By Laura Cohen published
Starbucks employees nationwide will soon be eligible for a free college education through Arizona State University's online program. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan, set to launch this fall, will allow many of Starbucks' 135,000 workers to graduate debt free from ASU with no requirement to repay or stay on with the company.
About 70 percent of Starbucks workers — including those at Teavana, La Boulange, Evolution Fresh and Seattle's Best Coffee — are students or aspiring students, according to Starbucks spokeswoman Laurel Harper.
Under the new program, Starbucks employees who work at least 20 hours a week will receive full tuition reimbursement if they enroll in ASU's online program as juniors or seniors. Other employees can apply for scholarships worth $6,500, on average, if they enroll as freshmen or sophomores, and then ASU advisers will help them apply for additional need-based financial aid.
In a news release, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, "There's no doubt, the inequality within the country has created a situation where many Americans are being left behind. The question for all of us is, should we accept that, or should we try and do something about it."
With student debt weighing down our generation and many college students already working as baristas to pay off their loans, this partnership makes perfect sense.
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