You no longer have to be a star athlete or brilliant student to get a full ride to college.
Amazon is now offering to pay the entire four-year college tuition for almost all of the 750,000 hourly employees that work for them in the United States.
The new program will get started in January. Amazon is picking up the tab for everything, including tuition, fees and books, and even transportation fees. The online retail behemoth will also start covering employees costs for high school diploma programs GED’s and English as a Second Language certifications.
There are a couple stipulations. The employee has to have been with the company for a minimum of 90 days, and they have to continue as a full or part-time employee while pursing that degree.
Paying college expenses for employees is a new trend with big retailers. Walmart dropped a $1 per day tuition fee they charged workers who were working on a degree at one of the company’s academic partners, and they also started to cover book costs.
Target is paying for tuition and books for employees who want to attend one of their 40 partner schools, and they will kick in up to $10K annually for employees seeking master’s degrees according to a CNN report.
If you’re wondering why the big retailers are stepping up the perks with their employees, one big reason why is because they are having a hard time hiring enough people to work the hourly jobs. There were 879,000 unfilled jobs in retail according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in July.