Walmart’s New Education Benefit Puts Cap and Gown within Reach for Associates

Benefit includes free college credit for Walmart Academy training and
options for associates to earn a college degree without incurring
student loan debt

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart today unveiled a new associate education benefit designed to
remove barriers to college enrollment and graduation. The program is
another step in the company’s commitment to train and educate workers to
advance in the jobs of today — and the future.

In partnership with Guild Education, a leading education benefits
platform, Walmart associates will be able to access affordable,
high-quality associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business or Supply
Chain Management. Under the program, which will be made available to all
Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates, Walmart will subsidize the cost
of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution
equivalent to $1 a day. Degrees will be offered through the University
of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University – nonprofit
schools selected for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working
adult learners.

“Investing in the personal and professional success of our associates is
vital to Walmart’s future success. We know training and learning
opportunities empower associates to deliver for customers while growing
and advancing in their careers,” said Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S.

Highlights of the program include:


Under the program, the associate contribution toward a college degree
would be just $1 a day. Walmart will subsidize the cost of tuition,
books and fees, eliminating the need for student loan debt and
addressing one the biggest hurdles that keep people from returning to

In addition, associates can jumpstart their path to completion by
earning college credit for paid training at Walmart Academies. Hundreds
of thousands of associates have already undergone skills training
equivalent to more than $210 million in college credits. This will save
associates both time and money in completing their degree.


Walmart selected universities with a specialized focus on serving
working adult learners and top outcomes for the working adult
demographic. In addition, Walmart is collaborating with these
universities to tailor curriculum to relevant skills for jobs and
advancement across industries for today and in the future.


Working with three universities that include both selective and
open-access programs, Walmart provides all associates a place to start.
The goal is for all associates who apply for admission to be accepted.
These universities have a programmatic dedication to high graduation
rates for their students.


From day one, associates will receive support from a Guild Education
coach on everything from the application and enrollment process to
selecting the appropriate degree. This kind of academic counseling has
been shown to help students complete their degree.

“Walmart has kicked off what might be the nation’s most scalable
approach to creating educational opportunity for America’s workforce,
now available to its U.S. associates and their families,” said Rachel
Carlson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Guild Education.
“Walmart is also leading innovation at the intersection of workforce
development and higher education by helping associates earn college
credit for their on-the-job training.”

Walmart is also committed to an independent evaluation of the outcome of
its new offering. The Lumina Foundation has agreed to research and
measure the impact and effectiveness of the program and will work with
the Walmart team to share findings.

“Walmart is making a significant investment in its workforce that will
not just help the company, but help shift how our society moves toward
more affordable and accessible pathways for individuals to be recognized
and rewarded for their work-based skills and knowledge, resulting in
high-quality, relevant credentials. We applaud Walmart’s efforts,” said
Jamie Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of the Lumina

“I commend Walmart for trying an innovative strategy to increase the
skills and post-secondary education of its workers and for committing to
have the Lumina Foundation conduct an independent evaluation of the
program. I look forward to studying Lumina’s findings,” said Alan
Krueger, professor of economics, Princeton University.


Walmart’s new education program underscores the importance of education
in helping associates prepare for the future. College degrees in supply
chain management or business are parts of a broader approach to
preparing the workforce to succeed today and into the future.
Initiatives include:

  • Developing a broad suite of offerings across roles and levels to help
    associates from frontline to executive levels develop job-related
    skills for advancement.
  • Covering the complete cost for associates and eligible family members
    for earning a high school diploma or GED.
  • Offering associates and eligible family members have access to tuition
    discounts, financial aid assistance and education coaching across
    Guild’s broader network of more than 80 accredited, nonprofit
    university partners, including schools such as The Georgia Institute
    of Technology (Georgia Tech), Columbia University and
    Purdue University. These institutions are made available through EdX.
  • Giving access to professional development courses including college
    prep, leadership training and ESL.

These programs are available to full-time, part-time and salaried
Walmart U.S. store, supply chain, home office and Sam’s Club associates.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and
through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 270 million customers
and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28
countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of
$500.3 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates
worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
Walmart can be found by visiting
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Walmart Inc.
Erica Jones, 800-331-0085