36 Companies That Pay For College

companies that pay for college

Looking for Jobs That Pay for College?

One of the perfect ways to pay for college is to find companies with tuition reimbursement. This has never been more important than now, with college costs on the rise. The National Center for Education Statistics cites for the 2018 to 2019 academic year, average undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board was $24,900 at public colleges and $51,900 at private nonprofit colleges! 

As luck would have it, there are quite a few companies that offer tuition assistance programs (TAPs) or tuition reimbursement as an employee benefit. Why would they offer such a lucrative perk to someone working? It’s really quite simple.

Many employers understand that this type of incentive may tempt you to work for and stay longer with the company. We know we’d feel loyal if someone gave us $12,000 for college. Wouldn't you? If you have to work while going to school, consider looking into jobs that will help pay for college.

What is Tuition Reimbursement?

Tuition reimbursement is an employee benefit like healthcare, 401K and paid time off. It means a company "pays you back" or reimburses eligible employees a certain amount towards the cost of tuition. Since the amount may not cover all higher education costs, another term for this type of program is tuition assistance. Also it is not part of your normal salary. But some companies set these funds aside to help their employees pay for college tuition.

There is no cap to the amount of an educational benefit. However, the IRS requires you to pay tax on the amount if over $5,250. Your employer then has to list the benefit as part of your income unless the amount is less than $5,250. As a result, many employers use this amount as a maximum payout. 

How does Company Tuition Reimbursement Work? 

Each company's tuition reimbursement program may be different. It tends to reflect their human resource policies, company size and industry. It typically works by the employee paying upfront for their college classes. Then the employer may reimburse partial or full amounts when you complete the class or semester. 

Smaller companies may offer to pay for college related to a salaried employee's current job. So let's stay you work in finance. Your company might only pay for the college credits needed for you to earn a CFA certification. 

In comparison, larger companies may pay for your college's full tuition. These programs pay for the four year tuition of an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree such as an MBA. Because many students work while at school, an online college degree may also qualify. 

If a company does agree to pay up front there may be some fine print. For instance, if you fail or quit, your benefit may turn into a loan which you have to repay.

36 COMPANIES THAT WILL HELP YOU PAY FOR COLLEGE

Check out these well known companies and their jobs that will pay for college.  

1. UPS

Part time employees of UPS are eligible to receive up to $5,250 in tuition assistance per year, up to a lifetime maximum of $25,000. Eligibility begins on the date of hire. Also, many full time UPS employees started at the company as part time or non manager employees, including managers and executives!

2. PUBLIX

According to the company’s website, Publix reimburses the cost of college classes, technical training and online programs. Whether an undergraduate or graduate degree. The program is available to all associates. Any associate with at least six months of continuous service, and who works an average of 10 hours per week is eligible. Associates enrolled in a four year college may receive up to $3,200 annually, with a lifetime limit of $12,800.

Associates enrolled in undergraduate courses at a two year community college, technical program or individual course program may be reimbursed up to $1,700 annually, with a lifetime limit of $3,400.

3. WELLS FARGO

Wells Fargo offers several scholarships to children of employees, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each. They also offer their employees up to $5,000 in reimbursement annually, for eligible tuition expenses.

4. SMUCKERS

Employees may be eligible for reimbursement of tuition costs for Company- approved college courses. In addition to that, they offer a scholarship program for children of employees. And also a lifetime supply of delicious strawberry jam! (ok we made up that last part…)

5. COMCAST

Comcast offers an Education Assistance Program. However, few details are available on their website. 

6. STARBUCKS

Partners based in the U.S. working an average of 20 hours per week at any company operated store and who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. 

Introduced in June 2014, in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) this opportunity offers all eligible U.S. partners (employees) to earn their college degree with full tuition coverage. Employees may pursue ASU's online degree programs for undergraduates.

7. VERIZON

All regular full and part time domestic Associates who work at least 17 hours per week may be eligible for tuition assistance at Verizon from their date of hire. Associates must be on the active payroll and not on a leave of absence when the course begins. They also have to stay on the payroll for the duration of the course. The job and location factor into your pay and benefits. 

8. BANK OF AMERICA

Tuition repayment is available from the Bank of America. However there are few details on the website. 

9. BEST BUY

BestBuy offers tuition assistance and discounts. Eligibility for these perks depends on work status, length of service and position within the company.

10. DISNEY

Disney offers 100% of tuition paid upfront at Disney Aspire network schools. The benefit applies to full and part time hourly employees.

