Starbucks Launching A Program That Will Pay To Send Its Employees To College
Starbucks is launching a program today that will pay for its employees to attend online classes at Arizona State University. The company thinks that offering the courses will help them to attract and keep better talent at the barista bar and elsewhere in the business. The company will pay tuition for those who reach at least two years worth of college credits. Students with less than that will only get partial tuition payment. Students will also get help with paperwork and other logistics for enrollment. Credits cost about $500 each, so students stand to receive a $30,000 education at Starbucks’ expense.
“For many Starbucks employees, an online university education is the only reasonable way that they’re going to get a bachelor’s degree,” Jamie P. Meristosis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, an education organization, told The New York Times.
To be eligible, workers have to put in at least 20 hours per week and be one of the 135,000 employees in the US. Students will not be required to stay on at Starbucks after their tuition is paid for. Meaning many employees will likely opt to move on to something better once they’ve gotten their degree. The ease with which employees can take advantage of this program makes it slightly different from the tuition reimbursement programs you see at many companies.
Nevertheless, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sees the benefits to the Starbucks brand by offering the program. Not to mention the fact that Schultz himself comes from humble beginnings, having gone to college on a scholarship. He says the stories of employees who struggle to pay for college while working in the company’s cafes touches him.
The company has also provided many of its workers with health insurance over the years, even part-time workers who wouldn’t have been eligible at other companies. Starbucks is highly profitable, showing that you can offer valuable perks to your workers and still make money.