Starbucks Offers Full Tuition Reimbursement for Employees to Complete a Bachelor’s Degree through Innovative, First-of-Its

  Starbucks Offers Full Tuition Reimbursement for Employees to Complete a
  Bachelor’s Degree through Innovative, First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration

   “Starbucks College Achievement Plan” empowers thousands of U.S. partners
 (employees) to complete a bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement
                       through Arizona State University

   Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz to announce plan at
first-ever Partner Family Forum in the U.S., an intimate gathering the company
 initiated in China to share its values and guiding principles directly with
                         partners and their families

 Innovative collaboration creates prototype for narrowing America’s education
   divide with nearly 50 percent of college students not finishing a degree

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- June 15, 2014

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Arizona State University (ASU) will announce
tomorrow (Monday) the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a powerful,
first-of-its-kind program designed to unleash lifetime opportunity for
thousands of eligible part-time and full-time U.S. partners (employees).

Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz will host the first
Partner Family Forum in the U.S. in New York’s Times Center and will join ASU
president Dr. Michael M. Crow and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to
officially launch the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. This significant
investment will create an opportunity for eligible partners to finish a
bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement for juniors and seniors,
through a unique collaboration with ASU’s research-driven, top-ranked degree
program, delivered online.

Through this innovative collaboration, partners based in the U.S. 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. Partners admitted to ASU as a junior or senior will earn
full tuition reimbursement for each semester of full-time coursework they
complete toward a bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible
for a partial tuition scholarship and need-based financial aid for two years
of full-time study. Partners will have no commitment to remain at the company
past graduation.

“In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American Dream.
There’s no doubt, the inequality within the country has created a situation
where many Americans are being left behind. The question for all of us is,
should we accept that, or should we try and do something about it,” said
Schultz. “Supporting our partners’ ambitions is the very best investment
Starbucks can make. Everyone who works as hard as our partners do should have
the opportunity to complete college, while balancing work, school and their
personal lives.”

Starbucks investment is designed to support the nearly 50 percent^1 of college
students in the U.S. today who fail to complete their degrees due to mounting
debt, a tenuous work-life balance and a lack of support. The Starbucks College
Achievement Plan is created specifically for the company’s partners and aims
to provide an excellent academic foundation along with the flexibility,
financing and comprehensive support that working students need to complete
their degree.

“ASU is pioneering a new university model focused on inclusivity and degree
completion, and Starbucks is establishing a new precedent for the
responsibility and role of a public company that leads through the lens of
humanity and supports its partners’ life goals with access to education,” said
ASU president Dr. Michael M. Crow. “We are very pleased to collaborate with
Starbucks, who has impressed us with its strong commitment to its employees by
providing this unique opportunity for a first-class college education. ASU has
the vision, programs and scale to deliver it to Starbucks employees in every
part of the country.”

ASU is gaining national attention for its efforts to increase access to
high-quality, rigorous education with a focus on inclusion and impact. ASU is
ranked the second most innovative school in the country by U.S. News & World
Report, and ranks fifth in the nation in producing the best-qualified
graduates, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of campus recruiters.
Additionally, ASU is among the top producers of students awarded Fulbright
scholarships to study and teach abroad, now ranking third in the nation for
research institutions, tied with Princeton and Rutgers, according to The
Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Our investment in high-quality education will attract and retain passionate
partners who will move our company and our economy forward,” Schultz said.
“ASU’s commitment to provide any talented student from any family background
and any income level with a top-notch education makes it the singular partner
for Starbucks.”

“I was put here to play music, and my goal is to change someone’s life—at
least one. I want to teach at a university, and for that, you need a college
degree. For me, the opportunity to earn my degree means I have the chance to
teach others and make a better life for myself and my mom who raised me and my
three siblings on her own,” said Abraham Cervantes, who has been a Starbucks
barista for two years.

In addition to financial support, Starbucks and ASU have developed an
innovative retention model to support the unique needs of working students.
Partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and
academic advisor to support them through graduation. The program also will
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.

“We applaud Starbucks leadership and vision in the creation of the Starbucks
College Achievement Plan,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie
Merisotis. “By so clearly investing in its talent, Starbucks is providing
employees with the opportunity to complete college—an investment that will pay
off for them as individuals, for the company and for the nation, for
generations to come.”

“Those who’ve been clamoring for bold, new initiatives to reduce the barriers
to quality higher education in America should applaud this announcement,”
added Crow. “As others follow Starbucks example, we will hear those barriers
come crashing down, to the lasting benefit of all Americans.”

The alliance between Starbucks and ASU was inspired by participation in the
Markle Economic Future Initiative, co-chaired by Howard Schultz and Markle
President Zoë Baird, with Dr. Michael Crow as one of its members. The
Initiative is committed to expanding opportunities that help Americans succeed
in the global digital economy and reignite faith that the American Dream is

“This pioneering collaboration between Starbucks and ASU is exactly the kind
of innovative action this country needs to help Americans reach their dreams,”
said Zoë Baird. “This is a break-through in using online learning backed by
the financial resources that make it possible to participate. America urgently
needs leadership to help people successfully transition to today’s economic
realities. Howard Schultz and Dr. Michael Crow understand the challenges we
are facing as a nation. Their commitment to the Markle Initiative and to
embracing a more hopeful vision of America’s economic future is a path I
encourage all leaders to follow.”

Watch Howard Schultz and Dr. Crow address hundreds of partners in New York
live at the first Partner Family Forum in the U.S. on Monday, June 16 at 10:45
a.m. ET by visiting To watch a video, download
photos and read interviews and stories with Howard Schultz, Dr. Crow and
partners, visit

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing
and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe,
the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the
world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding
principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every
customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our
stores or online at

About ASU

Arizona State University is one of the nation’s leading public research
universities and is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. Known
for innovation and entrepreneurism, ASU has pioneered the model for a New
American University with a focus on accessibility and quality education,
training students to learn for a lifetime. According to its mission, ASU “will
be measured not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they
succeed; pursuing research and discovery that benefits the public good;
assuming major responsibility for the economic, social, and cultural vitality
and health and well-being of the community.”

^1 U.S. Department of Education: The Condition of Education. Chapter 4;
Section 41: Fig. 1: Percentage of students seeking a bachelor’s degree at
4-year degree-granting institutions who completed a bachelor’s degree within 6
years.  (2013) by Susan Aud ([NCES 2013-037]). Institute of Educational
Science: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from


Starbucks Coffee Company
Media Relations, 206-318-7100
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