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How to Get Starbucks Tuition Reimbursement

Looking for a way to earn a college degree for free? You can do so by getting a job at Starbucks! Starbucks tuition reimbursement is available to Starbucks employees attending online college at Arizona State University. The tuition reimbursement program is known as the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP). Here’s everything you need to know about it. 

Related: Tuition reimbursement: What it is and who offers it

What is the Starbucks College Achievement Plan? 

SCAP pays 100% of tuition costs for Starbucks employees who want to earn a four-year, online bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. The coffee chain created the program in 2014 to help its workers overcome the cost of attending college. Starbucks has committed to helping 25,000 of its employees graduate by 2025. 

Arizona State is currently the sole partnering college, and students can only participate in SCAP through the university’s online program. However, ASU is consistently ranks as one of the best online bachelor’s degree programs in the U.S. Through ASU Online, students can choose from more than 100 degree programs in areas such as information technology, engineering, computer science, business, law, and more. Learn more about what it’s like to take an ASU online course on their website.

Along with providing 100% tuition coverage, SCAP offers several other perks as well. Every student in the program has full access to ASU career advisors and can take advantage of free 24/7 tutoring. Additionally, SCAP assigns participants a success coach to help them manage work/school/life balance. 

Related: 5 ways to go to college for free

Will the Starbucks Tuition Reimbursement Program cover all my college expenses?

You should know that non-tuition school-related expenses (including textbooks, laptops, lab fees, and living expenses) are not covered by SCAP. To help cover these costs, contact ASU’s financial aid office to see if you qualify for loans or other sources of financing. However, the great thing about SCAP is that it does cover 100% of tuition and fees. ASU notifies Starbucks every time a student completes a semester. Students are then reimbursed for the full amount they paid out of pocket. SCAP expects participants  to continue working at Starbucks while pursuing their degree. If they successfully progress through the program and obtain their degree, students leave ASU with zero tuition debt.

Who’s eligible? 

To be eligible for SCAP, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be employed at a company-operated store (excludes “licensed” shops in grocery stores)
  • You’re benefits-eligible (meaning you’ve worked at least 160 hours over 2 months)
  • Work an average of 20 hours a week
  • Cannot already have a four-year degree

Starbucks employees who are serving or have served in the U.S. military can designate an additional family member to receive the benefits of SCAP. 

How do I get started?

Get a job at Starbucks

Interested in earning your college degree through SCAP? The first step is to get a job at a company-operated Starbucks store. Note that stores located in grocery stores are not eligible. If you’re already a Starbucks employee, then you’re on the right track!

Apply to Arizona State University 

The next step is to apply to ASU using the SCAP application. If you’re accepted to the university, congratulations! If you’re not accepted because you’re academically ineligible, you still have a shot at admission through the Pathway to Admission program. Through this program, Starbucks employees take up to 10 college-level courses to earn admission to ASU. Starbucks covers the cost of these courses, but employees have to pay a one-time fee of $49. If you’ve already started your degree at another institution, you can still take advantage of SCAP and transfer to ASU if you meet the university’s transfer requirements

Become benefits-eligible 

Employees can apply to ASU upon hire, but they need to become benefits-eligible before starting classes. To become eligible for benefits at Starbucks (including SCAP), you’re required to work at least 160 hours over the course of 2 consecutive months. 

Earn your degree while working at Starbucks

After you’ve been accepted to ASU and you become benefits-eligible, it’s time to start learning! While you pursue your online degree at ASU, you’re required to remain employed at Starbucks and work an average of 20 hours a week. If you leave the company or drop out of school, you’ll be responsible for paying your remaining tuition costs. 

Choose your path after graduation 

After obtaining your degree from ASU, you have no obligation to remain employed at Starbucks. You’re free to pursue another path, or you can remain at the company and continue to develop your career. 

Also see: Google Certification Program: Everything you need to know

Is SCAP worth it?

It’s rare that you find a clear-cut path to obtaining a free college education. That alone makes the Starbucks tuition reimbursement program worth considering. Additionally, Arizona State is a reputable university with a prestigious online school. ASU offers a variety of online degrees that can help you further your career. 

However, SCAP offers a very limited set of options. ASU is the only participating school, meaning that all other colleges and universities are out of the question. You’ll also be earning your degree online and won’t get the chance to experience life on campus. Not to mention, some students may find it tough to balance their job at Starbucks with their course load. But if these downsides don’t bother you, then SCAP is definitely worth considering. 

Also see: How to get tuition reimbursement by working at Chipotle