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Arkansas State University gets added to Amazon program

Employee tuition support extended by Ryan Anderson | June 5, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

JONESBORO -- Amazon employees interested in furthering their education can now do so through Arkansas State University.

Starting with this summer's semester, A-State Online's 100-plus degree programs are eligible for Amazon Career Choice, according to the university. The agreement allows ASU to provide undergraduate degrees alongside myriad other universities to employees of the global corporation through its tuition assistance program.

"We are excited to be able to participate in Amazon's program for its employees," Chancellor Todd Shields said in a news release from ASU. "Studies have shown repeatedly that the completion of a degree unlocks incredible career opportunities, and for adult learners who are place bound or face time constraints of full-time work, having a respected, robust online university option is essential to their success."

ASU already has roughly 5,000 online students, and "that is the future," Shields said last fall. "No, 18-year-olds coming to campus for four years is never going away, but more people who are older will be looking to colleges" for degrees and certifications, and "these are people with families, so they're not going to live on campus for four years."

Started in 2012, Amazon's Career Choice program works with numerous education providers, which includes colleges and universities, and partners providing industry certifications, English language proficiency, and high school completion programs, according to ASU. The new alliance began at the request of a growing number of in-state Amazon employees asking to enroll in ASU's degree programs.

"It says a lot about A-State Online's reputation that the employees of Amazon were asking for local Arkansas programs when they were talking to the Amazon Career Choice advisors," Shields stated in the news release.

More than 300,000 Arkansans started college but departed without a credential, roughly 10% of the state's population.

As of 2021, 35% of Americans have at least a bachelor's degree, but that's the case for only 25% of Arkansans, which puts Arkansas ahead of only Mississippi and West Virginia, according to USA Facts, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, civic initiative that analyzes government data.

Live in 14 countries around the world, Amazon is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs in the U.S., according to the university. Amazon employees who are interested in starting or completing an online degree with Arkansas State University can learn more about A-State Online by going to to see a listing of the subjects available in 100% online programs, and Amazon eligible employees can receive more details on how to apply at

Since the program started in 2012, more than 110,000 Amazon employees around the world have participated in Career Choice, according to the company.

Full-time Amazon employees are eligible for a maximum benefit of $5,250 per calendar year with no lifetime maximum under the Career Choice program. Part-time employees are eligible for a benefit of $2,625 per calendar year with no lifetime maximum.

"We are extremely proud that we have more Arkansans and residents of the Delta enrolled in our A-State Online programs than any other public university," Chris Boothman, interim vice chancellor for enrollment management and global engagement, said in the university's news release. "And that reputation carried over with Amazon employees who wanted to enroll with a local university."

Print Headline: ASU gets added to Amazon program


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