500 per year.
Tuition Reimbursement Programs For Experienced Employees
The list of businesses below will pay for college too. Their tuition reimbursement programs are excellent. However, I find getting a job with them is a little more difficult, as they often have expectations in regard to experience or an existing degree, therefore, I listed them separately.
Apple offers full-time employees up to $5,250 annually in education expenses, including tuition. Employees may also attend Apple University where they can learn key financial, software, and business skills.
Google encourages professional growth, learning, and development for all employees by offering tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing a degree in a field of study that relates to their job. The maximum is $12,000 a year and the employee must get B’s or better out of the classes.
UPS offers a tuition reimbursement program from the day they’re hired. The Earn & Learn program helps college students finance their education and attend school while working part- or full-time at UPS. Employees are free to choose their course of study. Pays up to $5,250 in assistance per calendar year, caps at a lifetime maximum of $25,000. The program not only helps UPS attract college students to fill part-time positions, but many of the students who take advantage of the program go on to pursue full-time careers with UPS. UPS also partners with local educational institutions to offer additional educational opportunities to the thousands of employees at its largest hubs in Louisville, Kentucky, and Hodgkins, Illinois.
Oracle supports continuing education as part of employee training and development. With management approval, Oracle will reimburse you for job-related coursework up to $5,250 per calendar year.
Chevron’s Educational Assistance Program offers reimbursement of up to 75% of the cost of tuition, learning platform subscription, required books, and fees, up to a total of $5,000, for courses and training to help you prepare for other employment opportunities as part of your career transition. The coursework does not have to be related to the type of work you do at Chevron. Prior to starting a course or training program, be sure to review the Educational Assistance Program policy for more information about what is and is not a qualifying course and reimbursable expenses under the policy.
Working for one of these businesses that help pay for college is a wise decision and a great way to avoid taking out student loans and to graduate college debt free.