May jobs report: Unemployment falls to 3.8%

Discover is actually offering its workers a completely new perk: A free college degree.

Employees can choose via seven business or computer science-related bachelor’s degrees selected at three universities. Discover will cover the cost of tuition, fees as well as books as well as supplies needed to complete the program for however long the item takes.

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About 99% of Discover’s 16,500 workers will qualify, including full-time employees as well as part-time workers who work at least 30 hours a week, the company said.

The motivation behind the completely new benefit is actually two-fold, said Jon Kaplan, vice president of training as well as development at Discover.

One reason is actually to help the company recruit as well as retain Great workers in a tight labor market. The different is actually to “do the right thing” by helping prepare workers for a wide range of career opportunities inside or out of the company.

“Investing in our employees as well as their futures will not only make us a stronger company, although have a lasting positive impact on those who might otherwise never get the chance to attend college,” Kaplan said.

Related: Walmart workers can go to college for $1 a day

As competition for Great employees heats up, several companies are boosting their tuition benefits. Walmart, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, as well as several hotel companies have expanded their education benefits all within the past six months.

A little more than half of companies subsidized a college degree for workers in 2017, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Many offer up to $5,250 a year because anything more is actually taxed as income.

although Discover, which is actually offering to pay the full cost of the degree, will pay the tax for the worker if their annual award exceeds that will amount, Kaplan said.

An existing tuition assistance benefit at Discover covers up to $5,250 a year for a degree via any accredited college.

Related: Hotel industry wants to pay for their workers’ college degrees

Discover has partnered with Guild Education, a benefits platform, to help administer the completely new program. Through Guild, workers will be offered a coach who can help them with the application process as well as deciding on the appropriate degree.

Guild has helped vet the degrees Discover workers can choose via, which are offered at one of three colleges with online programs tailored to working adults: Wilmington University, Brandman University, as well as the University of Florida.

completely new hires will be eligible for the tuition benefit on the first day of work. Most Discover employees who don’t already have a college degree work in customer call centers. They are eligible, along with employees who work in Discover’s headquarters — even if they already have a college degree.

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published June 12, 2018: 10:39 AM ET