Last fall, Uber and Arizona State University announced a partnership to offer drivers and their families free tuition, allowing them to earn a bachelor’s degree through ASU’s online course offerings. Non-degree courses could also be pursued through the university’s Continuing and Professional Education Program. The program came after the university’s previous similar partnership with Starbucks.
Under the pilot project, which originally included seven major U.S. cities, Phoenix being one of them, Uber projected around 10,000 drivers would be eligible. Now, Uber and ASU are touting growth in the program.
The partnership, which aims to provide the steps needed for students to get to a fully-funded college degree, is now available throughout the entire country to all eligible drivers and their families, not just in select cities like Phoenix. Participants have access to tuition coverage for more than 80 online degrees, not to mention additional certificates in entrepreneurship and English language learning.
The program is similar to that of the partnership between Starbucks and ASU, but it differs in that it takes a broader approach to tuition reimbursement by extending tuition coverage to spouses, domestic partners, children, siblings, parents, legal guardians, and dependents.
“Many drivers and family members that we hear from are excited about this opportunity. One student told us that this opportunity has redeemed their confidence that they can finish strong, while another said this was life-changing and a chance for them to tackle their largest insecurity (not having a degree),” said Phil Regier, University Dean for Educational Initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at Arizona State University. “Since the program has been slowly expanding over the last nine months, our enrollment coaches are continuing to work with eligible drivers throughout the application process, while our success coaches are working with students who have already enrolled in the program.”
Drivers who have completed at least 3,000 rides and achieved platinum or diamond status on Uber Pro can take advantage of the program, a rewards system from the ride-sharing tech company that came out at the same time as the tuition program.
Following the August 1 announcement, the program has expanded nationwide with approximately 250,000 U.S. drivers now eligible to participate.
Now, ASU and Uber are looking ahead, hoping to keep a steady ship while new students and new families take advantage of the opportunities to invest in their education, career, and future.
“Our goal has not changed, but it has expanded as Uber moved towards a nationwide rollout,” said Regier. “While similar to ASU’s partnership with Starbucks, this expands on that successful relationship by passing tuition coverage to a family member in addition to drivers.”
This story was originally published at Chamber Business News.