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Target to Pay for Workers' Advanced Education

Beginning this fall, Target's U.S. workers will be eligible for debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees, certificates and more.
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Retail titan Target  (TGT) - Get Free Report on Wednesday unveiled a program to subsidize education costs for its 340,000 part- and full-time workers

Beginning this fall, all these workers in the U.S. “will be eligible for debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees, certificates, certifications, free textbooks and more with no out-of-pocket costs on their first day of work at Target,” the company said.

“Target will invest $200 million over the next four years in the program.”

The Minneapolis retailer's move came eight days after Walmart  (WMT) - Get Free Report said it would pay 100% of college tuition and books for its associates through 10 academic partners, replacing the $1 daily fee that Walmart had charged.

Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Free Report is thought to have led the parade of large companies to underwrite much of their employees’ college educations, starting in 2014.

At Target, workers can use the assistance for high school completion, college prep, English-language learning and select certificates, certifications, bootcamps, and associate and undergraduate degrees.

Employees can attend classes at more than 40 schools, colleges and universities, choosing from 250 business-aligned programs from business management and operations to IT, computer science, design and more.

Academic institutions that are part of the program include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, eCornell, Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College.

“For team members pursuing educational opportunities outside of the select business-aligned programs within the Guild network of schools, including master’s degrees, Target will provide direct payments to their academic institution of up to $5,250 for non-master's degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year,” the company said.

At last check Target shares were little changed near $262.