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U.S. Xpress Giving Drivers, Families ‘Full Ride’

U.S. Xpress is offering a groundbreaking premium to help attract and retain drivers.

The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based carrier, one of the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, announced today it is introducing a college scholarship program available to all of its roughly 7,000 drivers and their dependents aged 17 to 26.

Through the “Full Ride” program all professionally trained U.S. Xpress drivers or up to two of their dependents at a time can earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from among more than 60 disciplines online through Ashford University. The benefit also extends to drivers at Total Transportation of Mississippi, a U.S. Xpress subsidiary.

“We think this is a program not only unique in the industry, but we think the fact we are including the children of our employees is a program that is unique nationwide,” U.S. Xpress president and CEO Eric Fuller said.

The program pays all costs directly to the school – including tuition ($475/credit), books and course materials (avg. $115/course) – removing any financial barrier for drivers and their families. Classes start weekly so there is no need on waiting for the start of a semester and all courses are offered online, fitting nicely into a driver's mobile lifestyle.

Fuller said the driver retention the program is expected to provide will "more than pay for the program itself."

Company officials looked at "a number of different programs and talked to a number of schools" before partnering with Ashford. The announcement has generated "a lot" positive feedback with the company fielding hundreds of inquiries from drivers within the first 24 hours following it.

Drivers are eligible as soon as they begin working with U.S. Xpress and student drivers are eligible as soon as they have completed behind-the-wheel training and are promoted to “first seat.” There are no requirements to complete a degree and there is no obligation for drivers to remain with U.S. Xpress after they have earned that degree.

“I’ve seen a lot of different tuition programs, I’ve seen a lot of scholarship programs, but a program that not only allows you to have a full ride, but you can pass it on to a dependent, just for being a part of a company and doing your job … is amazing,” U.S. Xpress driver Andree Washington and father of four said in a video to promote the announcement.

“They’re giving you an opportunity – not only you, but your children, too – to go chase your dreams. Most companies don’t want that, but U.S. Xpress is saying ‘Chase your dreams,’ and I love that about it, and not only for you to chase your dreams, but tell your dependents to chase their dreams, too, and I’m not stuck with the bill. That’s amazing.”

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