11. Home Depot

If you like to do home improvement work, one of the jobs that pay for college might include working at Home Depot. The company budgets $6,000 tuition assistance per year for qualifying full time associates, $3,000 per year if part time and $2,500 per year for immediate family members. 

Home Depot selected Bellevue University to partner with them in this program. The university agreed to allow employees to defer payment to them until after they receive your education assistance. The school also allows those in the program to transfer in eligible college credits with no fee.

12. AT&T

AT&T employees may receive payback for approved education costs with the company's tuition assistance plan.

13. WALMART

Wal-Mart partners with Guild Education to offer eligible associates a choice of flexible, online education programs from schools through their education benefit, Live Better U. For what equals $1 a day (or less!), eligible associates may get their high school diploma or earn a college degree. One may also study to prep for ACT and SAT classes, learn a language, or earn college credits with College Start.

14. CHIPOTLE

Through the program with Guild Education, Chipotle employees may pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees, take college courses, earn a GED, or study English as a second language. At last check, the company offered up to $5,250 per year. 

15. AMAZON

For eligible employees, Amazon may pay up to 95% of tuition and fees (up to a yearly maximum) towards a certificate or diploma in qualified fields of study, leading to in demand jobs.

16. MCDONALD'S

The fast food chain is not to be left out with it's 'Archways to OpportunityTM' program. It aims to help anyone who works at a company owned or independently franchised restaurant. Programs are available to McDonald’s employees and the employees of independent franchisees. Student/employees may also improve English skills, work to earn a high school diploma (online too!) or college degree. 

17. TARGET

Target is another of the larger companies that offer tuition assistance. If eligible, the company may help pay for job related courses at an accredited college, technical school, or university. The annual max they reimburse reflects the type of coursework you enroll in. Other benefits include a GED reimbursement program and student loan refinancing. 

18. APPLE

There's an Apple University so it's no surprise the company also covers some eligible formal education. As far as the eye can see the education must relate to advancing your career at Apple. Then, the company says it reimburses you for certain educational expenses, including tuition.

19. ORACLE

Oracle reimburses tuition fees up to $5,250 per calendar year for approved programs of study. Management approval is required.

20. RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES

Raytheon has interests in Intelligence, space, and defense. The company offers educational assistance for approved courses or degree programs and certifications geared to enhance skills. 

21. FIDELITY

Fidelity offers student loan assistance as well as reimbursement on tuition.  According to Glassdoor, the company supports associates in pursuing a part time course of study toward a certain work related degree or certificate program.

22. PROCTOR AND GAMBLE

P&G offers a reimbursement plan. It allows full time employees to seek continuing education courses or programs related to their current or potential next assignment within the company.

23. DELOITTE

Deloitte offers a Graduate School Assistance Program (GSAP). It aims to send "high performing" consulting professionals to graduate school. GSAP participants receive full tuition reimbursement after two years of employment at Deloitte following graduate school. Once a graduate, Deloitte offers participants the option to return to the company as Senior Consultants. The program also provides a technology allowance after students leave grad school. And, the company negotiates discounts for grad school entrance exam prep classes as well. 

24. BP

BP offers an Educational Assistance Program. It aims to assist employees in taking advantage of studies that will benefit both the employee and the company. Although the company may provide these benefits, it makes no commitment to promote, transfer or increase salaries by doing so.

25. FedEX 

FedEX subsidizes tuition for eligible employees. The program helps pay for higher education if it aims to help the employee advance within the company.

26. LOWE'S

At Loewe's, all regular employees are eligible to take part in the tuition reimbursement program after one year of work. Courses that count as eligible include core classes and electives required to attain a degree. The degree can be an associate, bachelor, masters or doctoral degree from an accredited school.

Both associate and bachelor's degree programs may be in any major. But the company restricts master's/doctoral degrees to topics that aim to prep the employee to advance within the company.

27. CVS

CVS' Total Rewards program aims to help employees improve and keep fit and healthy. Their website does not provide too many details but does say they offer Educational support. 

28. CHICK-FIL-A

Each year, Chick-fil-A awards two types of scholarships to qualifying restaurant Team Members. They are True Inspiration Scholarships ($25,000) and Leadership Scholarships ($2,500). In 2020, 6,700 Chick-fil-A Team Members across 47 states (plus D.C. and Canada) received scholarships, totaling $17 million per the company's website.

Selectees may use the funds at any accredited two or four year college, university, or technical/vocational school. The company also has a network of colleges and universities that offer discounts.

