Walmart Inc. will fund college degrees for its U.S. workforce, the latest benefit rolled out by the nation’s largest private employer to reduce turnover and counter criticism over its treatment of staff. The retailer’s 1.5 million employees can now pursue associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in business or supply-chain management at three nonprofit schools for $1 a day, according to a statement Wednesday.
Walmart will subsidize tuition, books and fees and provide support with the application and enrollment processes. As many as 68,000 employees might sign up, Walmart executives estimated. They declined to disclose the potential cost of the program.
The Walmart and Sam’s Club employees can choose from three schools that focus on adult learning: the University of Florida, California’s Brandman University or Bellevue University in Nebraska. Courses can be taken at the campuses or online, Walmart said, and there is no penalty for courses already taken if an employee leaves the company while enrolled in school. There’s also no requirement to continue working at Walmart for any period after receiving the degree.