Starting this fall, more than 340,000 full- and part-time employees will be eligible for "debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees, certificates, certifications, free textbooks and more with no out-of-pocket costs," the Minneapolis-based retailer announced Wednesday.
Target also plans to pay up to $10,000 annually for master’s programs.
In order to do so, Target is working with 250 business-aligned programs at over 40 schools, colleges and universities, the company said.
It's part of Target's ongoing efforts to eliminate student debt for its workforce and attract new employees. It also comes as part of Target's sustainability strategy, Target Forward, which works to create an "equitable and inclusive workforce."
"A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities," Melissa Kremer, Target's chief human resources officer, said. "We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone."
The program applies to employees working in Target stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations in the U.S. and will kick off on an employee's first day of work.
Target claims it's the "most comprehensive debt-free education assistance program available in the retail industry."
However, in July, Walmart announced similar plans to cover the cost of college tuition and books for its U.S. employees with a $1 billion investment over the next five years.
Like Target, Walmart is also working to eliminate the burden of education debt, which is "a leading barrier for earning a degree," Walmart said.
Overall, Walmart's program will help 1.5 million employees earn a college degree or trade skill without facing that burden, the retailer said.