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Friday, October 24, 2014 | Last updated: 4:55pm

Starbucks brews up tuition to ASU



Many of us grow up being told the value and importance of a college education. We are told that going to college will open doors to our dreams and that not going will take away our ability to fulfill those dreams.

Though the true cost of not attending college is much more real — it’s $457 per week. That is how much more a person will make if they have a bachelor’s degree instead of a GED. It is a harsh reminder of the necessity of a degree to work in anything above an entry level position.

However, as the old saying goes, one needs to spend money to make money and the only way to pay off the crippling debt from the money you threw at your college is from your degree.

For many, the cost is too high to cover alone. They require help from relatives, scholarships, selling bodily fluids or working to make up the cost of tuition, and even after all of that it may not be enough.

Starbucks seems to have recognized the importance of college, the problem of its high cost and will offer a solution to its employees.

Starbucks employees are entitled to covered tuition at Arizona State University’s online school if they enroll as juniors or seniors through a combination of an upfront grant of $2,420 and money from Starbucks covering the difference each semester. Freshman and sophomores will be given a grant covering $1,267 of the school’s tuition.

Starbucks deserves recognition for this move that helps employees gain a better, and hopefully debt-free life. However, it has received criticism for not offering total coverage to all employees. It isn’t the first program with these benefits but it is a step in the right direction. However, it makes one ask why other companies don’t offer similar benefits to employees?

To many, the mark of a good company is one that promotes from within. While this is great practice, for many there is a glass ceiling preventing upward movement when employees don’t have the educational requirements for a position.

For many companies, there are college assistance programs, which offer discounted prices and scholarships, but rarely are they to schools as prominent as ASU’s online college, and rarely do they give you as much incentive.

Though the program does not totally cover college for all employees, it is still a huge move benefiting workers wanting to achieve more in life. The program will greatly reduce or even completely great rid of the $5,000-6,000 tuition cost per semester for a full courseload, creating a great opportunity for employees making on average $8.80 per hour or just around $3,000 per semester.

Hopefully, Starbucks’ plan will be the forerunner to other plans that help cover the high cost of college, allowing students to work through school, and hopefully make college more attainable as tuition increases year over year and wages appear stagnant.

— Eric is a senior studying journalism. Follow him @ericklump


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