12 Companies That Will Pay for Your College Education

Some major employers have programs to help cover the cost of a higher education

If you want to attend college, you might be put off by rising college costs. But what if your employer actually helped you pay for some or all of your college tuition? If you’re looking for help financing a higher education, working for one of the following 12 employers might be your ticket to minimizing or even avoiding crushing student loan debt.

Key Takeaways

  • Twelve of the biggest employers in the United States offer programs to help employees pay for a higher education, though they aren’t the only ones.
  • Some of these programs are available for all workers right away, while others are restricted based on how long an employee has been with the company, the amount of hours worked per week, and whether the workplace is a franchise location or a corporate one.
  • While all of these programs have a limited number of partner schools for which they are applicable, many still offer some tuition reimbursement for students attending other universities.

1. Amazon

The Amazon Career Choice program is open to any associate who has been working at the company for at least 90 days. This program helps pay the costs of several different educational experiences, including a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, job training for in-demand fields, and certifications for your GED or ESL.

You need to enroll through a partner institution to be eligible, so you’ll want to check with a human resources representative to find out what’s available.

2. Boeing

Boeing, the aircraft manufacturing giant, prioritizes those looking to earn a degree in STEM fields. In addition to providing tuition reimbursement for undergraduate and graduate degrees, Boeing also offers scholarships to employees’ dependents.

Employees are eligible on the first day of the month after their hire date. There are hourly work requirements, though, so it’s important to understand how to balance a job and school.

3. Chipotle

Depending on your work schedule, you might qualify for education benefits from Chipotle. You must work at least 15 hours per week for four months to qualify for the program, which covers associate’s or bachelor’s degree costs at partner institutions.

You can access the partner institutions’ online classes if you can’t attend in person. If you don’t choose a partner institution, you can still benefit with tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 each year.

4. Discover

If you work for the credit card company Discover, you can get access to a free education benefit by attending online partner programs. A variety of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs are available, and you can get up to 100% of your tuition covered.

Even if you don’t attend a partner school or program, you can still get up to $10,000 a year in tuition funding, depending on your program. All employees are eligible for this program.

5. Disney

Full-time and part-time workers can use the Disney Aspire program to cover bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. You do need to attend one of the partner schools, but Disney will also cover your textbook costs.

You must be employed for 90 days to take advantage of this program. Additionally, Disney pays the school directly, so you don’t have to pay anything up front and wait for reimbursement.

6. Papa John’s

Through its Dough & Degrees program, part-time and full-time workers can get help paying for college. While some franchise stores have access to this benefit, it’s mainly available for corporate-owned locations. If you’re already working for Papa John’s, check to see if your store offers the benefit, which is available if you work at least 10 hours per week for 60 days.

The program focuses on online degrees from the University of Maryland and Purdue University.

7. Starbucks

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is designed to help employees cover college costs—after scholarships and financial aid. You need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and accept financial aid from the school, and Starbucks will pay for your remaining tuition cost for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program.

To qualify, you must have worked at least 240 total hours over the course of three consecutive months, and you’re eligible on the first day of the second month after meeting this milestone.

8. Taco Bell

Depending on the degree, you might be eligible for 100% paid tuition for select degrees, high school diplomas, and college preparation courses if you work at a Taco Bell as a corporate employee. Your costs could be covered up front at certain partner programs, so you wouldn’t need to worry about reimbursement later.

For those who don’t select a partner program or are franchise employees, you can still access up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement. This benefit is also available to graduate students.

9. Target

All U.S. Target employees are eligible for college tuition at partner institutions and certain degree programs. There are programs available at in-person and online programs for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, in addition to certifications.

On top of that, Target offers up to $10,000 yearly for master’s degree students studying in its partner network.

10. T-Mobile

Full-time T-Mobile employees are eligible to get full tuition when they enroll in degree programs through partner schools. Additionally, full-time students can get $5,250 for tuition at other schools. Part-time employees can get up to $2,500 to help with their schooling.

11. Verizon

Verizon offers full-time and part-time employees financial assistance to get a degree at Bellevue University. Full-time employees can receive up to $13,250 yearly, while part-time employees can receive up to $8,000.

Verizon also allows immediate family members of employees to receive help paying for school, up to $2,500 each year.

12. Walmart

Depending on your degree choice, you might be eligible for the Live Better U program offered by Walmart. This program covers the full tuition cost at partner universities for undergraduate programs.

What is it called when a company pays for your education?

Tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance are programs wherein a company pays for some or all of the costs of a worker’s higher education, which many employers offer to their employees as part of their benefits package.

How much do most companies pay for tuition reimbursement?

The most common tuition reimbursement limit for employer tuition assistance programs is $5,250 per year. Anything above this cap is generally considered as taxable income, which the employee will have to pay.

How do I ask my company for tuition reimbursement?

If your employer doesn’t already have a tuition reimbursement program as part of its benefits package, then your best bet is to request tuition assistance via a formal negotiation with your manager/supervisor. Have an outlined and well-rehearsed message about how your continued education will benefit your company, and be prepared to address any concerns raised by your boss.

The Bottom Line

Several other companies also offer different education benefits that you can use to advance your education and career without going deep into debt. Take the time to research what’s available and how to qualify, and you might be surprised at how cheaply you can continue your education.

Article Sources
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  2. Amazon Career Choice. “Home Page.”

  3. Boeing Benefits. “Save on Tuition and Learning Support.”

  4. Scholarships360. “How to Get Tuition Reimbursement by Working at Chipotle.”

  5. Guild Education: Chipotle. “Go Back to School Debt-Free. For Real.

  6. Guild Education: Discover. “Get an Education on Discover’s Dime.

  7. Digital First Media. “Disney Aspire Employee Program Flyer.”

  8. Papa John’s. “Dough & Degrees.”

  9. Business Wire. “Papa Johns Expands Dough & Degrees Program to Offer More Team Members Opportunities to Build Fulfilling Careers Free of Education Debt.”

  10. Scholarship360. “How to Get Papa John’s Tuition Reimbursement.”

  11. Starbucks. “Starbucks College Achievement Plan.”

  12. Starbucks. “Starbucks College Achievement Plan,” scroll down to Frequently Asked Questions, select “I’m interested in working at Starbucks. How soon can I participate in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan?”

  13. Guild Education: Taco Bell. “Go Back to School on Us. Yep, You Read That Right.

  14. Scholarship360. “How to Get Taco Bell Tuition Reimbursement.”

  15. Guild Education: Taco Bell Franchise. “Go Back to School on Us. Yep, You Read That Right.

  16. Target Corporate. “Target Launching Debt-Free Education Assistance Program to More Than 340,000 Frontline Team Members.”

  17. LiveMagenta (T-Mobile). “Tuition Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions,” Pages 1 and 4.

  18. Verizon Corporate Learning. “Best-in-Class Tuition Assistance Benefits.”

  19. Walmart Corporate. “Live Better U Fact Sheet—Sept. 2022.”

  20. Internal Revenue Service. “Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education,” Page 59.

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