Starbucks Workers Getting Free Tuition Expected to Double

Nearly half the employees hired last month say they will take advantage of the program

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In April, Starbucks announced it was extending its partnership with Arizona State University to offer free college tuition to employees for four years instead of the original two. Now, one month later, another 1,800 Starbucks employees have applied to ASU, adding to the already 2,200 workers enrolled in the university.

The new 1,800 employees that applied to the program will find out within the next few weeks whether they have been accepted and can start taking classes as early as this summer. More workers are expected to apply to ASU, as there is no deadline for the program and baristas can apply as early as their first day on the job. Starbucks spokeswoman Laurel Harper tells CNN that of the 7,000 people who have been hired by the Seattle-based coffee company last month, about half said their number one reason for applying to the job was to take advantage of the tuition program.

[Related: Starbucks Expands College Tuition Program for Workers]

All Starbucks workers are eligible to participate in the program as long as they work more than 20 hours a week and don’t already have a college degree. Of the estimated 141,000 Starbucks employees in the United States, 70 percent of them don’t have a bachelor’s.

Employees enrolled in the program are able to choose from 49 undergraduate degree options through ASU online, and are not obligated to stay at Starbucks after they graduate.

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