Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)

  • The expanded Starbucks College Achievement Plan will be offered to more than 140,000 full-time and part-time partners (employees) and will also provide a remarkable additional benefit to the 10,000 Opportunity Youth Starbucks has committed to hire
  • Full tuition coverage is now available for all four years of college with access to 49 online degree programs, with no commitment to stay with Starbucks post-graduation
  • Nearly 2,000 partners successfully enrolled to date, Starbucks commits to at least 25,000 graduates by 2025.  Over ten years, Starbucks estimated investment could reach up to $250 million or more

SEATTLE and TEMPE, ARIZ., 2015-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Arizona State University (ASU) today announced that Starbucks College Achievement Plan, first introduced in June 2014, will now offer 100 percent tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee). As part of its commitment to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company, Starbucks developed this program in partnership with ASU to create additional pathways to opportunity for its partners. Full tuition coverage was previously available to juniors and seniors, but now all eligible part-time or full-time partners can apply for and complete all four years of a bachelor’s degree through ASU’s top-ranked online degree program. In addition to partners receiving full tuition coverage, the company is offering faster tuition reimbursement – now at the end of each semester.

“Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks. “The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.”

Nearly 2,000 Starbucks partners have already enrolled in the program, and this significant expansion will offer a top-notch education to all full-time and part-time partners, with the opportunity to choose from 49 undergraduate degree programs through ASU Online. The company will invest up to $250 million or more to help at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025.

Over the next three years, Starbucks has also committed to hiring 10,000 “Opportunity Youth,” a population of nearly six million disconnected youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working or in school. With the right skills and training, Starbucks believes Opportunity Youth represent a huge, untapped talent pool for American businesses, and through employment and access to higher education, hopes to help create a sustainable future for these young Americans.

“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.”

United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, looks to this innovative model from Starbucks and ASU as an example for other industries and businesses. “Howard Schultz and Arizona State University President Michael Crow continue to do incredible work together,” said Secretary Duncan. “Today’s announcement from Starbucks and ASU is another win for students.  Partnerships like this one show how innovative strategies can expand access to college for thousands of students.  I hope more institutions and companies will take their lead to collaborate on ways we can all do more to make higher education more attainable and affordable.”

The value of higher education

There is a clear and demonstrated value of having a college degree, both the opportunity it affords and the measureable impact on earning potential throughout a lifetime.

The disparity between what U.S. college and high school graduates earn has more than doubled in the past 30 years (1). A typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn 66 percent more (compared with a high-school graduate) over a 40-year career (2).

The benefits are not limited to wages alone. On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the percentage employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education (3).  And, people with a college degree tend to be healthier, and they exercise more (4).

Those with college educations are even shown to live longer than their peers. Between 1990 and 2008, the life expectancy gap between the most and least educated Americans grew from 13 to 14 years among males and from 8 to 10 years among females. This gap has been widening since the 1960s. At age 25, U.S. adults with a college degree can expect to live nine years longer than those with only a high school diploma (5).

A college education promotes civic and community involvement. An individual with a bachelor’s degree is twice as likely to volunteer as a high school graduate (6), and adults with a higher level of education are twice as likely to vote as those with lower education levels.

College education is crucial to getting a middle-class job – millennials with only a high school degree are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree (7).

The fastest-growing jobs in America all require a college degree. By 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school (8).

As an independent, private foundation, Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with post-secondary credentials, and applauds this innovative program from Starbucks and ASU. “The value of a college degree only continues to increase. But so do the costs of achieving that degree,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “Starbucks is not only recognizing the value of higher education, but is actively addressing the disparity in opportunity to achieve a college degree. By investing directly in their partners, they are also investing in the long-term success of their company and the nation.”

In addition to benefitting the individual, educated and employed individuals have a positive impact on the national economy. Persistent high unemployment among young people adds up to $25 billion a year in uncollected taxes. One unemployed 18-24-year-old costs federal and state governments more than $4,100 a year in forgone tax revenue and benefits received (9). Educating America’s young people and giving them the best opportunity for a sustainable future and continued employment is a benefit to our economy and society.

The benefit for Starbucks partners

Through this innovative collaboration, all benefits-eligible partners in the U.S., including Teavana®, La Boulange®, and Evolution Fresh™ partners, who do not already have a college degree, may choose from 49 undergraduate degree programs taught by ASU’s award-winning faculty such as electrical engineering, education, business and retail management. Partners will have no commitment to remain at the company past graduation. This is in addition to the full comprehensive package of benefits that Starbucks offers to its partners – including healthcare coverage, company stock for eligible partners and 401(k) matching.  Starbucks is one of the only retailers to offer a stock program that includes part-time retail hourly partners.

ASU’s online degree programs offer the highest quality and most flexibility, ensuring the best chances for success in achieving a degree. Each course is fully designed to make the most of online learning, and ASU’s highly-engaged faculty are retrained for effective online teaching. ASU is a leader in employing innovative educational technology to deliver tailored academic support. They also invest in the student support services that are critical to reducing drop-out rates, and are ranked first in student services by US News & World Report. The diplomas ASU awards to online students are identical to their on-campus degrees, and their session-to-session student retention rates and graduation rates are extremely strong.

