By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is making an increased effort to recruit high school students into its workforce by offering low-cost college education.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer announced on Tuesday that its Live Better U education benefits will include new technology degrees and certificates for $1 a day and access to learning programs. The additional features comes a year after the benefit, which seeks to eliminate barriers to higher education, such as cost and time.
“Walmart values learning in all forms, and we are committed to creating a workforce of lifelong learners and instilling in them excitement for retail and a passion for serving customers. Access to higher education is one way to grow your career,” Walmart CEO Greg Foran said in a statement. “So, in addition to providing people with an entry to the workforce and access to our on-the-job training I’m proud Walmart also offers our associates programs like Live Better U to help them achieve their educational goals.”
According to the Walmart news release, high school students who work at the company will have access to:
- Jobs with scheduling options for flexibility or core hours
- Free ACT and SAT prep courses and up to seven hours of free college credit through Live Better U’s College Start program
- Debt-free college degree through Live Better U in one of 14 degrees and certificates on business and technology at six nonprofit universities
CNBC reported that the degree and certificate areas include computer science, cybersecurity, computing technology and a certificate for Java programming. Other additions include certificates in web application development and digital evidence investigation as well as degree programs in retail management, business management and supply chain management, which were previously available.
The six participating colleges are University of Florida, Brandman University, Bellevue University, Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global and Wilmington University.
The program isn’t just for high schoolers, however. The benefits will also be available other eligible Walmart associates. Employees who graduate will also be eligible for a completion bonus valued at $1,500 each.