Wal-Mart partnered with the online school American Public University (APU) last year, allowing employees to take APU courses at a 15 percent discount. This helped qualified employees save about $100 per undergraduate course., and $150 for every graduate course.

Unlike other corporate-sponsored tuition assistance initiatives, Amazon’s Bezos pledged to prepay school costs rather than reimburse money already spent on college classes.

Morrison that Amazon’s prepay model could strip some students of incentive to complete their coursework.

“The [reimbursement] portion can be a motivating factor for some students,” she said.

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