Walmart will begin offering free college tuition and books to its 1.5 million US employees as of mid-August. Since its Live Better U education program was created three years ago to help employees advance within the company, more than 52,000 employees have participated and 8,000 have graduated. Workers can choose from 10 academic partners. Soaring college costs averaging nearly $25,000 (in 2019) have made tuition reimbursement an attractive employee perk for companies but, while increasingly targeted to employer needs, employees also benefit from higher pay and lower unemployment. The median weekly pay in 2020 for workers with a bachelor’s degree was $1,305, compared with $781 for high school graduates.

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