Starbucks Isn’t Really Paying For Anyone’s Scholarship

Image via Flickr/ Elliott Brown

You may have heard the big news: Starbucks’s generous new scholarship program is going to pay for its “partners” to attend online classes at Arizona State University. Well, as it turns out, that’s not really true.

Don’t worry, the deal still exists, and all those Starbucks employees are still eligible for the so-called “scholarship” — Starbucks just isn’t the generous benefactor.

In an interview with Higher Chronicle Education, Arizona State University president Michael M. Crow essentially called out Starbucks on its crap, saying that the popular coffee chain was paying for “none” of the funds. Instead, ASU is offering Starbucks employees a reduced fare on tuition for their online classes. Although, don’t say it that way to him.

“We have not agreed to a price reduction,” he said in the interview.

We’ve agreed to a financial-aid package.”

Crow explained that the CAP scholarships offered to Starbucks employees would cover about 40 percent of the cost of several of ASU’s lower-priced online programs, which would be funded solely by university sources like revenue the school makes from other programs. After that, students might still be eligible for other grants and aid depending on their financial needs.

So, where did the misinformation come from? Last week a Starbucks spokeswoman cited the company’s involvement in the new “scholarship” program was partially thanks to an “investment” from Starbucks and ASU. The specific details of the deal were not available, however, with Harper saying she was “not able to disclose the specifics of the financial arrangement” on that big, so-called “investment.”

Well, maybe the investment is in the form of free, unlimited coffee to help Starbucks team members stay up and study.