Thursday, 19 June 2014

Starbucks scholarship program exaggerated

Earns Starbucks

It turns out Starbucks isn't contributing any upfront scholarship money to an online college degree program it introduced this week.

The Seattle-based company unveiled a program Monday that included a scholarship it described as "an investment" between Starbucks and Arizona State University. The program is designed to allow Starbucks workers to earn an online degree at the school at a steeply discounted rate.

Initially, Starbucks said that workers would be able to offset the costs through an upfront scholarship it was providing with Arizona State, but declined to say exactly how much of the cost it was shouldering. The chain estimated the scholarship would average about $6,500 over two years to cover tuition of about $20,000.

Following the announcement, however, Arizona State University President Michael Crow told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Starbucks is not contributing any money toward the scholarship. Instead, Arizona State will essentially charge workers less than the sticker price for online tuition. Much of the remainder would likely be covered by federal aid since most Starbucks workers don't earn a lot of money.

Workers would pay whatever costs remained out of pocket for the first two years, and Starbucks would bear no costs.

Starbucks Corp. had previously declined to say how much it was contributing to the scholarship. But in a subsequent email Wednesday evening, Starbucks said that the scholarship is being "funded by ASU."
A representative for Arizona State wasn't immediately available for comment.

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