The partnership is an expansion of Starbucks College Achievement Plan, first introduced last June. At the time, full tuition coverage was only available to college juniors and seniors, but the expanded program makes all company employees, part- and full-time, eligible to complete a bachelor’s degree through ASU’s online program, which has 49 undergraduate degree programs.
Moreover, Starbucks will begin offering faster tuition reimbursement, available at the end of each semester.
Thus far, some 2,000 employees have enrolled in the program, and Starbucks has pledged to invest up to $250 million or more to help at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025. The expansion also includes a new investment in “Opportunity Youth,” a program that will help at least at least 10,000 youths between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working or in school to gain access to employment opportunities and higher education.
“Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. “The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We're stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.”