A New Lyft Perk Is Helping Drivers Get Cheaper College Courses

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In today’s gig economy, a whole bunch of companies want to pay you to drive your own vehicle around.

Competition for drivers is getting fierce. Companies like LyftUberEats, GrubHub, Amazon Flex and DoorDash all want you — and your car keys.

In a new bid to attract and keep more drivers, Lyft is rolling out a new perk: an education program. It’s offering discounted tuition for online classes from more than 80 universities.

Here’s why: Internal surveys by Lyft found some eye-opening facts about its drivers.

  • Nearly 50% of drivers don’t have a college degree.
  • Most drivers without degrees want to earn one.
  • The vast majority of Lyft drivers drive as a way to earn money while pursuing other interests. More than 93% of them drive for Lyft less than 20 hours a week, Business Insider reports. Most have other jobs, are looking for work, or are full-time students or retirees.

Education is the Newest of the Lyft Perks

This is a way for Lyft to set itself apart from competitors.

It’s launching this new benefit in partnership with Guild Education, a startup that connects working people with online courses so they can earn degrees or at least develop new skills. Guild also partners with companies like Chipotle and Taco Bell.

Lyft drivers will get access to classes from dozens of not-for-profit colleges, including the University of Denver and the online learning site edX, which was created by Harvard University and MIT.

Discounts on courses range from 5% to 20%.

Drivers will also have access to a free education mentor, which Lyft will pay for. This personal adviser will help them get started and coach them to complete their studies.

A wide variety of online courses are available. Drivers can take classes in HTML, nursing, vocational courses or English-as-a-second-language classes. They can pursue anything from a master’s degree to a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

“We know that many Lyft drivers are working to achieve personal or professional goals, which often include continued education and learning,” Lyft President John Zimmer said. “We’re happy to offer this resource to help drivers succeed both on and off the platform.”

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He could use some new skills.