ABC World News Tonight broke the news that the company would now cover a 4-year online program through the University of Arizona.
The coffee giant Starbucks announced moments ago that they will now cover 4-years of education for all of their employees who work over 20 hours in a week, according to ABC News. Previously the company covered two years, but felt the need to up that to four. It also will offer employees faster tuition reimbursement — after every semester instead of after completing 21 class credits.
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The program they offer is in conjunction with Arizona State University and their online program. Starbucks says it will now invest at least $250 million to help at least 25,000 employees graduate by 2025. Currently, the average tuition cost for four years at ASU Online is $60,000.
"By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we provide them with a critical tool for a lifelong opportunity," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. "We're stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success."
This is a particularly heartwarming gesture, as college costs are soaring at more than 3% per year. If all employees that are eligible take advantage of the program, more than 144,000 employees could earn their degrees within four years.
Nearly 2,000 Starbucks employees have already enrolled in the program or the earlier version that allowed two years. ASU Online offers 49 undergraduate degree programs, and all of them are open with this program.
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Employees have no commitment to remain at the company past graduation, but have to be working to get the money.