Latest employee incentive: Free college degrees

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Employee training and education is a top priority for many organizations, but would you send your employees to university for free?
That’s the latest employee perk from Starbucks, which will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company.
The company has partnered with Arizona State University, and the new program is open to any of the U.S. employees that work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. There is no obligation to stay with the company or to take courses relevant to their jobs.
Even employees that left after graduating would have an experience “accreted to our brand, our reputation and our business,” Howard D. Schultz, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said. “I believe it will lower attrition, it’ll increase performance, it’ll attract and retain better people.”
Workers will be able to choose from 40 educational programs and for any employees with two years of college credits the program will be completely free. Freshman and sophomore students would pay a greatly reduced tuition and could still be eligible for other kinds of aid and grants.
There were no plans to extend the program to Canada at this time, but a spokesperson said the company already offered a tuition reimbursement of up to $1000 a year depending on years of service.
What tuition support does your organization offer and how does it benefit the company?

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