Tackling the High Cost of College: Starbucks Offers Discounted Tuition to Its Workers - The Minute
The media has been filled for months with alarming articles about the high cost of college tuition and the consequent high amount of student debt, now estimated to be around $3 trillion dollars in the U.S. These articles are usually paired with warnings about the downward drag on our future economy, as millennials with large student loans are unable to buy houses or cars, or to participate fully in our consumption-dependent economy due to long term, high loan payments.
Now, one major corporation is taking action to make positive change. Starbucks will offer its 135,000 employees a chance to earn an online college degree from Arizona State University at a discounted tuition rate. Those who sign up will get a break on the University’s usual tab of $10,000 dollars a year, and can choose from among the school’s many programs—the field of study does not have to relate to their Starbucks work. Participants are also not required to continue to work at Starbucks after earning degrees.
This program supercedes the company’s previous tuition reimbursement initiative, which gave workers up to $1,000 dollars a year for courses at local schools City University of Seattle or Strayer University. This more ambitious program will offer what is in effect low-entry scholarships to thousands who may not otherwise be able to afford to attend college, and will help those who graduate to do so without crippling levels of long-term debt.
I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.