Walmart has announced a five-year, $1 billion commitment to cover 100 percent of the cost of college tuition and books for its employees through the company’s Live Better U (LBU) education program.
Through the program, 1.5 million full- and part-time employees of Walmart and Sam's Club—known as associates at Walmart—will be eligible to earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt, and the $1 daily fee that was part of the program since its launch in 2018 will be eliminated as of August 16. Associates also will be able to access in-demand college degree and certificate options in business administration, supply chain, and cybersecurity.
In addition, Walmart will add four academic partners— Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver, and Pathstream — to complement its existing partners: Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University, and Voxy EnGen. Since LBU was launched in 2018, more than fifty-two thousand employees have participated and eight thousand have graduated.
"We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families," said Lorraine Stomski, Walmart's senior vice president of learning and leadership. "This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees."