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Amazon Increases Tuition Reimbursement

amazon employee


In a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people, Amazon is offering to pay even more for college tuition, classes, books and fees for its front-line employees.

Amazon employees more than 1 million people in the U.S.

The e-commerce giant has been offering a $3,000 annual tuition stipend and has now raised that to $5,250. It’s a generous offer and one that might be best for employees looking to study part-time while working. It’s not enough to cover the full yearly tuition at most of the schools on the partner list.

That $5,250 amount is noteworthy because that’s the amount of tax-free tuition reimbursement that the federal government allows. Anything over that is considered income and is taxed.

What Kind of Degrees Can Be Obtained?

Amazon will fund college tuition toward bachelor’s degrees, as well as high school programs, GEDs, and English as a Second Language proficiency certifications for eligible employees, including those who joined the company as recently as three months ago.

One bonus of this offer is that Amazon will pay tuition and fees up front rather than reimburse employees later, so that personal finances do not get in the way of the educational opportunity. Often company tuition reimbursements take place after classes have been taken with proof of passing grade. In these cases, employee-students have to pay up front.

The new initiative — part of Amazon’s Career Choice program — started in January 2022.

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Here are some examples of schools that are participating in the Amazon program, with in-state tuition, out-of-state tuition, and 2021 student population. Most states requires a residence period, often two years, before a new resident qualifies for in-state tuition.

Tuition Costs at a Glance

Educational Institution In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Student Population
University of South Alabama $7,896 $15,792 14,224
Bakersfield College (California) $1,418 $9,908 26,368
University of Connecticut $17,834 $40,502 27,215
University of Delaware $14,660 $36,090 26,316
University of Central Florida $6,368 $22,000 70,406
University of Northern Iowa $8,938 $21,222 9,231
Boise State University $8,068 $24,988 24,069
Harper Community College (Illinois) $9,942 $11,754 12,199
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis $9,944 $31,626 45,328
University of Kentucky $12,484 $31,294 31,766
Towson University (Maryland) $10,198 $24,388 21,917
Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan) $7,869 $11,589 13,270
Missouri State University $7,938 $16,608 23,505
Hudson County Community College (New Jersey) $8,390 $11,798 8,408
Bronx Community College (New York) $5,206 $8,086 11,157

How Amazon Chose Schools

Amazon has partnered with 180 institutions of higher education, including community colleges and schools offering four-year degrees. Ohio and Illinois have the most partner schools with 11 each followed by Pennsylvania, California and Florida with 10 each. There are a number of national online institutions that are also on the list, including technical schools.

According to Amazon press information, the company chose the partner schools based on the school’s history of educating adult students, such as those who went straight from high school into full-time employment or those who never had a way to pay for a college education right out of high school. Qualified employees can take as long as they need to earn their degrees.

Many of the schools included among the partner institutions are those which focus on online educational opportunities, including Southern New Hampshire University and Western Governors University.

Amazon Partner Schools

Here is the initial list according to Fortune Education of 180 partner schools, with 37 U.S. states represented plus national institutions. Amazon is expected to add more schools.

Alabama

Jefferson State Community College
Lawson State Community College
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of South Alabama

Arizona

Maricopa Community Colleges
Pima Community College

California

Bakersfield College
California State University, Fresno
California State University, Stanislaus
Chaffey College
Clovis Community College
Modesto Junior College
Moreno Valley College
Riverside City College
Sacramento City College
SV Academy

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Colorado

Community College of Aurora
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Colorado State University Global

Connecticut

Capital Community College
Manchester Community College
University of Connecticut

Delaware

Delaware Technical Community College
University of Delaware
Wilmington University

Florida

Florida International University
Florida State College
Hillsborough Community College
Miami Dade College
Polk State College
University of Central Florida
University of Florida Online
Valencia College, Downtown Campus
Florida State College at Jacksonville

Georgia

Atlanta Technical College
Lanier Technical College

Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College
University of Northern Iowa

