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Starbucks expands college tuition benefit to cover full degree


Seattle -- Starbucks Corp. is extending its college tuition assistance plan for workers to cover the entire cost of getting an online bachelor's degree. The coffee giant launched the program with Arizona State University in June 2014. At the time, it was limited to juniors and seniors looking to complete their degrees. But in a major expansion of the benefit, Starbucks said it will now cover the full cost of the four-year online degree.

"Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream," said Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks. "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."

Nearly 2,000 Starbucks employees have already enrolled in the program. Starbucks said it will invest up to $250 million or more to help at least 25,000 workers graduate by 2025.

The tuition benefit is offered to Starbucks employees working 20 or more hours a week, which makes about 80% of the company’s U.S. workforce is eligible for the program, according to Reuters. The students are not obligated to complete their degree program or stay with the company after earning their diploma.

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