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Walmart announces plan to pay 100% of college tuition and books for its associates

A worker wearing a protective mask arranges shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Duarte, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

David Swanson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In an effort to help curb soaring student loan debts, Walmart announced Tuesday it will pay 100% of college tuition and book costs for its associates, starting Aug. 16.

Walmart, the largest U.S. private employer, will drop its existing $1-per-day fee for associates who participate in its Live Better U education program.

The company said it was inspired to adjust the terms of the program by changes in the economy and job market.

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With the new plan, Walmart plans to invest almost $1 billion over the next five years in career training and development for its employees.

About 1.5 million part-time and full-time associates of Walmart and its Sam’s Club subsidiary will be eligible to learn new skills and earn college degrees, the company said.

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