• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Sweeney: Kudos to Starbucks on college plan

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

News RSS

Sweeney: Kudos to Starbucks on college plan

National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney applauded Starbucks Coffee Co. on its new program to help its employees earn their college degrees, saying it will give thousands of employees the opportunity to attend college.

“We congratulate Starbucks for its leadership in addressing one of the most challenging issues facing this generation – the access to and the affordability of higher education,” Sweeney said. “Howard Schultz’s decision to create a ‘first of its kind’ partnership with Arizona State University is visionary and is poised to make a meaningful impact in creating a new generation of leaders from the restaurant industry, which, in so many ways, trains America's workforce."

Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, announced the program June 16, calling it an important step toward the coffee beverage chain becoming a different kind of company. The initiative, he said, is going to offer its more than 100,000 employees the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate degrees through Arizona State University’s online education program.

“Attaining higher education in America has become increasingly difficult,” Schultz said. “Many students do not receive the support they need, or lack the time required to balance the demands of work and school. Starbucks has the opportunity and responsibility to change this.”

The college achievement plan, which begins this fall, offers:

Full tuition reimbursement: Juniors and seniors will be eligible for full financial coverage through graduation.

Scholarship and financial aid for freshmen and sophomores: First- and second-year students are eligible for partial tuition scholarships, and can also receive financial aid from ASU as well as federal student aid.

Full four-year bachelor’s degree: ASU’s online degrees are identical to those awarded to on-campus students. The same content is taught by the same faculty.

Access to counselors and student support: Students will have dedicated enrollment, financial aid and academic advisors to support them during the college experience. Additionally, flexible online class schedules will allow a balance of school, work and life.

No strings attached: Starbucks employees can choose from more than 40 undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs, including but not limited to majors directly relevant to a Starbucks career. There is no commitment to stay at Starbucks after graduation.

Schultz, who grew up poor in Queens, N.Y., said going to college in 1971 on an athletic scholarship shaped the direction of his life. He says he wants to provide a similar opportunity to Starbucks’ employees.

“You give us your best, and you should have what you want from life,” he said in a message to employees regarding the program. “Education is the best investment you can make in yourself, and investing in you is one of the best things we can do as we aspire to become one of the world’s most enduring and admired companies.”

Pictured top right: CEO Howard Schultz said the program is an important step toward Starbucks becoming a different kind of company. Above right: The new Starbucks college plan will help more than 100,000 of its employees earn their degrees.

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

New report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156