Target introduces debt-free college degrees to attract retail workers

Target said Wednesday it would offer workers new perks: a debt-free way to get a college degree and payments for graduate programs.

Beginning this fall, the big box retailer said it will cover the cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks for part-time and full-time workers pursuing a qualifying bachelor’s degree from more than 40 institutions. It will also fund advanced degrees, with up to $ 10,000 paid annually for masters programs at these schools.

The National Retailer is the newest company to offer perks to attract applicants in a competitive job market. With the move, Target joins other retailers and restaurant chains – including Chipotle and Starbucks – that offer programs that help employees pay for college. Walmart recently announced that it would cover the full cost of tuition and books for its employees after previously paying $ 1 a day.

At Target, employees in stores, distribution centers, and US headquarters qualify on their first day. Target pays the full cost of 250 business-focused programs such as computer science, information technology, and business administration. If an employee chooses another specialization or is pursuing a college degree, Target pays up to $ 5,250 annually for non-Masters degrees and up to $ 10,000 for Masters degrees annually as direct payments to the academic institution.

Target plans to invest $ 200 million in the education program over the next four years. It developed the program with Guild Education, a company that manages business education support programs. Participating schools include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, the University of Denver, and Morehouse College.

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