Lawyer Referral Service

LRS Blog

Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jun 18, 2014

Seattle’s famous Starbucks Coffee Co. is serving up some unprecedented employee benefits. What’s the buzz about? The coffee giants are teaming up with Arizona State University to offer employees an opportunity at higher education with generous tuition reimbursement toward online classes.

The new measure will allow Starbucks employees who register for courses online as freshmen or sophomores to receive a partial scholarship and essential financial aid. Juniors and seniors with previous credits will be able to complete their degree for free. In order to secure the benefit, Starbucks employees, referred to internally as ‘partners’, will need to work a minimum of 20-hours and enroll fulltime.

Starbucks went so far as to state employees are not contractually obligated to remain employed with the company after receiving reimbursement. It’s estimated this impressive benefit will cost the company millions of dollars within the next few years.

ASU’s  online programs are highly touted as some of the best in the nation. The university is currently preparing for a surge in enrollment. Future plans include bolstering the existing support system including adding enrollment coaches and academic advisors.

Howard Shultz, Starbucks’ CEO, released a statement regarding the move, saying, “In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American Dream. Everyone who works as hard as our partners do should have the opportunity to complete college, while balancing work, school and their personal lives.”

While Starbucks is the first major corporation to make national news, such tuition reimbursement seems to be part of an increasing trend. More universities are seeking corporate partnership. Under the gun of staggering education costs, there is a genuine need to reinvent how parts of the system work.

Other corporations that have thrown their hat in the ring include McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wal-Mart and Costco – offering discounts to employees who enroll in American Public University.