29. CARMAX

Carmax pays for eligible tuition expenses. That means you need pre approval and to study at an accredited school. All associates (even if on commission) may qualify to use the program.

30. JetBlue

JetBlue Scholars is the airline's program of college assistance. Students can get credit for courses completed at other colleges, licenses and certifications, and even on the job experience, including JetBlue training. Student employees may take approved courses online for college credit that the company pays for. You also take the final semester online at a JetBlue partner school. All crew members receive discounted tuition, and scholarships may be available for those who qualify. 

As of 2019, the company planned to add the JetBlue Scholars Master’s Pathways. This program partnered with select schools who offer online graduate programs. It also would allow crew members to pursue a master's degree.

31. CHEVRON

At Chevron, if you’re eligible to receive a severance pay benefit, you may also take part in the SESP Educational Assistance Program. This program offers reimbursement of up to 75% of the cost of tuition. It also covers learning platform subscription, required books and fees (up to a total of $5,000) for courses and training to help you prepare for other job opportunities as part of your career transition. Also, the coursework does not have to relate to your job at Chevron. 

32. QUALCOMM

One of the benefits of Qualcomm United States is tuition help. The company reimburses up to $5,250 per calendar year for tuition, books and parking for courses that count toward continued education. This includes certification, an associate or bachelor's. Qualcomm may cover up to $10,125 toward a graduate degree. To access the benefit, an employee must work at least 40 hours/week, be active and get both the courses and school pre approved.

33. BAXTER

Baxter’s Educational Assistance Program invests in employee growth by reimbursing up to $5,250 per year for undergraduate courses at accredited colleges. A separate TAP, that requires management approval, provides funds for graduate courses.  The company (through it's giving arm) also runs a merit scholarship program. It provides scholarships for post high school education for children of Baxter employees around the globe.

34. PAPA JOHN'S

Papa John’s partners with Purdue Global to offer all corporate members, after working 90 days and averaging 20+ hours per week. They reimburse 100% of tuition if you earn a degree online.

35. EILEEN FISHER

Clothing brand Eileen Fisher offers Wellness and Education Reimbursement Programs. On the wellness side, they cover a range of products and services like massage. And on the education side, classes, including yoga teacher training, photography, mindfulness retreats, jewelry making and languages.

36. GAP INC.

The Gap Inc. requires employees to apply for their tuition benefit. One of the terms of the program is that within 90 days of of the course(s) end date, the employee must show grades and proof of completion. Otherwise, they become responsible to pay the cost.

Why Do Companies Pay for College?

Jobs that pay for college want to keep employee turnover low and also motivate staff with a full benefits package. Turnover may cost a company to recruit and train as well as potentially cause a slowdown in productivity.

The thinking is that a TAP program may tempt employees to stay longer with the company that pays for college. At the same time, having the benefit may make a company appealing to new hires.  Another reason is to also ensure employees have current skills that meet the need of the day. This in turn may save the company money by allowing them to promote from within.

How Do You Ask Your Employer to Pay for College?

If the company you work for does not pay for college, you might have to ask and discuss the benefits. Here are a few tips how to ask your job to pay for college.

1. Be reliable 

There's no sense asking for a benefit without a proven track record. Show up on time, communicate and grow trust so that the company values you and wants to retain you.

2. Look for online options

Employers may worry that the demands of school may shrink your ability to do your job well. Look for weekend and online programs that won't interfere in your workday. 

3. Do your research first

Figuring out the degree/courses/skills you want your employer to pay for is something to do ahead of time. Then you can present this data to them, showing how and what you want to bring to the table to help the company reach its goals too.

Go into your meeting prepared with all the reasons your employer could benefit from your college education too. You may learn how to lead better, do more technical work, and also understand the latest trends and research, etc.

4. Calculate the return on education

You should show the benefit of what the company may get out of investing in your education. You may show how the courses could help you be more effective in your work. Also, gaining new and enhanced skills could contribute to your current job. 

5. Pledge loyalty

A company is not going to invest in you if they think you might not stay on the job after earning your new degree. Make sure you understand the corporate structure as well as tell your employer what job within the organization you are pursuing.  

6. Stay practical

If you sense your employer may be receptive, stay practical about school choice. In other words, you might want to suggest an in state public 4 year vs a private Ivy League school. 

7. Be ready to sign a contract

Companies that pay for college often have extensive terms and conditions in their contract. Also, you may have to sign a contract if you use corporate funds for your studies. Read the fine print, negotiate and address your concerns before you sign on the dotted line.