Starbucks offers online college program to workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is rolling out a program that would allow its workers to earn an online college degree at Arizona State University at a steeply discounted rate.

The coffee chain is partnering with the school to offer the option to 135,000 U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week. The Seattle-based company says it will phase out its existing tuition reimbursement program, which gave workers up to $1,000 a year for education at certain schools.

The company says the program doesn’t require workers to stay at Starbucks after they earn their degrees. They can also pick from a wide range of educational programs that aren’t related to their Starbucks work.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is scheduled to announce the program Monday in New York City, with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and about 340 workers and their family members in attendance.

It’s not clear how

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