Starbucks is giving us all yet another reason to love them. Today they announced that their employees will be able to pursue an online degree at Arizona State University, and the company will foot the bill.
I bet you’re thinking that there’s a catch — surprisingly, there really isn’t one. In order to qualify for the program all Starbucks employees need to do is work at least 20 hours a week and have the academic qualifications to get into ASU. Starbucks will pay the full cost of attendance for employees with two or more years of college credit, and partial cost for those with less. There is also no restriction on what employees can study or how long they have to work for the Starbucks to receive these benefits, both of which are usually found with programs by other companies so that the service benefits the company more than the employee.
Starbucks’ program allows it’s employees who can’t go to or finish school because they can’t afford it or because they don’t have time between jobs to get higher education when it’s convenient for them. Chances are the barista at your local Starbucks doesn’t envision themselves becoming the next “Iron Barista”, they just want the paycheck. Having no restriction on what they can study means people can actually pursue their dream career instead working for the sake of making ends met.
If more companies, particularly minimum wage companies like Starbucks, adopted programs like this the middle class would expand and the education gap between income levels would decrease drastically.
Personally, I think this is a great initiative by Starbucks and ASU to get more people in school and closer to their goals. Kudos to them both!