Starbucks to Workers: We'll Pay for College
Firm says it will pay $30K per worker for online tuition
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2014 2:40 AM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2014 5:00 AM CDT
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, speaks in front of an image of the Starbucks logo.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – Starbucks workers who don't want to be baristas forever will be able to get a college education courtesy of the coffee chain. The company says it is offering all 135,000 of its US employees who work at least 20 hours a week the opportunity to be reimbursed for two full years of classes in Arizona State University's online studies program, CNN reports. Starbucks says people taking the program will be free to study whatever they want—and to leave the company whenever they want. It's not clear how much the tuition reimbursement will cost the company, but execs say the benefits will add up to around $30,000 for every worker taking part.

Even if many workers do end up leaving with their newly earned degrees, their experience "would be accreted to our brand, our reputation and our business," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz tells the New York Times. "I believe it will lower attrition, it’ll increase performance, it'll attract and retain better people." The terms of the tuition reimbursement program are complicated and will vary from worker to worker, the AP finds, but the company says it will cover full tuition for those workers who have already completed two years of higher education and will cover part of the cost for others.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
orlandojon
Jun 16, 2014 2:46 PM CDT
Guess that over priced coffee income is being used for good, glad to see that.
Gary Seven
Jun 16, 2014 11:46 AM CDT
Too bad the unions can't do this and start their own UNION OWNED COMPANY
Benjamin Ghazi
Jun 16, 2014 10:20 AM CDT
Now we sit and wait for comments from the republiscums who will take advantage of this program and then turn around and call the others, who are also in the VERY SAME program, "freeloaders and always looking for a handout"!