Today, Starbucks announced a deal with Arizona State University that will give many of its employees free access to a college education. For a company that frequently employs young people who have, for one reason or another, put their degrees on hold, this is huge.
As long as the baristas work at least 20 hours per week and have good enough grades to gain admission to ASU, they're in. They can even continue in the school even if they leave the company.
Employees with two years of college credit under their belts won't pay for tuition. The company will partly subsidize costs for employees with fewer credits, but the New York Times notes that "even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid."
Arizona State's online program, spearheaded by university president Michael M. Crow, includes over 11,000 students and 40 undergraduate majors. It was recently ranked among the top 10 schools included in U.S. News & World Report's list of the best online bachelor's programs.