Home Markets Citi is the latest employer to offer free college to its employees

Citi is the latest employer to offer free college to its employees

by SuperiorInvest

In today’s labor marketTuition assistance has become one of the most popular incentives companies use to attract and retain workers.

Now, some employers are going one step further, with free college programs that provide even more financial support.

last time Citi announced that it offers fully funded degrees from partner schools, including the University of Maryland Global Campus, Walden University and Western Governors University, as well as teaching assistance for undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs at other schools.

According to the company, which is partnering with EdAssist by Bright Horizons, Citi’s roughly 38,000 front-line consumer banking employees will now be eligible for an expanded educational benefits program, including free college.

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The goal “is to lower the economic barrier for our colleagues to obtain a formal certification or degree, while strengthening Citi’s competitive advantage,” said Cameron Hedrick, Citi’s director of learning — “that helps us do both.”

Among its clients, EdAssist saw a 33% jump in the number of companies offering free degree programs in 2022 alone, including employers such as McDonald’s, Synchros, Raytheon Technologies and T-Mobile.

Other big names, incl Amazon, Home Depot, target, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Chipotle and starbucks, they also have programs to help cover the cost of going back to school. Waste management will not only pay for college education and professional certification for employees, but also offer the same benefit to their spouses and children.

Post-pandemic, these types of benefits are playing a big role in the competition for talent, and as a result, more companies are offering opportunities to develop new skills, according to a recent employee benefits report by the Society for Human Resource Management. survey.

Now, nearly half, or 48%, of employers say they offer undergraduate or graduate teaching assistance as a benefit.

Of course, Employers paying their employees to earn a degree is nothing new. Businesses have favored white-collar graduate degrees and MBAs for decades.

But many companies are now extending the benefit to front-line workers — such as drivers, cashiers and hourly workers — while promoting the offer significantly more than before.

According to Jill Buban, workplace education expert and general manager of EdAssist, employer benefit education is a cost-effective addition to core offerings.

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Despite the benefits and what research shows is a strong desire among respondents to return to school, less than half of employees said they were able to achieve educational goals in the past few years, mostly due to time commitments and financial barriers. examine by Clear horizons.

The struggle is even greater among minority groups, Bright Horizons found.

By then, 44% of black employees said they had trouble securing an education, compared to 29% of white employees. A similar discrepancy exists between men and women. Some 36% of working women report financial barriers to education compared to 22% of men.

“There are still limitations that all working adults have: time, financial commitment and confidence to return to the classroom,” Buban said.

“These benefits can provide an extra boost – it can be a real game changer.”

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Western Governors University.

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