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10 Companies That Will Pay for Your College Education

Work for one of these companies and you can go to college for practically free.

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AmazonJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock


Hourly associates who have worked for Amazon for at least one year have the opportunity to get involved with the company’s Career Choice Program. Over the course of four years, the company will pay up to $12,000 up front for tuition, textbooks, and fees for a degree in fields Amazon says are “well-paying and in high demand according to sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Amazon listed fields such as aircraft mechanics, nursing, and computer-aided design as some options for its employees. A unique feature of this benefit program is that Amazon worked with its college partners to offer onsite classes so employees have the convenience of learning where they work.

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Bank of AmericaLester Balajadia/Shutterstock

Bank of America

What better employer to help get your college finances right than a bank? Bank of America will pay up to $5,250 for its employees to take classes toward a job-related degree. Applying to any school accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education qualifies employees for tuition reimbursement. Just make sure that you’ve worked for Bank of America for a minimum of six months before trying to apply. The company also reimburses tuition for courses toward a graduate level degree. However, if an employee voluntarily leaves Bank of America after their reimbursement for a graduate degree, they may be subject to pay a percentage back.

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ChipotleKen Wolter/Shutterstock


Even though guacamole costs extra for customers, college doesn’t have to cost extra for Chipotle employees. Full- and part-time employees can get up to $5,250 in tuition assistance and up to $5,185 in federal grants every year from the company. On-the-job training and promotions also help employees earn up to $15,400 in college credits. Chipotle’s educational assistance program works through its partnership with Guild. The partnership also helps employees who may have previously earned college credits continue their education where they left off instead of starting from scratch.

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Lowe'sJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock


This home improvement store is also an education improvement employer. By partnering with Guild Education, Lowe’s is offering to pay $2,500 in tuition and fees for full-time and part-time employees taking on-campus or online course-work toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in any field they want. Master’s or doctorate degrees are covered only if they directly benefit an employee’s position at Lowe’s. Think discounted college tuition is cool? Here are 15 secret company perks that will make you jealous.

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McDonald'sVytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock


Both full- and part-time employees of one of the most widely recognized fast food restaurants have the chance to receive tuition assistance for their higher education. Full-time managers can receive $5,250, and part-time restaurant crew and others can receive $2,500. This is after receiving a performance rating of “significant performance” or better from supervisors, and after federal financial aid has already been applied. McDonald’s provides tuition assistance for employees going to any college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

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According to its website, 70 percent of Starbucks employees are students or aspiring students. Now 100 percent of their U.S. employees can be college students at Arizona State University, with the entirety of their tuition covered by the company. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan allows full- and part-time employees who have worked at least 90 days to apply to ASU, take classes for their desired degree, and receive a reimbursement for their tuition after financial aid has been applied. Currently, Starbucks will pay for college classes only at ASU and if you do not already have a bachelor’s degree. Employees can transfer to ASU if they are already enrolled in another college but want to participate in the program and attend college for practically nothing.

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Taco BellGeorge Sheldon/Shutterstock

Taco Bell

Giving the world Doritos Locos Tacos isn’t the only thing Taco Bell has to offer. The famous Tex-Mex fast food joint also wants to help pay for its employees’ college tuition. The company’s employees can get $5,250 per year to apply toward their tuition for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a language or certification course. The colleges that employees are eligible to take classes at depends on those offered through Taco Bell’s partnership with Guild.

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VerizonKen Wolter/Shutterstock


If you work a minimum of 17 hours a week with Verizon, you could get your college tuition paid for—if your degree will benefit your current position at Verizon, teach you something that you’re expected to know while working there, or relates to the overall “needs, goals, and strategy” of the company, says Verizon’s tuition assistance plan. Employees can expect a reimbursement of up to $8,000 per year. The colleges eligible under the plan must be accredited by one of the wide array of education agencies listed on Verizon’s policy plan.

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WalmartJames R. Martin/Shutterstock


A near free degree in business or supply chain management is in reach for Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, as long as they’ve been employees for at least 90 days. Walmart associates can earn their degrees through online courses at Bellevue University, Brandman University, or the University of Florida for possibly the lowest cost ever. The Walmart education benefit subsidizes the cost of tuition, books, and pesky college fees after financial aid has been applied. Employees just have to pay $1 a day. Employees may also be eligible for discounted tuition and assistance for other degrees at different universities thanks to Walmart’s partnership with Guild and its network of more than 80 accredited, nonprofit university partners, like Georgia Tech and Columbia University.

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The Walt Disney Company

At the beginning of 2018, Disney invested $50 million to help pay for 100 percent of tuition for eligible hourly employees in the United States. The Disney Aspire program is in partnership with Guild. The company pays the tuition up front, and employees can be reimbursed for additional costs like textbooks and application fees. To keep the magic alive in its employees, Disney is not restricting the field of coursework their employees can explore. On Disney’s blog, Jayne Parker, the senior executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said that the classes don’t even have to be directly related to an employee’s current role at Disney. If you don’t think college is really for you, check out the 15 best jobs you can have without a college degree.

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