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Those Starbucks Barista Scholarships? Not So Much

Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images

Monday, Starbucks announced a program to help Starbucks workers earn an online degree at Arizona State at a steeply discounted rate. They would provide an upfront scholarship that would average about $6,500 over two years to cover tuition of about $20,000.

Thursday, we find out Arizona State University President Michael Crow says Starbucks is not contributing any money toward the scholarship. Instead,Arizona State will essentially charge workers less than the sticker price for online tuition. Most of the rest would probably be picked up by federal aid, since most Starbucks workers don’t earn a lot of money. Workers would pay remaining costs out of pocket for the first two years, and Starbucks would bear no costs.

The program, was highly praised because education benefits are rare for low-wage workers, and it brings attention to the struggles people face in paying for college.

What a shame. It could have, and should have, inspired other corporations to help their employees.

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