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Starbucks helps its workers get a nearly free college education

With the cost of college attendance rising more and more each day, you have to be appreciative of companies seeking to do the right thing.  Starbucks is now offering deeply-discounted tuition to its workers, and it’s giving the company plenty of PR.  Since a lot of college students expect to work while in school and also accept an unmanageable amount of debt, it’s time to come up with better solutions and this might be one of them. 

Starbucks is giving its baristas a shot at an online college degree, an unusual benefit in an industry where higher education is often out of reach for workers.

The coffee chain is partnering with Arizona State University to make an online undergraduate degree available at a steep discount to any of its 135,000 U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week.

The program underscores the predicament of many workers who earn low wages, don’t have much job security and often hold down more than one job. It also highlights the stark disparities in advancement opportunities between the rich and poor, and how a traditional college education remains a near impossibility for so many.

At an event in New York City on Monday, CEO Howard Schultz told an audience of about 340 Starbucks workers and their guests that the issue was personal because he was the first in his family to attend college.

“I could care less about marketing. This is not about PR,” he said of the cynicism he’s already encountered about the program.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also appeared on stage to tell the crowd that education has become increasingly crucial to succeed, given the disappearance of blue-collar jobs that pay well. Duncan urged workers to show other companies why they should follow in Starbucks’ footsteps.

READ MORE via Starbucks Clears College Degree Path for Workers – ABC News.

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