Starbucks announces plan to pay for employees to go to college

The company is offering full tuition coverage to more than 140,000 full-time and part-time employees, but only through Arizona State University’s online degree program.

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Starbucks announced Monday that it will be putting up as much as $250 million to pay for its employees to get college educations.

In a huge expansion of its Starbucks College Achievement plan, the company is offering to pay the full tuition of 140,000-plus full- and part-time employees. Any employee who works 20 hours per week or more will be eligible.

Starbucks is ponying up for college exclusively through one school, Arizona State University’s online degree program.

The new plan is a major expansion of a previous plan, which was open only to juniors and seniors. About 2,000 Starbucks employees are enrolled in that program.

In the company’s press release, CEO Howard Schultz is quoted as saying:

The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our [employees] access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.

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