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In Starbucks' Grand Plan for Employee Education, Who's Paying for What?


In the days since Starbucks announced a new plan to help their employees through college in a partnership with Arizona State University's online degree program, there has been some confusion  – namely in regard to who's paying for what, and when.   

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan, announced on Monday, was originally said to include a "partial tuition scholarship" that was a result of an investment between the coffee giant and the university. But ASU President Michael M. Crow later clarified, telling The Chronicle of Higher Education that ASU is funding the scholarships – not Starbucks.

Related: Starbucks Finds a Free-Market Solution to Education Costs

Employees that are admitted to the ASU Online program as freshmen or sophomores will get an upfront scholarship funded by the university, which covers 22 percent of their tuition. Juniors and seniors will also get an upfront scholarship funded by ASU, which covers 42 percent of their tuition. 

"Our goal with offering these two levels is to create a clear path to finish college with full tuition reimbursement for juniors and seniors and to increase access to higher education for freshmen and sophomores through the scholarship," said Starbucks spokesperson Laurel Hardy. 

Starbucks will reimburse the remaining tuition for juniors and seniors complete 21 credits, or about seven courses. "We designed the program to offer full tuition reimbursement after 21 credits to give students skin in the game to keep going and get all the way to graduation. " Starbucks expects those reimbursements to take place at least once a year.

Related: Starbucks Will Fund Online College Degrees for Thousands of Employees

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