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How Walmart’s Associate Education Program Has Evolved Over 5 Years

Live Better U offers perks to both full- and part-time employees
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Walmart Associate Main Image
Walmart and Sam's Clubs associates are offered a bevy of educational perks through the Live Better U program.

Walmart is giving an update on its U.S. education program, Live Better U, which is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary. More than 104,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates have participated in the program since its inception, and the company has saved employees nearly half a billion dollars in tuition costs.

The retailer covers 100% of the cost of tuition and books for part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, starting on their first day with the company. Through its partnership with education provider Guild, Walmart offers everything from high school completion to short-form programs, as well as college degrees and other academic programs from 25 of the nation’s leading academic partners.

[Read more: "Walmart’s Market Fulfillment Center Opens at Hometown Store"]

Live Better U has evolved over the last five years based on lessons learned and associate feedback, and now includes more than 70 programs. As part of that evolution, Walmart removed the initial $1 a day fee for associates in 2021 and saw a 66% increase in enrollment year over year. The company also added more programs to support growth in areas such as supply chain.

Additionally, the program is set to roll out to Walmart associates in Canada.

In June, Walmart will welcome its home state’s flagship university, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, as one of its education partners. Offerings from the university will include three bachelor’s degrees in supply chain management, marketing and general business, as well as additional short-form programs in areas such as data science and purchasing fundamentals. 

"The University of Arkansas is thrilled to partner with Walmart and Guild to provide associates in our home state and across the country access to transformational learning programs to help advance their careers," said Charles Robinson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. 

“Walmart has been a trailblazer for creating career opportunity, helping to set the bar for employers across the country,” said Rachel Romer, CEO and co-founder of Guild. “Over the past five years, our partnership has provided associates with life-changing access to education, skilling, and career mobility, helping to propel their personal and professional growth at Walmart. We’re inspired by the impact we’ve made together through Live Better U and all the potential the future holds.” 

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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