In a post-pandemic economic recovery, retail giant Walmart chose to beef up its employee benefits programs by offering free college tuition and books for its employees as of August 16, 2021.
Walmart announced it will offer to pay 100% of “college tuition and books” for its workers through its education program, called Live Better U (LBU). Beginning on August 16, the corporation will remove the current $1-per-day fee that its workers pay into the program, which will free up education program funding for about 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club employees. In its announcement, Walmart wrote that its associates “can earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt.” Its overall investment will total “nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career-driven training and development.” The corporation added that after studying its education program, “the economy and job market have changed, and Walmart is always looking for new ways to encourage more associates to pursue further education.”
Since 2018, when the LBU program launched, over 52,000 workers enrolled in the program and 8,000 graduated through the program. In summer 2021, about 28,000 workers were enrolled in the education program.
It also said it will add four more academic partners (i.e. universities) in Johnson & Wales University, University of Arizona, University of Denver, and Pathstream. These four new partners join its existing partners: Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University and Voxy EnGen.
In other words, seeing that it is difficult to hire workers in the recovering economy, Walmart may have offered this perk to encourage more job applications.
Walmart’s wage for new hires begins at $15.25 per hour, or an approximate $29,280 a year.