View Full Version : Starbucks’ Free College Tuition Program to be Funded by Taxpayers

07-12-2014, 04:04 PM
Starbucks’ Free College Tuition Program to be Funded by Taxpayers

I guess we should have known this program from Starbucks was too good to be true. Isn’t it funny how so many things that are described as ‘free’ are actually funded by taxpayers?

Andrew Desiderio of the College Fix reported.

Taxpayers To Foot Bill For Starbucks’ ‘Free’ College Tuition Program

Starbucks’ recently announced partnership with Arizona State University to help its employees pay for an online degree will be funded by the taxpayer, rather than from the global coffee chain itself.

While it was billed as “free tuition” by some when the partnership was first announced, in reality ASU is offering Starbucks employees a reduced tuition rate, while the students are expected to cover the rest of the cost with federal student aid or from their own pockets.

The “scholarship” portion in the form of a discount is essentially funded by taxpayers, as the university is funded by public coffers.

Starbucks will largely cover the costs of juniors and seniors completing their degrees if they take a full load of classes. Freshmen and sophomores, however, pay the reduced tuition themselves.

Last month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, ASU President Michael Crow, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met to launch the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Crow had told USA Today that Starbucks is “investing” in human capital, and a Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle-based company’s total investment in the program won’t be known until the company sees how many students sign up.

These statements suggest that Starbucks would end up footing the bill for the program and the resulting scholarships. Many headlines implied the coffee company was paying the full cost of tuition.

Yet those initial claims were overstated.

Following the initial announcement, Crow told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Starbucks is contributing “none” of the money toward the scholarship portion of the program. Instead, ASU will simply charge eligible workers less for tuition.

The Chronicle itself labeled the initial claims “misinformation.”

07-13-2014, 12:28 AM