Places that had their business restricted by the pandemic, such as event venues, fast food restaurants, and brick-and-mortar stores are looking to entice employees back to work. Target, one of the most ubiquitous stores in the country, has found a particularly exciting way to do that for their team: free college tuition.
Last week, the superstore announced that starting this fall it will cover the cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks for part and full-time employees attending undergraduate school at 40 institutions. If you’re gunning for a Master’s, they’re paying up to $10,000 per year. Target is not the first chain to offer such assistance – Chipotle and Starbucks already have similar programs, while Walmart recently altered their plan from a $1 per day deal to covering tuition and books in full.
“Target employs team members at every life stage and helps our team learn, develop and build their skills, whether they’re with us for a year or a career. A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities. We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone,” says Melissa Kremer, the company’s chief human resources officer. “Our team members are the heart of Target’s strategy and success, and we have a long history of investing in industry-leading pay, extensive benefits, and career opportunities to help our team thrive and have rewarding careers at Target.”
New employees at Target stores, distribution centers, and headquarters will qualify for this plan on their first day of employment, provided the degree is one of 250 aligned with Target’s business. Examples include computer science, information technology, and business management. If you want to pursue a different undergrad degree, the company will still pay up to $5250, or the aforementioned $10,000 for a master’s. The program is in effect for 40 schools, including the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, and historically Black colleges and universities like Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College, and more.
A college education isn’t getting any cheaper, and plans like this are a great way to help students get one. Here’s hoping more companies step up with opportunities and incentives like this.