Category:  Politics

Starbucks Offers Paid Tuition to Employees

Starbucks recently announced its partnership with Arizona State University to offer a paid college education to its 135,000 United States employees.

The company is offering full reimbursement in ASU online courses for employees with two years of college credit and partial reimbursement for employees with less credit. The only thing the company requires to be eligible for the program is that the employee works at least 20 hours per week and maintains decent grades, according to the New York Times.

“I believe it will lower attrition, it’ll increase performance, it’ll attract and retain better people,” said Howard D. Schultz, Starbuck’s chairman and chief executive.

Starbucks has been known for providing health insurance and stock options to their employees – unusual benefits in a low-wage industry. While other companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees, they typically come with strings attached. Companies typically don’t offer full reimbursement for tuition, or if they do, they require that the employees stay with the company for a certain amount of time after receiving their degrees.

Starbucks, on the other hand, is offering to pay for their employees’ college education with one of the largest online degree programs in the country without requiring them to stay in the company. The idea for this atypical program was born out of employee surveys that showed employees’ desire for a higher education but inability to achieve it.

“Seventy percent of Starbucks employees do not have a degree but want to earn one; some have never gone to college, some have gone but dropped out, and others are in school, but have found it slow going,” according to the New York Times.

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