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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How does Guild work?
    Guild’s ecosystem unlocks opportunity for America’s workforce by creating a debt-free path through higher education in collaboration with the nation’s largest employers and best colleges and learning providers for working adults. We curate courses and programs from the world’s most innovative learning providers to help workers achieve their dreams and develop the most in-demand skills. At the core of Guild is a learning marketplace made-up of courses, programs and learning experiences that work best for the learners that we serve. The learning marketplace sits on top of our technology and payments platform that eliminates the key barriers that prevent so many employees from taking advantage of employer-funded programs. At every step of the journey, our team of more than 400 coaches and career advisors provide workers with the hands-on support that they need to advance their education and their career.
  • What do you mean by technology and payments platform?
    Before Guild existed, workers were asked to pay up-front for education and then sent a reimbursement from their employer. This put higher education beyond the reach of the majority of working learners who lacked the savings to front the money and pursue their educational aspirations. It also forced the working learners who did use the program into costly debt. We specifically launched our platform to address this issue and make debt-free education pathways available to frontline workers. Since 2016, we’ve expanded our platform to become the comprehensive technology and payments system to support the education and career advancement of the American workforce, with seamless data integrations between hundreds of employers & universities and millions of frontline workers to manage benefits and eligibility, tuition and invoicing, reimbursements for books, compliance, and more. Additionally, Guild’s data supports helping millions of workers to better document, validate, and share their skills and competencies—both on the job and in the classroom—in order to advance their education and career.
  • Is Guild a college or learning provider?
    No. Guild does not create or provide learning content. We connect learners to a highly curated marketplace of universities and learning providers with a proven track record of serving working adults well.
  • Is Guild an Online Program Management company?
    No. Guild is not an online program manager; we neither create nor manage online programs. In order to join our marketplace, colleges or learning providers must have existing programs available to our learner demographic, along with evidence that those programs work for the learners we serve.
  • What do Guild’s coaches do?
    Guild’s coaching, learner support, and career advising teams provide working learners with support throughout their journey. The support we provide learners spans their education and career journey and includes helping them understand their benefits, supporting them in identifying the programs aligned with their unique career aspirations, taking action to translate educational experiences and skills into new career opportunities, and even helping learners pursue a raise, a promotion, or a new career path.
  • Is Guild an Income Share Agreement (ISA) operator?
    No. Guild works with employers that pay the cost of tuition for their employees, and that payment goes to the university or learning provider upfront. Our model is designed specifically to help workers go back to school debt-free. Today 97% of Guild students graduate debt-free.
  • Does Guild recruit students to enroll in a specific institution?
    No. Guild’s learning marketplace offers a wide range of institutions with over 2200 programs that meet the needs of working adult learners. Employers choose the partners and programs to include in their catalog from Guild’s marketplace that best align with their objectives. Each employee then has the opportunity to participate in the program that’s right for them based on their academic and career aspirations.
  • Why do employers work with Guild?
    Employers partner with Guild to attract, retain, and equip workers with the skills they need to thrive in their current career path, and beyond. We are an integral component of an employer's strategic talent objectives. As a result, employers that partner with Guild see an average 2.8x return when investing in education and upskilling. This helps drive our shared success model and encourages employers to fund more education investments so that more working adult learners can go to school, debt-free.
  • Which employers work with Guild?
    We work with the nation’s largest employers, including Walmart, Disney, Chipotle, Discover Financial, Target, Macy’s, Dollywood and more.
  • What types of schools does Guild work with?
    Guild works most closely with schools that provide the best outcomes for working adults. There are 2,200 programs in our curated learning marketplace at large public universities like Oregon State University, HBCUs like Spelman College, scaled nonprofit schools like Southern New Hampshire University, and learning providers that offer a wide variety of certificates and credentials in workforce topics ranging from software engineering and product management to English-as-a-second language, college prep, and high school completion. Guild is also able to manage payments with all 7,500+ institutions of higher education in the U.S., in addition to hundreds of nontraditional and corporate partners
  • How does Guild select which schools to work with?
    Guild curates and maintains our learning marketplace using a series of externally-validated frameworks for assessing and maintaining quality within the marketplace, including the Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance standards. In addition to retention and completion, we consider wage increases, career advancement, demonstrated learning of skills and competencies, learner satisfaction, and more. We pay close attention to equity in outcomes, particularly looking at how all of the above outcomes break down based on student subgroups such as family income, race/ethnicity, and gender. We regularly measure the outcomes of each partner, and we have a process for recommending the suspension or elimination of specific programs and schools that do not continue to meet the Quality Assurance (QA) standards. Employers play a second curation role, as they use the same QA analysis to adjust programs and schools in their catalog based on the outcomes they’re seeing for their specific employee populations.
  • Does Guild create content for any schools in its learning marketplace?
    No. Guild does not run any of the programs, and we do not create any content for any of the schools in our learning marketplace.
  • Does Guild sit on the admissions committee or governance committees of any schools in its learning marketplace?
  • Who are the learners that utilize Guild's platform and their employer's education benefits program?
    Guild serves a diverse population of learners: • 88% are first generation college learners, meaning that they are the first in their family to go to college. • 57% identify as female • 52% identify as a non-white ethnicity vs. 40% in the US civilian labor force. • 50% have one or more children, and 8% have other (non children) caretaker responsibilities. Prior education: • 16% of Guild learners have previously attained a Bachelor degree vs. 35% in the US civilian labor force. • 74% of Guild learners do not have a degree beyond high school. Of the 74% without a credential beyond high school, 45% only have a high school diploma or less, and 29% have some college, but no degree.
  • Impact on learners:
    Economic mobility • 2.4X higher wage increase for 1st year Guild learners compared to peers not in learning programs • 2X higher likelihood of role change for Guild learners compared to peers not in learning programs • 9 out of 10 surveyed Guild grads agree that graduating from their academic program is improving their future opportunities Academic success 75% of students have completed or are actively progressing in their program. • 53% higher projected graduation rate for Guild’s Bachelor’s Degree learners relative to the national average for part-time students. Access • 4.4M+ employees have access to Guild, along with funded education and skilling from their employer in 2021. • 97% of learners using tuition assistance through Guild graduate with no debt from tuition, textbooks or fees
  • Does Guild provide financing for learners to go to school?
    No. Our payments technology simplifies direct payments between the employer and learning providers so that employees don’t need to front the money and wait to be reimbursed by their employer. Through our payments technology, we’ve pioneered a new model of tuition assistance, where employers pay learning providers directly so employees don’t incur any short- or long-term debt. We are proud that we have helped learners avoid over $500 million in student loan debt to date and the overwhelming majority of learners — 97% — have no debt.
  • Does Guild provide or facilitate access to Income Share Agreements (ISAs) or other alternative finance instruments?

We’re on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling. Ready to learn more?

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