Today, Starbucks announced that it will provide a free, online college education to all of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through a partnership with Arizona State University. This offer is open to any of its 135,000 U.S. employees that work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid. Continue reading for more information.

There are many companies that offer tuition reimbursement, but they usually come with limitations like the full cost not being paid, new employees being excluded, requiring that workers stay for years afterward, or limiting reimbursement to work-related courses, etc. The Starbucks program invites its workers, from the day they join the company, to study whatever they like, and then leave whenever they like – knowing that many of them, degrees in hand, will leave for better-paying jobs.