Starbucks is not actually funding an employee scholarship


However, it sounds like they used their corporate clout to negotiate big tuition discounts in exchange for promotion. I don’t really see a loser here.

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This reminds me of grocery stores ‘innocently’ asking whether one would like to keep or donate their bag credit: if one donates one’s bag credits over the course of a year, one does not get tax write off recognition. On the other hand the grocery store chain gets to aggregate a large number of such donations as theirs and claim a tax write off.

How not exactly generous of them.


I eagerly await this being used as an example of how the private sector can totally handle things on their own and federal aid should be cut.


“I don’t really see a loser here.”

… Anybody who pays any money at all for an online degree and expects it to help them much in the job market?


The loser here is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Federal aid going to one place cannot go somewhere else. If the university is offering discounts to Starbucks candidates, that money too has to come from somewhere else - such as higher fees to other students. Altogether this hands more power to corporations, which should be a dubious prospect for everyone.


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This is SO much worse than what Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast food chains do to help their employees out. Or is it? Are there competitors who do more for their employees? It’s a little easier to make a judgement with more information.

I don’t understand the hate for online degrees. I know lots of people taking programs online whose careers have benefited. My co-worker is completing her multimedia design masters through Drexel University’s online program, which is directly relevant to her career as a media manager. My brother completed his masters program at Arizona State - he started the classes online but happened to move to Arizona and took some of the final classes in person. This has qualified him to serve as principal of schools; not having the “piece of paper” was a barrier to him before, even though he had plenty of relevant experience.

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Since you asked:

Also apparently this has become part of a conservative argument in favor of, essentially, getting government out of education entirely and opening the accreditation process to, well, everyone:

Because letting every corporation and random non-profit define what is a college-level course is such a good idea.


Those are good examples. I think there’s a difference, though, between an online bachelor’s degree and an online master’s degree. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s difficult to articulate the value a “traditional” bachelor’s degree from a good institution brings over and above what an online degree even from the same institution would bring. Mostly, though, it comes down to the (admittedly anecdotal) idea that the value I got out of my college education was about 30% what I learned in class and about 70% the other experiences I had during those four years.

If you read the article carefully, they actually did swing a specify tuition discount for their employees from ASU - before any federal aid is applied. What the school cleared up is that Starbucks didn’t contribute any actual cash up front for the deal, but they did use corporate clout to guarantee low wage workers the initial discount.

“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.”

But that’s only for the first two years.

“The program would work much the same way for the junior and senior years, except that Starbucks would reimburse workers for their out of pocket costs, once they completed 21 credits.”

So, the school and federal grants are taking care of the first two years, and Starbucks is taking care of about $1000 out of pocket for the last two years (when prices do increase). An existing similar program being phased out in 2015 has already cost the company $6.5 million, and they have no guarantee that they will retain graduates as employees.

There are plenty of great degrees you can get online. It’s less about where you get your degree nowadays, and more about your marketability. For most degrees, it really IS just a piece of paper. The only time it’s not is if you go somewhere like Yale or Harvard. I’d say a Master’s degree and higher maaaybe, but even then, I know people who have completed their Master’s degree online and have gone on to have great, well-paying careers. A college degree is really a small part of the puzzle.

Also, it’s often WAY cheaper to get your Associate’s degree online. That’s what I plan to do. It just doesn’t make financial or logical sense to spend tons of money on an Associate’s degree. Or a Bachelor’s degree, for that matter, although I haven’t thought that far yet.

I just wish University of Phoenix would die a fiery death.

Did you go to college at a “traditional” age, around 18 years old? Not everyone goes to college right outside of high school. As an over-30 person, I don’t really desire those same experiences that a freshly-out-of-high school person does.


To be fair, there are jobs out there you can only get with an Ivy diploma - but they are pretty rare, and not advertised. My experience confirms the saying that your degree only matters when you interview for your first job - after that it’s all about experience.


But we all know what happens after that… :wink:


Okay, explain, I feel dumb but I’m not sure what you’re referring to! Please note that the University of Phoenix is not a Phoenix or Arizona company and, I believe, originates in Canada.

And once you’re an adult with real-world experience and an already-started career, like the would-be principal example above, it really is just about getting the piece of paper to make it “official” so that you’re eligible for a job with a higher pay grade in your chosen career.

I think he was joking. What happens after the Phoenix dies a fiery death?

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I was, in fact I thought maybe you were going for that with the “fiery death” remark.