Target Covers the Cost of Tuition at Select Colleges — All About the Program

Target joins a growing list of corporate employers that pay for employees' college tuition. Here are some of the colleges in its program.

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Mar. 10 2023, Updated 1:58 p.m. ET

As the cost of higher education has risen, so has the average student loan debt. More employers are looking for ways to entice potential employees. Assistance with college expenses is a huge perk for plenty of workers. Does Target pay for college tuition?

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In August 2021, big-box retailer Target announced its new program that offers free college tuition to its employees. Target joins Walmart, Starbucks, and Chipotle in the list of large corporate employers that give full or partial employee tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement.

Keep reading for details on Target's employee tuition program, Dream to Be, and how you can take advantage of it.

A happy Target employee.
Source: Target Facebook

Target offers college tuition assistance to employees.

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How does Target’s employee tuition program work?

The corporate announcement that Target made on Aug. 4, 2021, discussed its new “debt-free education assistance benefit.” The program is available to all employees whether they work for Target on a part-time or full-time basis. The program provides full tuition and also covers other expenses like textbooks and fees.

The motivation behind Target’s employee tuition program includes attracting quality team members to the company and helping them build skills and prepare for long careers with Target. The company employs about 340,000 individuals at its stores, distribution centers, and headquarters.

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Target’s chief human resources officer, Melissa Kremer, stated in the company announcement, “A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities. We don’t want the cost to be a barrier to anyone.”

Target said that it would be investing a total of $200 million over the next four years to help fund the program and move towards eliminating student debt for team members.

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Which colleges and programs are included in Target’s tuition program?

Similar to Walmart and other companies that offer tuition assistance to their employees, Target’s benefit is only available for a specific set of higher education institutions and programs. Employees should be aware of which schools and degrees or certificates are covered by Target’s partnership with Guild Education.

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Target employee
Source: Target Facebook

Target will cover full tuition for certain college programs.

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Target currently offers full tuition and coverage of other mandatory fees and textbooks to over 40 higher education institutions. Both online and in-person programs are represented.

Some of the schools in Target's employee tuition program include:

  • University of Arizona

  • Oregon State University

  • University of Denver

  • Morehouse College

  • Paul Quinn College

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The tuition assistance program provides coverage for team members pursuing degrees in over 250 business-related programs of study. These programs might include business management, design, technology, operations and supply chain, data analytics, coding, web development, and computer science.

Since September 2021, Target says more than 75,000 of its team members have expressed interest in the program and/or opened accounts with Guild.

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How much is Target paying for employee education?

Target has vowed to invest $200 million over the span of four years helping employees meet their educational goals. It promises that its partnership with Guild will pay full tuition for employees, which will be payable directly to their institution of choice.

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In addition to tuition, Target will cover other necessary costs like course and enrollment fees and required textbooks. Target employees will be eligible for the college benefit starting on their first day on the job.

For employees who want to pursue a different field of study than the approved selection, Target will pay a maximum of $5,250 annually towards that undergraduate education. Target will also fund up to $10,000 annually for employees working towards a master’s degree.

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