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Starbucks- For Coffee and College

How Starbucks is enabling its employees to attain a bachelor's degree.

Photo of An Old Friend
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The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is a collaboration with Arizona State University to offer all full and part-time employees full tuition coverage for every year of college to earn a bachelor's degree. Starbucks realizes more than 70% of its employees are students or aspiring students, and see the ways they can support their employee's ambitions as investments in the future of the company. Tuition for ASU's online bachelor's program is about $15,000/year, which equates to around $60,000 for a full four years of coursework for a bachelor's degree. ASU automatically covers 42% of every credit taken, and Starbucks covers the other 58%, minus any additional scholarships or financial aid the student might qualify for. After the degree is completed, the employee can either choose to continue working for Starbucks or seek employment elsewhere. Students are reimbursed by Starbucks for the tuition costs at the end of each semester, and the funding is guaranteed as long as they don't leave the company in the middle of a semester, in which case they will be responsible for that semester's tuition.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

If we could get more employers involved in covering the cost of college for their employees, either through schooling concurrent with employment or with full tuition reimbursement after they join the company, it could dramatically lessen the cost of college for many students and make it more accessible, while allowing the company more investment in its most important resource, its people.

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Photo of Sasha Stewart

Hi Morgan, I love the contribution and the ideas. I agree, companies that offer education allowance or tuition reimbursement plans will also be more competitive in the marketplace long term, since they will, be definition , attract employees with a long term view on their career.

That said, how might we create a low cost, early prototype to create a solution in that space to encourage companies to offer the same plans, as Starbucks?

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