Starbucks Makes College Free for Baristas

This may make dealing with a customer demanding a grande, non-fat, soy cinnamon dolce latte worth it. Starting in the fall, Starbucks is offering free tuition for baristas who work 20 hours a week and enroll in Arizona State University’s online courses in their junior and senior years. If they enroll as freshmen and sophomores, they are eligible for $6,500 on average in scholarships at a school where tuition runs between $480 to $543 per credit hour. The new, no-strings-attached program could make a massive difference in the lives of 135,000 Starbucks workers. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will announce more details of the plan along with ASU President Michael Crow and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Monday. Starbucks and ASU are framing the program as part of larger mission to save the American middle class. In a released statement, Schultz lamented the “fracturing of the American Dream” and said “There’s no doubt, the inequality within the country has created a situation where many Americans are being left behind.” Crow said “The middle class is being hollowed out in so many ways. We can all see this social train wreck ahead of us.”