Target has stepped up to the plate and is now offering tuition assistance for its employees.
The retail giant announced Wednesday that it would pay for the full cost of college for its U.S.-based part-time and full-time employees. Target plans to invest $200 million over the next four years in the program, which will offer debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees, certificates, certifications, and free textbooks.
More than 340,000 Target employees will now be able to choose from 250 programs at over 40 schools, including the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, Oregon State University, and HBCUs like Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College.
The company said it would provide direct payments to their academic institution of up to $5,250 for non-masters degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year.
“A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities,” Melissa Kremer, chief human resources officer at Target, said in a statement. “We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone.”
The news arrives just a week after Walmart announced that it would cover the full cost of tuition and books for its 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club workers in the U.S. through its Live Better U program. The nation’s largest retailer and private employer previously charged employees $1 a day to participate. It said it would invest nearly $1 billion in career-driven training and development over the next five years.