Starbucks gives employees a chance


Alexa Mapes

Starbucks will soon begin offering a free college education through Arizona State University’s online campus.

For customers, Starbucks may just mean a daily cup of coffee, but for employees, being a barista can mean a chance at a better life. Under the new College Achievement Plan, many employees of a Starbucks owned company will be able to receive a free, online college education.

The College Achievement Plan was developed in collaboration with Arizona State University’s online campus. This program is designed to give all partners (employees) an opportunity to finish a bachelors degree and pursue their dreams, whether that be a career in Starbucks or beyond.

“Starbucks is one of the companies that believes in investing in their employees” Starbucks employee Megan Foster said. “They’ve always treated us really well. We have medical benefits at 20 hours a week. They grant stock to us every year. I think it’s just one more thing where the company is now in a really good place and they want to help us out. That’s just how they see it. If they take care of us, we take care of them because we take care of the customers. It gives us incentive.”

In order to be eligible for the program, the student must work a minimum of 20 hours per week at any Starbucks operated store (including Teavana, La Boulange, Evolution Fresh and Seattle’s Best Coffee stores), meet ASU acceptance criteria, and not yet have a bachelor’s degree.

If accepted into the program as a freshman or sophomore, students will receive a partial scholarship as well as need-based financial aid. When entering the program as a junior or senior, students will be granted full tuition reimbursement for each year of coursework they complete towards the completion of a bachelors degree.

“Starbucks has offered to pay for all of the employees bachelor’s degree programs through Arizona State University’s online campus,” Foster said. “So that covers like 40 different degree programs and it’s basically a full ride for us.”

The program is one almost unheard of in American society and has drawn quite a bit of attention by those seeking both a job and education, especially students who will soon be attending college.

“I feel like it will attract students because of the cost of college and because they can make money while getting an education,” sophomore Morgan Riddle said. “More people will be able to get educated without breaking the bank.”

Because the benefits can be very inviting, Starbucks employees believe that the amount of young people applying for a job will greatly increase.

“It will really improve Starbucks reputation,” Foster said. “Especially as a place to work. I think most people think well of Starbucks anyways because a lot of people know all the things the company does. It’s a pretty ethical company. I think it will encourage people to work at Starbucks and encourage partners to be a part of it. I think it will increase the amount of people who want to work here because its such a great company.”