Starbucks to open college program for baristas

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NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is announcing a new program to help its baristas earn an online degree.

The company is partnering with Arizona State University to make the program available to 135,000 U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week. They will be able to choose from a number of educational programs.

During the first two years, students would pay reduced tuition rates after factoring in a scholarship from Starbucks, ASU and other financial aid. For the second two years, the Seattle company will reimburse any money that workers pay out of pocket. That means workers who already have two years of college would be able to finish school at no cost.

CEO Howard Schultz will make the announcement Monday in New York with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in attendance.

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