Some employees at UPS say if it wasn't for their job shipping packages, they wouldn't be able to get a degree. Logan Newsome is one of those students.

“Debt free! Debt free!” Newsome said.

Newsome is getting his associate’s degree at JCTC while working at UPS, and he's not paying for much.

“That's what you want to do as a kid at 19 years old,” Newsome said.

Not only is he getting some help with tuition and books, but UPS is now paying for housing too.

“It's awesome because it covers $325 a month, so that's $325 a month that I'm saving,” Newsome said.

It's part of a new deal with UPS because Logan is from out of town in eastern Kentucky.

Now that UPS is paying rent, more students across the state who are from certain counties are able to take advantage of the education benefits.

“For those [from far away counties] in the state, housing was really what was missing,” said Patrick Murphy, the UPS Workforce Planning Manager.  “A person could have a job and have their tuition paid for, but if they didn't have a place to live, that's a significant barrier.”  

Logan works at night as a part-time package handler because that's what fits his school schedule.

“College students are our target. That's who we really try to recruit, because their need for a part-time job really meshes with our needs from an operational standpoint,” Murphy said.

“I don't come in until about 11:40, 11:45 at night, and I work until about 3 or 3:30,” Newsome said. “I do that, I come home, and I sleep until about 10:30 or 11, and my first class doesn't start until about 12.”

Logan says it's hard work, but it's manageable, and he still has time to focus on his studies.

Employees receive a weekly salary, tuition benefits (either paid directly to JCTC or as a reimbursement, depending on shift) and a monthly housing stipend to live at The Bellamy, a student housing complex in Louisville. When living with a roommate, the stipend will cover the full cost of housing.

UPS Kentucky LOOP benefits are available to UPS employees hired after July 1, 2016, for up to 24 months for any associate degree, technical training or certification offered by Jefferson Community and Technical College. Students must be enrolled for at least six hours per semester, including summer, and sign a housing agreement with The Bellamy. The program is available to all Kentuckians with a valid residency in a county other than Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham, Spencer, Henry, Meade, Shelby and Trimble counties. 

There is still time to register for the fall semester and take advantage of the program. Students interested in learning more about Kentucky LOOP and UPS’s other tuition assistance programs should call the UPS Jobline at (502) 359-1877.

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