Starbucks offers workers 2 years of free college

NEW YORK (CNN) – Coffee-shop giant Starbucks is known for its bold moves and its plan to educate its baristas is no different.

We all know how expensive college can be. Now Starbucks baristas working their way through school are about to get some help. The company is offering two years of college education for free. The coffee giant announced it will offer tuition reimbursement.

It’s a partnership with Arizona State University’s online studies program. Most of Starbuck’s 135,000 employees are eligible, as long as they work at least 20 hours a week. Also, workers aren’t required to stay with the company after earning their degree.

It’s unclear how much this initiative will cost Starbucks, although it’s worth about $30,000 dollars per employee.

“It gonna cost millions of dollars, but I don’t view it as a cost, it’s an investment, and i am so confident that this investment is going to drive performance and enhance value for our shareholders,” said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.

Schultz says he believes the plan will help attract and retain great people at Starbucks. About 70% of its current workforce doesn’t have undergraduate degrees.

Here’s how it works:

  • Employees admitted as juniors or seniors will get free tuition towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • Freshmen and sophomores will receive a partial scholarship and need-based financial aid.
  • Employees currently studying at another college can apply to transfer their credits to Arizona State University.
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