There will soon be even more Starbucks lovers, as Starbucks announced last week that it is now paying all four years of college tuition for full-time and part-time employees.
Starbucks is partnering with Arizona State University to provide four-year bachelor’s degrees through ASU’s online degree program.
“We know more than 70 percent of our U.S. partners (employees) are students or aspiring students,” the Starbucks website reads. “We want to help. Supporting our partners’ ambitions is the very best investment Starbucks can make.”
Starbucks is investing $250 million to help 25,000 employees graduate by 2025, according to USA Today, as the average cost of tuition for four years at ASU is $60,000.
“Starbucks believes in the promise and pursuit of the American Dream,” reads the website. “The disparity between what U.S. college and high school graduates earn has more than doubled in the last 30 years, and a typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn 66 percent more than a high school graduate over a 40-year career.”
Starbucks chose to partner with ASU because US News & World Report ranked the school the second most innovative school in the country, and it is ranked fifth in producing qualified graduates.
“Starbucks is proud to join with an academic institution that recognizes the need for innovation to offer more people a shot at a quality higher education, and the freedom to pursue their passions in any field,” said the Starbucks website.
After graduation, employees are not required to work for Starbucks, as they are free to pursue a career of their choice.
“By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we provide them with a critical tool for a lifelong opportunity,” Howard Shultz, Starbucks CEO, said in a statement. “We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.”
There are 50 undergraduate degrees from which Starbucks employees can choose, and nearly 2,000 employees are already enrolled in the program.