Five Years, Nearly Half a Billion Dollars Saved by Associates: Walmart Celebrates Milestones in Associate Education

Walmart’s Education Program in the U.S., Live Better U, Adds University of Arkansas as Education Partner and Expands to Canada

LBU Participation to Date (Photo: Business Wire)

BENTONVILLE, Ark--()--By Lorraine Stomski, Senior Vice President, Associate Learning & Leadership

It’s hard to believe it has already been five years since Walmart launched its education program, Live Better U (LBU). The years have flown by, and the results are clear: LBU changes lives.

Two numbers stand out:

First, over the past five years, the company has saved associates nearly half a billion dollars in tuition costs, reflecting our commitment to create a path for every associate to learn and grow. We never want cost to stand in the way of an associate’s desire to excel in their career – that's why we’re proud to cover 100% of the cost of tuition and books for part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, starting on their first day with us.

Second: We’re excited to share that since LBU launched in 2018 in partnership with Guild, more than 104,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates have participated in LBU in the United States.

And the best part is, we’re not done. This year, Walmart will add the University of Arkansas to the LBU academic partner list and expand LBU to associates in Canada.

Like all areas of our business, we’re always listening to feedback and finding ways to improve. We’ve evolved Live Better U over the last five years based on important lessons learned and by listening to our associates, expanding our LBU offerings to include more than 70 programs today. For instance, we removed the initial $1 a day fee for associates in 2021 and saw a 66% increase in enrollment year over year. We’ve also added more programs to support growth in high-demand areas, such as supply chain. At the end of the day, it’s about giving our associates the skills to succeed both today and in the future.

The LBU program is designed to meet associates wherever they are on their education journey. From foundational offerings like high school completion to short-form programs, including Business Analytics and Project Management, to college degrees, associates can access academic programs from 25 of the nation’s leading academic partners (soon to be 26 with the addition of the University of Arkansas) with proven track records of serving working adults.

We’re looking forward to deepening our relationship with partners in Arkansas, where Walmart was founded and is headquartered, by welcoming the state’s flagship university, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville into our family of partners. Offerings will include three bachelor’s degrees in supply chain management, marketing, and general business, and short-form programs in areas such as data science and purchasing fundamentals. Registration opens on June 20, 2023, for these classes.

"The University of Arkansas is thrilled to partner with Walmart and Guild to provide associates in our home state and across the country access to transformational learning programs to help advance their careers," said Charles Robinson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

LBU is just one ingredient in the culture of learning and opportunity at Walmart. Whether it’s a part-time associate who wants to earn a degree, a supply chain associate looking to become a Walmart driver, or a store manager who wants to take their leadership skills to the next level, Walmart is creating a path of opportunity for every associate.

“Walmart has been a trailblazer for creating career opportunity, helping to set the bar for employers across the country,” said Rachel Romer, CEO and Co-Founder of Guild. “Over the past five years, our partnership has provided associates with life-changing access to education, skilling, and career mobility, helping to propel their personal and professional growth at Walmart. We’re inspired by the impact we’ve made together through Live Better U and all the potential the future holds.”

For more information on Live Better U, visit