QUARTZ: Starbucks pledges to pay for employees’ college tuition…

Career College Central Summary:

  • Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop chain, is offering to fund four years of college tuition for employees in the United States working at least 20 hours a week—but only if they enroll in the online program of Arizona State University (ASU).
  • The initiative is an expansion on a previous program that offered Starbucks staff two years of tuition at ASU Online. The company says the update not only offers more money—the school costs about $15,000 per year—but reimburses students after every semester, instead of every year as was the case in the previous scheme. CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters that the company is also open to expanding the scheme to fund master’s degrees.
  • It’s not all that revolutionary for a company to offer tuition reimbursement as a recruitment tool or perk. What is unique, according to Starbucks’ critics, is that the company is restricting its employees to one online university program. Education experts say online universities are often the least suited for low-income students—the exact group that Starbucks says it wants to help.

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