7 Top Employers with College Tuition Reimbursement Plans
We know that education is a priority, and that sometimes an hourly job is an avenue towards a larger goal. According to a recent survey conducted by Snagajob, the majority of hourly workers reported that opportunities for educational advancement are at the top of their list of most-desired job benefits.
Luckily, an increasing number of employers are offering tuition reimbursement and coverage–even for part-time roles. If you’re looking to go back to school for a certificate, GED, or college degree, a job with educational assistance can be an ideal way to pursue your goal without accumulating debt or student loans. Plus, hourly jobs often offer more flexibility and variety in schedules, which makes it easier to balance work and school schedules.
Here’s a roundup of companies that offer part- or full-tuition coverage. Some also offer college prep programs, specific skill-building courses, GED programs, and more. (As with any job benefits, these are subject to change and might vary by role, region, or other factors, so we recommend checking out the employer’s website for the most up-to-date information).
Starbucks is well-known for offering one of the more robust and comprehensive tuition coverage for their partners (aka employees). With Starbucks College Achievement Plan, every eligible part-time or full-time employee receives 100% tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program. They offer more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, including educational studies, anthropology, business, engineering, health sciences, marketing, psychology, and more.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle’s generous tuition plan program is offered in partnership with Guild Education. It covers 100% of tuition for high school diplomas, college prep, and select degrees. They also offer up to $5,250/year tuition for a wider selection of programs, with flexible self-paced and online options, and 80+ Master’s degree programs. There are no out-of-pocket costs, and they’ve recently released new debt-free certificates. As a Chipotle employee, you can also receive up to 37 college credits for on-the-job training. There’s also access to 1:1 career coaching, and an online quiz that will help you decide what path is right for you. Other benefits include paid time off, opportunities for advancement, and free burritos.
Whether you’re on the “Food Champion” or “Service Champion” side of the Taco Bell team, the organization offers support for a wide range of career programs and degrees with their education initiatives. The “Start with Us, Stay with Us” program launched in 2016, and supports employees to pursue their educational goals. Taco Bell also offers a Live Más scholarship, which is awarded based on a short video submission about your passions, not on test scores or GPAs. In addition to a free online GED program, Taco Bell offers a scholarship match of 15% for ECPI University and college tuition discounts, as well as college credit for on-the-job training.
Chick-fil-A offers one of the highest hourly pay rates of employers on this list, with some full-time roles starting at $16/hour. In addition to this, they have an impressive commitment to supporting growth opportunities and educational assistance for employees. In 2021, Chick-fil-A team members were awarded a total of $19 million in scholarships through the organization’s True Inspiration Scholarship ($25,000) and Leadership Scholarship ($1,000 or $2,500). Through a partnership with Scholarship America, Chick-fil-A also offers tuition discounts and grants for select colleges and universities.
Chili’s offers tuition assistance and no-cost education through a partnership with Best You EDU™, as well as many opportunities for career growth. The Certified Shift Leader program helps hourly workers move into management positions, and the Women Taking the Lead program supports leadership development for women in the food service industry. Chilis offers a variety of part- and full-time restaurant jobs, including roles for servers, hosts, to-go specialists, and food runners.
Sheetz, a gas station and food service spot with a cult-like following, has locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina. If you live in one of these locations, check out their Sheetz Perkz, which includes a College Tuition Reimbursement program of $1,500 per year. The company also offers scholarship opportunities for employees and their children, and tuition discounts at 26 colleges and universities. They also offer free food and above-average pay; their hourly wages are in the top 90th percentile of comparable retailers.
Another East Coast cult favorite in the gas station/food service category, Wawa operates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Florida, and D.C., and is continuing to expand its locations. Through Wawa’s Education Assistance Program, eligible employees receive $5,250 per calendar year for undergraduate degrees, and $8,000 towards a graduate degree.
More employers offering tuition assistance
Tuition assistance and reimbursement are becoming more widely offered as a benefit for hourly roles, and are becoming more accessible for employers through partnerships with universities and third-party organizations. If you’re looking for a part-time or full-time role that supports your education goals, try searching for “tuition” to find jobs that may mention tuition assistance as a benefit. Happy job searching (and studying!).