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Starbucks’ latest benefit isn’t for its customers, but instead for the baristas behind the counter making your coffee. The Seattle-based company announced Monday that it is teaming with Arizona State University’s online program to offer employees free, two-year college tuition.
The Starbucks College Achievement Plan will give Starbucks’ 135,000 workers the opportunity to attend ASU classes online without any requirements to pay back Starbucks, notes the Arizona Republic. In addition, they will not have to stay with Starbucks throughout the program.
If you work at Starbucks for 20 hours a week or more, you will be eligible for the program if you enroll as a junior or senior. CNN reports that employees can choose from any of the 40 degrees available and do not have to stick with business classes.
The program will be unveiled during an event in New York with ASU President Michael Crow, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“Starbucks decided human capital is one of the most important things they can invest in,” Crow told the Republic. “Everybody is concerned about what are the ways to get through college."
Starbucks had no immediate estimate for the cost of the program available on Monday, since the company isn’t sure how many of its employees will sign up. The company estimates that 70 percent of its employees do not have undergraduate degrees. Anyone who is already studying at another institution can transfer to ASU.
The company has been working hard to get more customers in its doors, even adding wireless phone chargers. Starbucks locations already have free wi-fi.
image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFphoto.com