Idaho

Boise State University
College of Western Idaho

Illinois

College of Lake County – Grayslake
Columbia College
Harper College
Joliet Junior College
Lewis University
Moraine Valley Community College
Prairie State College
Rock Valley College
Triton College
College of Lake County
Governors State University

Indiana

Indiana University South Bend
Indiana University- Southeast
Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Vincennes University

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Kansas

Kansas City Kansas Community College

The University of Louisville's Cardinal Stadium is photographed in Louisville, Ky.
The University of Louisville is one of the 180 schools Amazon is partnering with. Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

Kentucky

Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Campbellsville University
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Gateway Community and Technical College
Jefferson Community and Technical College
Thomas More University
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
Gateway Community and Technical College

Louisiana

Louisiana State University Online

Massachusetts

Bristol Community College
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology

Maryland

Anne Arundel Community College
Community College of Baltimore County
Towson University
University of Maryland Global Campus
Community College of Baltimore County
University of Maryland Global Campus

Michigan

Eastern Michigan University
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Valley State University
Henry Ford College

Minnesota

Dakota County Technical College
Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Missouri

Missouri State University
Ozarks Technical Community College
St. Louis Community College
St. Charles Community College
University of Missouri – Kansas City
University of Missouri – St. Louis

New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

New Jersey

Camden County College
Hudson County Community College
Mercer County Community College
Middlesex County College
Rowan College at Burlington County
Rowan College South Jersey
Rowan University
Rutgers University – Newark
Rowan College at Burlington County

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New York

Outlier
Flatiron School
Mercy College
Bronx Community College
College of Staten Island
CUNY School of Professional Studies
Kingsborough Community College
LaGuardia Community College
Queens College

Nevada

College of Southern Nevada

North Carolina

Central Piedmont Community College
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Wake Technical Community College

Ohio

Bowling Green State University
Clark State Community College
Cleveland State University
Columbus State Community College
Cuyahoga Community College
Ohio Dominican University
Owens Community College
The University of Akron
University of Toledo
Columbus State Community College
We Can Code IT

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University
Rogers State University
Tulsa Community College
University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City

Oregon

Mt. Hood Community College
Portland Community College
Portland State University

Pennsylvania

Bucks County Community College
Community College of Allegheny County
Community College of Philadelphia
Drexel University
Harrisburg Area Community College – Gettysburg Campus
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Luzerne County Community College
Northampton Community College
Penn State Hazleton
Penn State World Campus
South Carolina
Greenville Technical College
Midlands Technical College
Spartanburg Community College

Tennessee

Chattanooga State Community College
Middle Tennessee State University
Motlow State Community College
Southwest Tennessee Community College
The University of Memphis
The University of Tennessee
Volunteer State Community College

Texas

Alamo Colleges
Austin Community College – Cypress Creek Campus
Dallas College
Houston Community College
Lone Star College
Tarrant County College
Texas State University
The University of Texas at Dallas
University of North Texas

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Utah

Western Governors University
Bottega University
Salt Lake Community College
University of Utah

Virginia

John Tyler Community College
Lord Fairfax Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Reynolds Community College
Virginia Commonwealth University

West Virginia

Mountwest Community and Technical College
Blue Ridge Technical and Community College

Washington

Bellevue College
City University of Seattle
Eastern Washington University
Green River Community College
Renton Technical College
Spokane Community College
Tacoma Community College
University of Washington- Tacoma

Wisconsin

Gateway Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
University of Wisconsin – Parkside

National

EnGen
GED Works
goFLUENT
Smart Horizons
160 Driving Academy
Ancora Corporate Training
Coding Dojo
CompTIA – Online Campus
Correlation One
C-Tech
Evolve Security Academy
Kenzie Academy
Merit America
National University
Natural Resources Training Group
StrataTech (Tulsa Welding School, The Refrigeration School)

Kent McDill is a veteran journalist who has specialized in personal finance topics since 2013. He is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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