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@urbanbeautyxoStarbucks is offering its employees a unique and useful opportunity. Any of the coffee chain's 135,000 employees who are willing to maintain decent grades and test scores, as well as working at least 20 hours a week, can work towards a bachelor's degree through a free college education program from Arizona State University. Other employers have strict limitations on similar programs. They may provide tuition reimbursement, but only for a portion of the debt. Sometimes the opportunity is only available for those who have been with the company for a certain amount of time, or only for college courses that relate to the job itself. Starbucks, however, is paving new ground with its program. If an employee already has at least two years of college credit, Starbucks will pay the full tuition cost. The corporation will pay a portion of the tuition if an employee has less credits, but courses will be free for a lot of people with financial aid. With no limitations, baristas can very well use this opportunity and then move on to a higher-paying job once they have their degree. Howard D. Schultz, chairman of Starbucks, is okay with this, though. According to him, the employees' success “would be accreted to our brand, our reputation and our business. I believe it will lower attrition, it’ll increase performance, it’ll attract and retain better people." He and Michael M. Crow, the Arizona State University president, first met when Schultz spoke at the school. Since then, they've discovered that they hold similar views on the inequality issue, and they come from modest means. Schultz was the first in his family to attend college, and many of Starbucks' baristas would be in a similar position if accepted into this program. According to surveys they've conducted, 70% of employees want a college degree. Of that percentage, there are some who have never attended college, some who have dropped out of college, and still others who are enrolled but find that it's a slow process. Finances and time are two major hurdles that would-be students face, and this would help in both areas. An online degree means that no matter where they are, students can take a portable device along and complete their assignments. Thanks to Starbucks, tuition wouldn't be as stressful, either. Arizona State has one of the biggest online degree education programs in the country, which includes 11,000 students and 40 undergraduate majors available for study. It is also seen as one of the best higher education institutions. Online courses cost about $500 per credit and students must earn 120 credits in order to graduate with a bachelor's degree. Crow believes that more people need to be educated, or else society faces certain disaster. “The middle class is being hollowed out in so many ways. We can all see this social train wreck ahead of us," he said. Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!