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AZ Tech Beat | December 10, 2019

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Starbucks college education program helps students reduce need for loans

Starbucks college education program helps students reduce need for loans
Jesse A. Millard

Expanding upon last year’s Starbucks College Achievement Plan, Arizona State University and Starbucks announced this week that all U.S. Starbucks employees are now eligible for 100 percent tuition coverage through the program.

In the past, the program was only available for junior and senior employees. Now, both full-time and part-time Starbucks employees can receive a four-year bachelor degree through one of ASU’s online degree programs.

Starbucks has committed to faster tuition reimbursement of full tuition coverage, given at the end of every semester to the Starbucks employee who is now an online Sun Devil.

The program comes at a time where U.S. students owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, according to College USA Today.

“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,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO.

There are 49 online undergraduate online degree programs available for the Starbucks employees and nearly 2,000 Starbucks employees have enrolled already since June 2014.

Ryan Dick, who works full-time as a shift supervisor in Huntington Beach, California, signed up for the program as soon as it was available last year, he said in an email.

Dick went to college for a while, but lost focus due to rising rent and he was never a fan of taking on student loan debt.

Today, he’s a junior at ASU and taking a full course load of 13 credits towards a journalism degree. He found the program that Starbucks and ASU created to be perfect for avoiding debt and getting an education.

“This program allows me to not worry about the financial struggles anymore,” Dick said.

According to Collegeboard.org the average national cost of tuition for an in-state undergraduate at a four-year public university is $9,139 for the 2014-2015 academic year.

ASU’s online tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students amounts to $6,336 for 13 credit hours in the 2014-2015 academic year.

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