back to article Amazon to cover 100%* of college* tuition* for hourly employees* in the US

Amazon on Thursday said more than 750,000 of its US-based operations employees will be eligible to receive at least some funding to cover college tuition costs though only at schools that partner with the internet giant. The tuition initiative represents an expansion of the company's Career Choice program, which supports …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Plenty of future potential...

    I'm torn between suggesting that the US education system must really be in a sorry state if Amazon feel the need to step in and fix it; versus suggesting that it is a preliminary stage to soften-up the public prior to introducing Amazon High Schools where child labour can work for Amazon in return for receiving a High School education. ;-)

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: Plenty of future potential...

      Not entirely sure the Joke Alert icon is appropriate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plenty of future potential...

      I thought much the same.

      Without starting at high school. they could hire people right after it, offer them a cheap college education at first with part-time work, then mandatory 20 years at Amazon, with quitting meaning having to pay back the full tuition. Pay raises would surely not be part of the deal at this point.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Plenty of future potential...

      I must admit, I didn't think much further than "oh dear, Amazon approved education course at Amazon approved education partner schools". Your suggestion takes it to the next dystopian level!

      On the other hand, US style capitalism has inspired many SF dystopian futures where corporates take over the country/world. Luckily, at least for now, most of the rest of the world is much further from that level of dystopia.

    4. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Plenty of future potential...

      When you put it that way, it does sound like maybe they're prepping their workers for a future of indentured servitude

  2. spold Silver badge


    They are only Athletic Colleges, so the "team" can run faster with the parcels.

  3. gerryg

    What is wrong with people?

    I don't have to think Amazon is a soft and cuddly NGO to consider this is a reasonable employee benefit.

    1. shah27

      Re: What is wrong with people?

      Having worked with several large NGO I can tell you that they are significantly worse than any for profit organisation when it comes to managing money. On the flip side they did pay for me to travel all around the world for two years.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: What is wrong with people?

      It is a very nice employee benefit. Credit where's credit's due.

      However, it does make you wonder whether the fact that this is a very nice employee benefit, is an indicator of, er, let's call it "room for improvement", in how higher education is financed in the USA.

    3. Cuddles

      Re: What is wrong with people?

      Depends how you look at it. It's a reasonable employee benefit for people who couldn't otherwise afford to go to college. Would it not be better to pay a good enough wage that your employees could afford an education in the first place? A limited benefit with a bunch of caveats and T&Cs doesn't sound quite as reasonable as just paying people a better wage. Obviously Amazon have chosen to do it this way because they know it will cost them less; ie. their employees benefit significantly less from this "benefit" than they would from simply being paid more.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: What is wrong with people?

        You generally go to college before you start work, so what Amazon pays people is irrelevant. What they are doing here is an unalloyed good, regardless of what you think of them as a company.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What is wrong with people?

      "I don't have to think Amazon is a soft and cuddly NGO to consider this is a reasonable employee benefit."

      True. But looking at the big picture and Amazons past record of employee treatment, it does make one wonder what the ulterior motive might be.

  4. david 12 Silver badge

    Blue badge only

    So all the White Badge and Yellow Badge employees still miss out.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Blue badge only

      Could you translate that into English?

      1. David Neil

        Re: Blue badge only

        A yellow badge seems to indicate people with between 5-10 years service

        A white badge seems to be a temp/seasonal worker.

  5. Irony Deficient

    annual budgets will increase to $5,250 with no lifetime maximum

    “This new initiative seems to be a strategy for them to recruit and retain workers during a time when labor supply is scarce,” said Audrey Guo, assistant professor of economics at Santa Clara University, in an email to The Register. “Given how high turnover is at a company like Amazon, this type of benefit could also potentially attract more serious/better quality workers than a simple hourly wage increase would.”

    Since $5,250 per year ≈ $100 per week ≈ $2.50 per hour for a full-time worker, I’d guess that a larger simple hourly wage increase at another firm would act as a greater motivation to change jobs for more serious/better quality workers.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: annual budgets will increase to $5,250 with no lifetime maximum

      Factoring in taxes, but almost certainly. Especially if the educational opportunities available aren't comprehensive or convenient. If someone has shifts at all hours, they can't easily attend a school's schedule. If they're limited to a few courses of study, many won't be interested in that. Amazon may get a few workers with this method, and there are people who will benefit, but probably not as many as they or we would like.

  6. Chubango

    Technically true

    While I'm sure that Amazon is a great "job creator", I'm willing to bet that their net effect is actually negative. There's countless small, medium and large business that have folded and shed its workforce because of Amazon's tactics. It's not just the obvious cutthroat competitive stuff and movement towards a more digital habits vs brick and mortar; their undercutting their ostensible marketplace partners by producing their own in-house nearly-identical alternatives to popular products alone probably destroyed quite a few businesses.

    The questions raised by El Reg over this tuition scheme also make me believe that this is more of a PR stunt than anything else.

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Ahhh the missing point

    "Workers are staying on the sidelines because of too-generous government benefits (now mostly expired), fears about the virus, lack of childcare, and other factors."

    Those other factors.... Low pay perhaps?

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Ahhh the missing point

      Low pay is covered by 'too-generous government benefits'.

  8. sabroni Silver badge


    Pay them well enough they can afford college tuition?

    Of course not, it's not like Amazon are sitting on Billions of dollars like a bunch of cunts.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Or

      It's Amazon's money so they can do what they want with it.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Or


        Amazon could cure cancer and give away the cure for free to the benefit of all mankind and people will still complain. The price of success is everyone wants a piece of it. Some greedy gits for nothing.

        1. all ears

          Re: Or

          Amazon has "succeeded" by trampling everything in its path like an 800 pound gorilla. I don't want a piece of it, I want them to stop ruining the society I live in.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Or

            @all ears

            "I don't want a piece of it, I want them to stop ruining the society I live in."

            Ok. So dont use them. Its that simple. I am not sure which part of Amazon your unhappy with but if you disagree with them its that simple. If enough people feel the same way then Amazon gets less money.

            Personally I am happy for the reduced prices through their platform and in general retail. I am happy for the wide variety of products I probably wouldnt have got without them. I am happy for the service and accessibility to alternative suppliers through their platform.

      2. all ears

        Re: Or

        And I can comment on it however I please.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    of amazon bearing gifts*

  10. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge


    I can attend classes and do my course work after I put in my 12 hours x 7 days at the warehouse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great

      nonono, FIRST you attend classes, and THEN you spend 27 years in amazon warehouse, to repay this.

  11. s. pam Silver badge

    Do they have to attend “How to avoid paying taxes” class as well?

    Seems many a MBA could be gained on that topic to aid their education

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