Walmart has committed to investing nearly $1 billion in education for its employees over the next five years through its Live Better U (LBU) education program.

The announcement came via press release on Tuesday. Walmart says it will pay 100% tuition and book fees for their employees attending classes at a select group of colleges and universities.

Walmart, combined with Sam's Club, is the largest private employer in the U.S., and this gives its 1.5 million employees, both part-time and full-time, an opportunity to get an education without going into major debt to do so.

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Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart, says,  “We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families. This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees.”

The LBU program was launched in 2018. For $1 a day, associates could take advantage of education programs. Fast forward to 2021, and now Walmart says it will cover the costs for employees for free.

Tuition and book costs will be covered for employees taking certain classes at Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University, and Voxy EnGen.

Walmart also announced the addition of four more academic partners to the program including Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream.

Those "institutions were chosen for their history of success with adult and working learner programs as well as their focus on degree completion", according to the press release.

This is great news for anyone willing to work their way to a better education. Good job, Walmart!

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