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Walmart provides new in-demand technology degrees for associates and
gives high school students an on-ramp to the workforce and path to
college through retailer’s debt-free degree benefit

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart is committed to winning the future of retail and knows investing
in its people is essential to serving customers today and in the future.
To help prepare its workforce for tomorrow, the retailer is expanding
its Live Better U education benefit to include new technology degrees
and certificates for $1 a day and offering high school students a bridge
into the workforce, including access to all its learning programs.

These enhancements come a year after Walmart announced the education
benefit, which is designed to help remove barriers — like cost, time and
earning a relevant degree in a changing economy — that too often keep
adult learners from furthering their educations.

High school students face challenges when it comes to work and
education. The cost of college remains a significant barrier for many
high school students, which often leads to costly student loans. The
Center for Microeconomic Data recently reported that student loan debt
is now nearly $1.5
. At the same time, fewer and fewer teens are entering the
workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It estimates
that by 2024 only 26
of teens will have a job. It’s been shown that having a job
helps teens build confidence, work ethic, independence, financial
knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, creates work experience that
helps students as they transition into adulthood and a career.

“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,” said Greg Foran, president
and CEO of Walmart U.S. “Access to higher education is one way to grow
your career. 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.”

High School Expansion

Walmart’s program provides students an end-to-end workforce solution,
from access to jobs, to building foundational soft skills and more
advanced skills through work-based training, and an opportunity to earn
a debt-free college degree. Along with other eligible Walmart
associates, high school students will now have access to:

  • Jobs with scheduling options for flexibility or core hours (work the
    same days and shifts for up to 13 weeks),
  • Free ACT and SAT prep,
  • Up to seven hours of free college credit
    through Live Better U’s College Start program, and
  • A debt-free college degree through Live Better U (upon high school
    completion) in the in-demand fields of technology, business or supply
    chain management at six nonprofit universities.

Technology Degrees and Certificates

Walmart is expanding its offering of debt-free degrees that associates
can earn through Live Better U. The additional 14 technology degrees and
certificates — like cyber security, computer science, computer and
network security and computing technology — are in addition to the
business and supply chain degrees currently offered for $1 a day.

The technology additions to Live Better U highlight the importance of
Walmart’s enterprise-wide digital transformation while also providing
associates opportunities for economic mobility. Live Better U’s
technology programs — in addition to the retail management and business
management degrees — create career pathways both within the retailer and
externally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment
in computer fields grew by 21 percent
from 2009 to 2015 — more than
four times the rate of roles outside of the STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) sector.

In the coming months, the company plans to add even more degrees and
certificates in additional fields that will support both the growing
Walmart business and demand in the overall U.S. workforce.

Completion Bonus

Walmart is creating the Live Better U Scholar Awards, a graduation bonus
program for Walmart U.S. store associates who have not previously
completed college credits. The award underscores Live Better U’s focus
on completion, celebrates the associate’s achievements, and will offset
— and in many cases pay back — the associate’s $1 a day contribution to
the program. Up to 5,000 associates each year will be eligible for the
awards valued at $1,500 each.

About Live Better U

Live Better U meets associates where they are on their educational
journey by creating access, removing barriers and empowering associates
to go as far in their education — and careers — as their hard work and
talents will take them. The program includes the debt-free $1 a day
degree program, free high school completion for associates and eligible
family members, discounts on higher education programs like master’s
degrees, free foreign language learning and much more — all in
partnership with Guild Education. Additionally, associates can get
college credit for training they receive on the job through our
Academies. Hundreds of thousands of associates have already undergone
skills training equivalent to more than $300 million in college credits
toward the program.

Associates can now earn degrees and certificates at six nonprofit
universities, which were selected for their success with adult learners.
Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global and
Wilmington University are new to Live Better U and join University of
Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University.

Less than a year after launch, more than 7,500 Walmart associates from
all 50 states have been accepted into at least one of the programs —
ahead of the retailer’s projections.

“Since launching with Guild a year ago, thousands of Walmart associates
have now headed back to school debt-free, collectively saving tens of
millions of dollars in student debt,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild
Education. “As the largest employer in the nation, Walmart’s education
program is creating unparalleled access for millions of Americans to
gain a meaningful education and economic mobility.”

What Others are Saying about Live Better U

Paul LeBlanc, president and CEO of Southern New Hampshire University
is taking the lead on workforce development, connecting their employees
with the opportunity to earn a degree that will help them get ahead in
their life and career without taking on debt. SNHU’s collaboration with
Walmart will expand access to education for thousands of associates and
is a model for aligning employer demand with the kind of
workforce-applicable higher education we have pioneered at SNHU.”

Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University
Better U is more than an education assistance program; it’s a strategy
that creates opportunities to learn and apply learning at work. We’ve
had incredibly active student participation by Walmart associates in our
business cohort degree programs, and we’ve seen retention rates that are
above our university average. It’s been a remarkable first year of the
program, and we are excited to embark on year 2 as we expand our degree
offerings to Walmart associates.”

Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education
“Walmart’s expansion
of the Live Better U program — adding technology degrees and
certificates like computer science and cybersecurity — is another step
in the company’s significant commitment to train and educate workers for
jobs of the future.”

John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance
need people who have the education and skills to thrive in a
fast-changing workplace. That’s why Walmart’s investment in developing
the education and workplace skills of its employees is so significant.
Walmart is showing how employers can help young people be ready,
connected, and supported to succeed in the workplace.”

Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at
Lumina Foundation

“Lumina is proud to partner with Walmart to
measure the effects of the Live Better U program on its employees and
its bottom line. Many companies support employees with tuition benefits,
but few have built programs like Walmart’s, which is built to encourage
workers to finish their educations. The introduction of the graduation
bonus is one more way Walmart is creating pathways for its associates.”

Eric Seleznow, senior adviser for JFF
“There is real power
in work-based learning. When young people work, they gain critical
employment skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and communications.
These skills serve them well immediately and in their future. This
enhanced program is the latest example of how employers can step up to
support continued education and learning for America’s young people and
prepare them for the careers of today and tomorrow.”

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and
through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and
members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27
countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of
$514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide.
Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
Walmart can be found by visiting,
on Facebook at
and on Twitter at


Media Relations Contact:
Michelle Malashock