Recently, Starbucks has been in the news for "giving its baristas a shot at an online college degree." Starbucks has reportedly team upped Arizona State University to offer certain of its employees access to an online undergraduate degree available at a steep discount (the "Starbucks College Achievement Plan"). Starbucks and ASU News reported that "Through this innovative collaboration, partners based in the United States working an average of 20 hours per week at any company-operated store (including Teavana®, La Boulange®, Evolution Fresh™ and Seattle's Best Coffee® stores) may choose from more than 40 undergraduate degree programs taught by ASU's award-winning faculty, such as electrical engineering, education, business and retail management."

Starbucks and ASU News also confirmed that the Starbucks College Achievement Plan contemplates that "Partners admitted as a junior or senior, according to ASU's admission requirements, will earn full tuition reimbursement for each year of coursework they complete toward a bachelor's degree. Freshmen and sophomores will receive a partial scholarship and need-based financial aid toward the foundational work of completing their degree. Partners will have no commitment to remain at Starbucks past graduation." According to Starbucks and ASU News, "Partners will have no commitment to remain at the company past graduation." In addition to its financial support, Starbucks and ASU reported "Partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and academic adviser to support them through graduation," and the program "will also include adaptive learning services to help students progress at the right pace for them; networking and community-building opportunities; and additional resources to help students plan their educations."

Additional Sources: Starbucks, Starbucks College Achievement Plan; ASU News,Starbucks, ASU team up for employee education program; ABC News, Starbucks Clears College Degree Path for Workers; USA Today, Starbucks offers workers free college tuition; Wall Street Journal, Starbucks to Subsidize Workers' College Degrees