Starbucks, the largest coffeehouse company in the world, has partnered with Arizona State University to offer its employees a free online college education.
In order to qualify, employees will need to work a minimum of 20 hours a week, and have the test scores needed for admission into Arizona State.
Starbucks will pay full tuition for employees who already have at least two years of college credit, and partial tuition for those with fewer credits.
Although many companies offer related benefits like tuition reimbursement programs, those programs often come with conditions on the length of employment and the courses that qualify for reimbursement.
Starbucks, on the other hand, will open the program to all employees across the U.S., without those conditions.
Starbucks CEO Howard D. Schultz told The New York Times that the tuition program, which would effectively give many of its employees the chance to leave for better jobs, will nonetheless establish loyalty and appreciation for the company.
“I believe it will lower attrition, it’ll increase performance, it’ll attract and retain better people,” he told The New York Times in an interview.
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