As we’ve reported here and here, the state of higher education in this country has reached a crisis. The cost of tuition has risen substantially faster than any other good or service over the past 40 years. There are many that are calling the student debt crisis the next financial bubble.
Under the Starbucks plan, employees would receive a discounted tuition rate for the first two years from Arizona State University’s online program. The discount amounts to roughly $6,500 over two years on $30,000 retail price. The remainder of their tuition is expected to be paid by the employee, through personal savings or federal Pell Grants or scholarships.
While this promotion may be somewhat helpful for struggling low-wage Starbucks employees, it does little to fix structural deficiencies in the higher education system. They are deficiencies that Starbucks directly causes and benefits from. As a key member of the Fix the Debt organization Starbucks funded groups that were lobbying for lower corporate tax rates. These tax cuts are a direct cause of the disinvestment we’ve seen over the past 40 years in higher education. Read more