WalMart Rolls Out Associates College Program

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WalMart Associates will get some help pursuing their college education

Retailer offers price rollback of another kind

Spiraling college costs are affecting everyone, but are having a profoundly negative impact on retail workers who want to better themselves. The world’s largest retailer, WalMart Corporation, has announced a new plan to help their own associates obtain a college education and do so without setting foot on campus.

APU Program

As part of the retail giant’s Lifelong Learning Program, Walmart has announced a partnership with American Public University to educate associates who want to further their education. And, for some associates, time spent at Walmart may also be credited toward a degree, eliminating as much as 45 percent of the credit hours needed to complete their studies.

In a statement published to their website and confirmed by The New York Times, WalMart states that every Sam’s Club and WalMart associate who enrolls in the APU program will receive a 15 percent tuition discount. SayCampusLife has confirmed that APU charges $250 per credit hour for undergraduate classes and $300 per credit hour for graduate classes.

Discounted Price

This means that the typical three-credit undergraduate class costing $750 will be discounted to $637.50 while graduate students can expect to $765 per class. The cost of books may be included if eligible students seek out the school’s book grant program.

To support its initiative, WalMart plans to invest $50 million over the next three years in the form of tuition assistance and other tools to help students complete their studies. Should an associate leave WalMart, their credits and degrees will be portable, and will stay with them for life.

Employees Surveyed

According to the Times article, WalMart surveyed its employees to craft an educational plan suitable to their associates. Most associates interested in pursuing a college degree said that the flexibility of online learning was of interest to them.

APU, a for profit school based in Charles Town, West Virginia is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association. This point is important because some online institutions lack full accreditation.

Photo Credit: WalMart

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Categories: Campus News