JetBlue is helping higher education dreams take flight by offering to pay their student-employees' entire tuition bill. College tuition reimbursement is a recent trend by employer-sponsored programs, but this company is allowing their employees to soar through college by paying it all up front.
Some other employer-sponsored college degree programs - like the Starbucks College Achievement Plan - offer to reimburse students once they've earned their degree, help cover a portion of courses costs, or other discounts. The JetBlue Scholars program is offering to pay for employees' associate's degrees. Students wishing to earn a bachelor's degree and who have earned at least 15 college credits will have to pay $3,500 for capstone courses on their own or through scholarships. JetBlue is partnering with Thomas Edison State University - an online, public university in New Jersey to offer the aforementioned degrees. Since its debut in August, 400 JetBlue employees have applied for the program and each student receives in-person coaching and mentorship from one of six JetBlue’s success coaches. Roughly 1,000 of its 18,000 employees are anticipated to participate in the program annually.
Students are able to use their job skills, knowledge, and experience and apply them as learning credits. Though it may not feel like the typical college experience, it is particularly convenient for adults, employees, and nontraditional students. To help those who have been out of school for a while, the coaches "apply to Thomas Edison Sate on behalf of the students" and monitor their credit transfers, provide the different degree options, and create a course schedule for the students. The online program runs through three platforms, including StraighterLine, Sophia Learning, and Study.com.
Is it too good to be true? One professor thinks this initiative is just a way to make the headlines and isn't so much about what's in the student's best interest but rather, it "is being set up on terms favorable for the company." Nonetheless, it's likely that more companies will follow in Starbucks' and JetBlue's footsteps. Other large corporations such as Pizza Hut, Anthem Insurance, and Fiat Chrysler have also jumped on this initiative.
You can pay for any college costs with scholarships. Whether you owe $3,500 or $35,000 there are easy to large dollar scholarships to help reduce your overall cost of attending college. Take JetBlue's advice (and ours) and help foot the rest of your bill with scholarships.
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