The Walmart Foundation provides grants and scholarships to support education opportunities for communities in which they are located, including individuals who work for Sam's Club and Walmart. In 2009, Walmart donated more than $53 million to support education programs across America, as well as $9 million in academic scholarships. The foundation focuses on assistance for teachers, first-generation college students, minority-serving institutions, adolescent literacy, dropout re-engagement and veterans' education.
Lifelong Learning Program
The Lifelong Learning Program offers tuition assistance for Walmart and Sam's Club associates who enroll in an asociate's or bachelor's degree program while working for the company. Every enrolled associate receives funding for at least 15 percent of the cost of tuition, up to 45 percent. As of December 2010, the Walmart Foundation has committed to investing $50 million over three years into the Lifelong Learning Program.
First-Generation Student Grants
The Walmart Foundation awarded a $4.2 million grant to the Institute for Higher Education Policy for programs at minority-focused institutions that support first-generation students. That grant was divided up among 30 colleges, each of which received $100,000. The Foundation also awarded grants to Exelencia, Council of Independent Colleges, Scholarship America, The Foundation for Independent Higher Education, the American Council on Education and the American Association of Community Colleges.
Walmart Foundation Scholarships
The Walmart Foundation awarded $9 million in scholarships for the 2010-2011 school year. The foundation offers three types of scholarships and administers the Walton Family Scholarship for the Walton Family Foundation. The Walmart Associate Scholarships are for associates participating in the Lifelong Learning Program and come in various financial designations. The Sam Walton Community Scholarship is a $3,000 grant for graduating seniors with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and have financial need. The Walmart Dependent Scholarship is for dependents of people who work at Sam's Club or Walmart, are graduating seniors with a 2.5 GPA and have financial need. The Walton Family Scholarship is a scholarship of $13,000 distributed over four years to a student who is a dependent of a Sam's Club or Walmart employee. To receive the Walton Family Scholarship, the student must have scored a 22 on the ACT or a 1030 on the SAT.
Independent Colleges Grant
Walmart awarded $2.266 million in grant funding to the Council of Independent Colleges in 2010, which was distributed in $100 million increments to 20 schools with proven success in supporting first-generation college students.
Joy Uyeno has been writing about travel, food, fashion, culture and finance since 2005. For three years she wrote a column for the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" aimed at young and first-time travelers. Her writing has appeared in several local and national publications, including the 2008 anthology "Honolulu Stories." She holds a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Emerson College.