Posted: 8:42 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014

Starbucks offers to pay workers’ tuitions: What are the best places for teens to work? 

By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

Starbucks has announced that it will help pay for college for students who work at least 20 hours a week in one of their company-owned stores.

From The Associated Press:

“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.

“Think of the example you can set for the rest of the nation,” Duncan said. “If you guys can do this well … you’re going to change the trajectory of the entire country.”

Here’s how it would work:

“…As with most matters involving financial aid, the terms of the Starbucks program are complicated and would vary depending on the worker’s situation. For the freshman and sophomore years, students would pay a greatly reduced tuition after factoring in a scholarship from Starbucks and ASU and financial aid, such as Pell grants.

It would work in much the same way for the junior and senior years, except that Starbucks would reimburse any money that workers pay out of pocket.

That means employees who already have two years of college under their belts would be able to finish school at no cost.

Online tuition at ASU can vary but is about $10,000 a year. Most Starbucks workers would likely qualify for a Pell grant, which can be as high as $5,730 a year. Starbucks did not say how much money it is contributing to the scholarship it’s providing with ASU.

Arizona State University’s online program, which already has an enrollment of more than 10,000, stands to benefit from the students Starbucks will send its way.”

I think this is an amazing opportunity, and I would definitely encourage my kids to work for a company that is committed to helping them get through school. (Good think I have been training Walsh to grind my coffee.) So I am wondering what are other good companies for teens to work for that encourage them to stick to their studying and help them get through school?

When I was growing up Chick-Fil-A was always considered a great place to work because it offered scholarships for college. I don’t know if Publix offers scholarship but it seems like a company that is respectful of it’s young workers.

What companies encourage young people to continue their studies, help them set up their schedule at work to facilitate studying and/or offer scholarships or other financial support to pay for school?

15 comments
KittyGirl1119
KittyGirl1119

(Former BlondeHoney) MJG, am so very sorry for your loss and I echo those who say you have been missed...welcome home

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

Trying to post as I have been unable to do so in the past few weeks. Not sure if it was my computer or me.  The number of posts is certainly down, per topic.  So, we will see if this is working out for me.


I was out of town and then my Dad passed away, so things have been quite busy.  

TWG, I was in PHX last week.  


I encouraged my two to work somewhere that could turn into a career for them, if they wanted it.  My son now has almost 11 years with his company.  My daughter is also with a national chain now and they mentioned that they would be interested in her when she finishes upher degree  in December.  


I was at Wal Mart and they wanted me to go into management but I chose teaching instead.  


Anytime a company offers and educational enhancement, that is a bonus to me and I would be more likely to frequent the business.

April-01
April-01

I think it is a wonderful idea. People have to remember that Starbuck's is not required to do this. It is something that could be wonderful advantage for some people, but might not work out so well for others.


I have a high school relative who works at Publix, and it has been a good experience. Chic-fil-a is also a good one.


On the subject of online classes, it is possible to take many classes online and get the same or better benefit as a brick and mortar classroom. It takes a little adjustment as a student, but it soon becomes a very comfortable way to work. Some classes are probably jokes, but I have taken some online college classes and felt that the requirements were as rigorous and the benefits as great as a "regular" class. Online discussions can be just as effective as a face to face discussion. There were just as many opportunities to ask questions, and assessments were just as challenging. I put in just as many hours of study and preparation as I would have for a traditional class. These classes also had the advantage of allowing me to work at the same time.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

In high school, anything offering higher than minimum wage and/or 401k benefits should be sought after.  It's been a while since I was that age, but I hear Costco is a good employer.


By the way, when I was 17 I worked a summer at Regal Cinemas which had the bonus of free movie tickets.  Today, that's a $50 benefit if you bring the family.

TechMom1
TechMom1

Good for Starbucks... leading the way to affordable education is great. I tried to encourage my son to work at Chick-Fil-A but the kids at our local one rarely get more than 8-10 hours a week. 


By the way, assuming people who work at Starbucks will get Pell Grant is a big assumption. They would only qualify for Pell if Starbucks is their only source of income AND they are not a dependent. Most middle class "kids" under 22 must use their parents' income for purposes of financial aid which means they wouldn't qualify unless they are considered independent (married or have their own dependents). 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I think the "company" called "family" is the best one to encourage students to continue their studies.  It is the responsibility of the family.  We have far too many PINOs--parents in name only.


That said, there are families that do not encourage their kids.  And from somewhere, those kids have to develop the aspirations and gumption to continue their education, or not.


I might also note my bias: On-line "education" cannot equal "bricks" education. It simply cannot.  What you get is a watered down "education."  i would never encourage a family member to do this.  I remember one time a woman I know was becoming a respiratory therapist assistant on line.  Would I want her administering my breathing treatment?

RealKat
RealKat

COFFEE has changed the trajectory of this country.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

I had an uncle who owned a sweat shop in New York. The problem is, he only hired undocumented workers so he could pay less than minimum wage, knowing they would not complain......Still, it was work.

TechMom1
TechMom1

@motherjanegoose1 Sorry to hear about your father. Posts have been WAY down since the new format was put in place. 

WasDenise
WasDenise

MJG, I am so sorry about the loss of your father.

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

Ooops...an educational enhancement.  I am THRILLED I did not stay with Wal Mart.  I most likely would not be living in Atlanta and have had the chance to do what I now do.  My two are both with reputable companies.  My daughter worked for two franchises and one private group before this job.  She seems to like it and they have sites all over the county.  

April-01
April-01

@motherjanegoose1 I, too, am sorry to hear about your father. I am glad to see you back. I have wondered where you have been or if you had been lost in the shuffle of the new format. I usually just lurk and only comment occasionally, but you have been missed.