Tag Archives: tuition

starbucks

More than 1,000 enrolled for Starbucks tuition program

Starbucks says more than 1,000 of its workers have enrolled for an upcoming fall semester at Arizona State University to take advantage of a program that helps pay for their tuition.

That’s from about 4,000 workers who started the application process, 2,000 who completed it, and 1,800 who were accepted by the school, according to Starbucks. The Seattle-based company said the most popular degree programs being pursued are psychology, organizational leadership, health sciences, mass communications and media studies and English.

Starbucks said it is too early to tell how much the company will end up paying in tuition reimbursement for the first batch of students. Reimbursements to workers will vary, with many employees expected to qualify for financial aid such as federal Pell grants because of their limited incomes. Over time, however, Starbucks said it expects to spend “tens of millions of dollars” a year on the tuition reimbursement as more workers take advantage of it.

The company is partnering exclusively with Arizona State University’s online school to offer the benefit.

The program was greeted with fanfare this summer because tuition reimbursement is a rare benefit for low-wage retail and food workers. Starbucks also isn’t requiring workers to stay with the company once they finish their degrees. Some of the program’s terms also drew criticisms, however, such as its requirement that students complete 21 credits before being reimbursed.

The program’s terms also vary depending on the student’s year.

For freshmen and sophomores, Arizona State University is giving workers an upfront discount of about $6,500 to cover the estimated $30,000 in tuition for two years, according to Starbucks. To cover the remainder of the costs, workers would apply for financial aid, such as Pell grants, and pay for the rest either out of pocket or by taking out loans.

Students will not be reimbursed for those first two years, meaning Starbucks won’t incur any costs.

For the junior and senior years, ASU is giving a discount of about $12,600 of the $30,000. Starbucks would reimburse whatever tuition workers have to pay for after the financial aid they receive.

On Tuesday, Starbucks was set to announce that 70 percent of the workers who enrolled in the program this fall are juniors or seniors, meaning they will get full reimbursement. About half the workers are baristas and 35 percent are shift supervisors. The rest have positions of assistant store manager or above, the company said.

The company said the most applications came from California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

asu

ASU freezes tuition for Arizona undergraduates

Arizona State University will not increase tuition for Arizona undergraduate students for the academic year that begins in fall 2014. This applies to both current students and those entering that year. No determination has been made yet regarding tuition levels for out-of-state students or for graduate students, whether in-state or out-of-state.

“ASU is focused on providing an exceptional education,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our commitment to the people of Arizona is to use innovation and operational efficiency to make access to such an education available to all who are able and willing to do the work.”

ASU will deliver a formal proposal to the Arizona Board of Regents in the spring as part of the regular process for setting tuition. The university is making this announcement early in order to give Arizona undergraduate students and their families as much planning time as possible.

Young woman moving in to Dorm

College costs increase 5 percent

The sticker price of in-state tuition at four-year public universities climbed about $400 this fall, an increase of nearly 5 percent that brought the average to $8,655. That’s a modest increase compared to recent years but still painful for families with stagnant incomes after a prolonged economic slump.

Room-and-board charges grew by a comparable amount, raising the full cost for students living on campus to $17,860.

The latest annual figures from the College Board, out Wednesday, show only about one-third of full-time students pay that published price. The estimated net price — what students pay on average after accounting for grants and tax credits — remains considerably lower than the list price: about $2,910 for tuition at public four-year universities, and $12,110 including room and board.

But after several years when a wave of student aid from Washington held net prices mostly in check, real costs for students have now jumped two straight years, as that wave washes back from its high-water mark.

At private colleges, enrolling about one-quarter of four-year college students, list prices remained substantially higher: $39,518 on average, including room and board. During the previous three years, net prices at private colleges had declined. But this year net tuition and fees increased about $780. Including room and board, but factoring in aid, the typical student at a private college is paying $23,840.

At public two-year colleges, tuition and fees increased $172 to $2,959. On average, those costs are entirely covered by aid.

Altogether, the latest figures send mixed signals. They highlight that higher education, while increasingly essential economically, is devouring an ever-increasing share of family incomes, which are lower than a decade ago. But the numbers could also signal an inflection point where several unsustainable trends in costs, borrowing, and student aid at last begin to break, though it’s too soon to say for sure, said report co-author Sandy Baum of the College Board and George Washington University.

Prices were up this year, though at barely half the rate of the previous two years. Enrollment, after surging nationally for several years after the economy collapsed in 2008, has leveled off. Partly as a result, federal aid is also now declining slightly after several years of double-digit increases.

Even student borrowing, the source of much anxiety, declined last year by about 4 percent. Borrowing remained 24 percent higher than five years earlier, but the annual decline was the first in at least two decades.

Explanations could include debt aversion, more parents employed, or simply a decline in enrollment overall, particularly at for-profit colleges, where students typically borrow more than at other types of school.

“It’s not that college is cheaper,” Baum said. “It could be parents’ savings have come back a little so they’re able to help. It could be that they’re hesitant to borrow.”