JetBlue has a history of philanthropic gestures to charities and communities, but this time the airline is giving back to its own employees.
The airline has reached the milestone of having paid for 250 degrees in three years via its employer-sponsored education program, JetBlue Scholars.
The program offers crew members an opportunity to earn fully accredited undergraduate college degrees, with JetBlue covering most of the cost. JetBlue Scholars now also includes a pathway for crew members to earn master’s degrees at discounted rates. The program converts aviation and military training and other professional certificates into college credit, helping reduce the time and cost to obtain degrees.
Nearly 700 JetBlue crew members are currently working toward a college degree through the program. On average, it takes participants about 13 months to complete an associate degree and 16 months to complete a bachelor’s degree through JetBlue’s model.
Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey, is the sole provider of degrees for the JetBlue Scholars Program at the undergraduate level, offering online classes. Participants can earn degrees in business, aviation, liberal studies and information technology.
JetBlue Scholars was developed based on crew member feedback, according to the airline. It has proven to be a retention and development tool, leading to increased employee engagement and loyalty.
More than 31 million Americans have some college credits but no degree, per the airline. With college tuition at an all-time high, the average student is $33,000 in debt. As JetBlue covers most of the costs for undergraduate degrees, crew members save an average of $14,000 on tuition, totaling more than $6.5 million in overall college costs savings since the program started.