“I know that there is an entire company standing behind me saying ‘You can do this.’ And that is an incredible feeling,” said Markelle Cullom, a three-year Starbucks partner enrolled in ASU Online through the College Achievement Plan. “For me, working at Starbucks is the opportunity for a better future.”

Additional details on this announcement, as well as downloadable photo and video assets – including stories from partners currently enrolled in the College Achievement Plan – are all available on the Starbucks Newsroom http://news.starbucks.com/collegeplan.

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 http://news.starbucks.com.

About Arizona State University
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) David H. Autor, Associate Department Head, MIT Department of Economics and author

(2) U.S. Department of Labor

(3) Pew Research Center

(4) The College Board

(5) Center on Society and Health 

(6) Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2015), Volunteering in the United States, 2014

(7) Baum, S., Jennifer, M., Payea, K., (2013); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current population, Pew Research Center

(8) Carnevale, Smith and Strohl, “Help Wanted” at 13. full article

(9) In This Together: The Hidden Cost of Young Adult Unemployment (January 2014)

For more information on this news release, contact us.

 

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Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)
Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

SEATTLE, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — A quick learner and natural leader, Lauren Esveld didn’t need a college education to get ahead.

She landed her first retail job at the age of 16 and began managing a store two years later. After a dozen years of increasing responsibility with a clothing retailer, she joined Starbucks four years ago as a district manager overseeing 13 stores in the Washington D.C. area.

Though she’s done well without a degree, Esveld is going back to school.

“You can have a good career, like I did, without going to college. But I’ve always believed a college education is extremely important,” she said. “Now I’m the mother of two boys and I want to set a good example for them.”

Esveld will soon be sitting around the family’s dining room table doing homework with her seven and nine year old sons. She’s among the 1,000 Starbucks partners (employees) who will begin classes through Arizona State University. They’re the first group of partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“Our first cohort of partners are taking advantage of nearly all the 40 undergraduate degree programs available, with business and psychology as the most pursued,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S, Americas, and Teavana. “I am looking forward to following this new and exciting journey our partners are about to embark on, and supporting and celebrating with them as they achieve their personal dreams.”

Starbucks announced a unique collaboration with ASU’s online degree program this summer. Partners based in the U.S. who work an average of at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Starbucks chose ASU as its educational partner for two primary reasons: First, the university is committed to access for all academically qualified students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. Second, ASU has one of the best online education programs in the world, taught by the same faculty who teach on its campuses, and it has the experience and scale to support students with a variety of interests through a broad selection of degree programs.

Partners admitted to ASU as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement to complete their bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship and need-based financial aid toward two years of full-time study. Nearly 70 percent of partners enrolled through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan are continuing their education at the junior or senior level. In addition to financial support, Starbucks partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and academic advisor.

“ASU is thrilled to welcome more than 1,000 Starbucks partners to the Sun Devil family. They come from nearly every state and their presence will greatly enrich our student body,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The new university model that we are pioneering at ASU is focused on inclusivity and degree completion, and we are proud that this public-private partnership will enable Starbucks partners to achieve the dream of a college degree and the lifetime of advantages that an ASU education provides.”

Starbucks partners from nearly every state will begin classes when ASU’s online Fall B session begins on October 15, 2014. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree include district managers, like Esveld, store managers and baristas.

Shawn Walker, a Starbucks barista in New York City, always intended on completing his college education in graphic information technology. He stopped one year short of the finish line. Loans added up and weighed him down.

“Not having a degree and having loan debt made me feel hopeless at times,” he said. “Now I have a different range of emotions. Now, I see that it’s possible for me to move my life forward. I am confident I will be successful doing something I love and this opportunity is a new beginning for me.”

Adding online education to work and family commitments will take careful planning, according to Mary Hamm, a 12-year Starbucks partner in Virginia who trains store managers and assistant managers.

When Hamm first heard about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan she thought it was an “exciting” benefit for other partners. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of completing a bachelor’s degree – something she wanted to do “someday” after her teenagers were finished with college.

Someday starts in a couple of weeks for Hamm. She begins her junior year through ASU while her oldest daughter is a freshman, studying biology, at a university in Virginia.

“I would never be able to do this without Starbucks. This is a blessing,” said Hamm. “With one child in college and another getting ready for college it would have been too expensive for me to take on another loan. This is absolutely huge. Starbucks and ASU are giving me so much.”

Hamm intends to give back. She’ll study project management to support her own development and the non-profit organization she started three years ago called Project Dominic. The group provides basic, daily necessities to homeless people in her local community.

“I’m finally able to do something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. Being able to finish my degree is one more reason why I love this company so much,” she said.

Partners from Starbucks and its family of companies – Teavana, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Seattle’s Best Coffee – are enrolled in nearly all of ASU’s undergraduate degree programs. The most popular fields of study for partners this semester are business, organi­­­­­­­­­­­zational leadership, psychology and education.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is one example of public-private partnerships Starbucks is fostering to create pathways to opportunity – both within the company and in communities. Other initiatives include: The Retail Excellence Training Program, launched with the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA, to provide customer service skills through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings; Solutions City, a national initiative conceived by Starbucks and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to unite local leaders, non-profit organizations and businesses in solving community challenges through a series of meetings held in Starbucks stores.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University