40 Crewmembers Earn College Degrees with JetBlue Scholars

Jul 5, 2017 9:15 AM ET

“JetBlue Scholars is proof that unbundling the higher education process works… Many started college years ago but couldn’t afford to finish. There are pilots, reservation agents, flight attendants, mechanics, and administrative staff participating in the program. The average Scholar is 42 and has been out of the classroom for over 20 years. They have tremendous work experience, but no degree.”

—Bonny Simi, Founder of JetBlue Scholars

“I started college right after high school, but once my son came along, I put college on hold. This sets a good example for my son. If he sees me going through college, it’s a big motivator for him. It shows him how important it is to have a degree.”

—Yeniett Elswood, Talent Management Analyst, JetBlue (received her Associate of Arts degree)

In 2016, JetBlue turned employer-sponsored education on its head. The JetBlue Scholars program demystifies higher education pathways and offers those with previous credit a way to earn a college degree at their own pace. Better still, JetBlue covers most of the cost – crewmembers are only responsible for a maximum of $3,500.

Alternative college credits, like converted aviation and military training certificates, help speed up completion. Crewmembers who long ago gave up on their degree, due to financial hardship or starting a family, take self-directed courses through the e-learning platforms Sophia.org, StraighterLine.com, and Study.com. While they learn, a Success Coach keeps them on track.

The program works for everybody – crewmembers gain a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State University, and JetBlue develops in-house talent. In September 2016, we were proud to hold a graduation ceremony for 40 crewmembers.

To learn more about JetBlue’s long-term responsibility platform and to view the full report, visit responsibilityreport.jetblue.com/2016