Starbucks Offers Tuition Reimbursement

Career College Central summary:
  • Starbucks recently announced a major effort to help its employees earn bachelor's degrees. The company will pay for the junior and senior years of any employees who work at least 20 hours a week if they are admitted at junior or senior level to one of 40-plus bachelor's programs offered online by Arizona State University. There is no requirement that the degree program relate to Starbucks business.
  • The Starbucks program puts an emphasis on completion, not cash up front. Students will be reimbursed every time they complete 21 credits (with no reimbursement until the first 21 credits are completed). Participants will receive a personal enrollment counselor and will be required to participate in a one-week orientation program. Inside Track will provide the pre-enrollment and post-enrollment counseling to program participants. Pearson, which provides many services for Arizona State's online programs, has a contract with Inside Track for those services.
  • Partial scholarships will be available for freshman and sophomore years. An explanation by the company on its website explained the emphasis on junior and senior years this way: "Degrees are about careers, and we’re thinking about your future, whether you decide to stay with Starbucks or not. This program is designed to support college completion by offering full tuition reimbursement for juniors and seniors to finish their undergraduate degree, and providing an on-ramp and access to higher education for freshmen and sophomores."
  • Arizona State's online tuition rates (which are the same for in-state or out-of-state students) range from $480 to $543 per credit hour. (Bachelor's programs are 120 credits). Students are required to apply for federal aid for which they may be eligible, and then the Starbucks reimbursement kicks in after that. A spokeswoman for Starbucks said that those who receive scholarships for their first two years should end up paying about half of what they otherwise would, while those in their junior and senior years would be reimbursed for all tuition and fees.
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