Yesterday, Walmart Inc said it will pay the full cost of college tuition and books for its 1.5 million full and part-time employees as of August 16th.
Now, we know that retailers are always boasting about their "family-like environment", but Walmart has really stepped their standards up and it's going to be seriously hard for other retailers to follow.
Employers have been adding many benefits and boosting wages as they struggle to find and keep their workers, especially across retail stores and restaurants.
Even though Walmart has really stepped up, they weren't always the Daddy Warbucks America, being criticized for years for turning a blind eye to the fact their workers were below the poverty line.
But in February, Walmart announced it will be raising its hourly rate to at least $15.25 an hour.
The company has said that nearly 28,000 employees have been active in its educational programs this summer and 8,000 have graduated since it began to offer college degrees, skills training, and other certificate programs in 2018.
The company has also announced it will add programs in business administration, supply chain, and cybersecurity, all of which are tied to its growth areas.
This is definitely a step forward for Walmart as they provide college students with the opportunity to have paid tuition and no educational debt.
Educational debt has been increasing rapidly in the U.S, even with the pandemic. According to The Guardian, in the first quarter of 2021, student loan balances in the U.S have increased from $29 billion to $1.73 trillion with around 43.2 million Americans owing an average of $39,351 each in student loan debt. A pretty steep debt for a student!
It's safe to say that the U.S is currently facing a steep crisis when it comes to student loans, and Walmart is definitely trying to lighten the load...
In the U.K, students go through a similar process of debt, with more than £17 billion ($23 billion) being loaned to roughly 1.3 million students in the country every year. At the end of March 2021, the U.K reached £141 billion in outstanding loans, with the average debt for a U.K student being roughly £45,000 ($62,453).
The average U.K student will take twenty-nine years to pay off their student loan in comparison to a U.S citizen who will roughly pay their loan off in twenty-one years.
But if you work for Walmart, it will be paid in no time at all...
So, start handing in your applications here.