Starbucks Extends College Tuition Program to 4 Years
Starbucks Extends College Tuition Program to 4 Years

Along with coffee, Starbucks is now serving up a college degree.

Starbucks is going to school. The brand first announced the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which offers employees free college tuition for two years, in June 2015. However, in an announcement on April 6, Starbucks said it will extend its free college tuition plan to a full four years. In addition, it will offer employees tuition reimbursement after every semester instead of the previously reported 21 class credits completion.

Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to offer all eligible full-time and part-time employees full tuition coverage for a bachelor’s degree through the university’s online degree program, which offers 49 undergraduate majors. The brand says it plans on investing up to $250 million or more to help at least 25,000 employees graduate in the next 10 years.

"By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we provide them with a critical tool for a lifelong opportunity," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. "We're stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success."

Almost 2,000 Starbucks employees have already enrolled in the program.

“The College Achievement Plan has been a powerful demonstration of what is possible when an enlightened and innovative corporation joins forces with a forward-thinking research university,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “This program is a clear expression of Starbucks’ commitment to its partners and ASU’s continuing mission to provide access to higher education to all qualified students.”

Starbucks has also announced its commitment to hire 10,000 “Opportunity Youth” over the next three years – young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are currently not working or going to school. The brand believes this demographic represents a huge talent pool for the American economy and through a hiring and higher education system, Starbucks hopes to create a successful future for young America.