Working your own hours and being your own boss are no longer the best perks of driving for Lyft. The ride-share company has just announced a partnership with Guild Education that will give drivers tuition discounts and financial aid at universities nationwide.
With nearly 93 percent of its over 700,000 drivers driving less than 20 hours a week, Lyft has recognized that most of its independent contractors are working towards longer-term professional or personal goals including the pursuit of continued education. On top of the ability to utilize tax credits to pay for tuition, drivers will be able to receive additional discounts ranging between 5 to 20 percent towards the cost of thousands of courses. Lyft estimates that the average yearly savings per driver could be over $4,000.
Guild Education, founded in 2015 and valued at over $125 million, partners with employers to offer education as a benefit by helping companies utilize the $5,250 per employee, per year, education stipend offered by the IRS. The company also provides a platform through which employees can sign up for courses at a selection of non-profit universities.
Currently, students can pursue certificate programs, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees from institutions such as The University of Denver, Bellevue University, and Wilmington University. Program offerings range from criminal justice to accounting and finance. Guild Education also offers its own courses in subjects ranging from GED preparation to management training.
Offering education as a benefit has been shown to increase employee retention rate and can result in a 208 percent ROI (return on investment) per every dollar spent. Lyft isn’t the first major company to offer the benefits, Guild Education has already partnered with Chipotle and Taco Bell, with many students reportedly completing their degrees for as little as $250 per year.