Work and Career

Starbucks Gives Its Employees a Better Shot at their Future

Not many people know that the CEO of coffee giant Starbucks, Howard Schultz, was raised by a blue-collar worker and experienced many struggles before reaching the success he has now. And since he is in the position to do so, he’s giving all Starbucks employees the opportunity to reach their own goals and succeed, via the gift of education, specifically, college education.

According to a research by the US Department of Education, about half of all college students in the country are unsuccessful in completing their college degree. This is due to the rising costs of education and of rising interest rates for student loans, leading more and more students to be in debt. Howard Schultz believes in the importance of tertiary education to one’s future, which is why he thinks that giving Starbucks employees access to full coverage of the whole four years of college will help them in finding greater opportunities in life.

Starbucks is known for offering more than the usual benefits to its employees. In fact, Starbucks’ pay package is called “Your Special Blend” because it is tailor-fit to the needs of its workers. This includes possible performance appraisal bonuses, 401(k) matching, and even options for stock purchase. Starbucks even provides assistance for adoption and coverage of health benefits for employees and their dependents, with domestic partners included. Now, “Your Special Blend” is even boosted with the inclusion of the College Achievement Plan.

What is the Starbucks College Achievement Plan?

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is open to all employees, part-time or full-time, who clock in at least 20 hours of work a week at all company-owned US stores. Eligible partners now have the chance to finish a college degree with full reimbursement of tuition via Arizona State University’s online program, with 49 various top-ranked degrees to choose from. Freshmen and sophomores may also avail themselves of partial tuition scholarships and financial aids on a per-need basis.

ASU Online can be found at:

Aside from this, Starbucks will even provide resources to aid in the school-work-life balance of its partners by giving them enrolment coaches, financial aid counselors, and dedicated academic advisors who will be with them until they graduate.

While most companies only offer assistance for graduate programs and with corresponding bonds and attached loyalty to the company, Starbucks does not require such. Around 2,000 Starbucks employees already took advantage of the two-year reimbursement of tuition program, and it is estimated that by the year 2025, this would have risen to 25,000.

This College Achievement Plan would supposedly cost Starbucks around more than $250 million for the course of the next ten years, but why are they willing to shell out such a big investment?

Fast food giant McDonald’s has actually done a similar campaign, covering up to $1,050 of its employees’ tuition, but only for those who have been with the company for at least a year and have logged in at least 20 hours weekly. Starbucks is hoping its tuition financial aid program would separate itself from the other usual financial aids and would lead to an increase in profits as it did during the end of 2014, with an 82% increase to more than $900 million.

In the end, it would also help improve Starbucks’ image as an employer and, as a company, be seen as an ardent supporter of the fulfillment of the youth’s dreams of education.

Maria Dublin

Contributor at Kami
Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.
Maria Dublin

Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.