Starbucks Pays for College, But Employees Will Miss Out on ASU's On-Campus Life

PHOTO: A mechanical engineering major reads between classes at Arizona State University, Oct. 27, 2010.
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Starbucks' partnership with Arizona State University's online degree program will support the educational advancement of its employees, 70 percent of whom are students or aspiring students in the U.S.

But will these employees miss out on on all that ASU campus life has to offer?

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz explained that the new Starbucks College Achievement Plan is designed to support college completion with full tuition reimbursement for juniors and seniors to finish their degrees, or an on-ramp for freshman and sophomores with a scholarship.

For Starbucks workers who hope to finish their junior and senior year in college, they can receive a scholarship that covers up to $30,000 in tuition costs for two years of full-time study. Freshmen and sophomores will receive a reimbursement that covers up to $6,500 in tuition costs for two years of full-time study. Starbucks doesn't reimburse remaining tuition for freshmen and sophomores, but as soon as these employees become juniors they automatically quality for full junior/senior benefits through graduation. Starbucks employees have to apply to ASU's online program for admission.

Read More: Starbucks Clears College Degree Path for Employees

Michael Bojorquez Echeverria, a 23-year-old Starbucks employee from Los Angeles, works 60 to 75 hours a week, including a second job, while attending a community college.

He told the Associated Press that he is applying to the ASU online program to focus more on school, but he says he will miss campus social life.

"But hey, if they're going to be paying my fees, I can manage," he told the AP.

Here's what the online ASU Starbucks employees will be missing:

PHOTO: People cool off in the fountain in front of Old Main on Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Ariz. during the Tempe Bicycle Action Group swimsuit ride, June 29, 2013.
David Wallace/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: People cool off in the fountain in front of Old Main on Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Ariz. during the Tempe Bicycle Action Group swimsuit ride, June 29, 2013.

Arizona State University has been in Playboy's top-10 party-school list for every year except one of the ranking's history -- eight lists since 1987.

In 2013, the most recent year the list was published, ASU was ranked ninth, behind schools like West Virginia University (number 1), the University of Wisconsin (number 2), and the University of Colorado (number 3).

Playboy editors compiled the unscientific ranking using data from the U.S. Census, the National Center for Education Statistics, the NCAA, and social media.

Playboy's party-school rankings were published in 1987, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

PHOTO: Arizona State Sun Devils mascot, Sparky runs out onto the field during the Pac 12 Championship game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Arizona.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
PHOTO: Arizona State Sun Devils mascot, Sparky runs out onto the field during the Pac 12 Championship game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Arizona.

But the ASU president has insisted the school has bid farewell to its partying reputation.

"What's weird is we do have that reputation," ASU president Michael Crow told KTVK last month. "We long ago outgrew that as part of the cultural perception of the institution if it was even true then."

ASU's online program ranks ninth in the 2014 "Best Online Programs” U.S. News & World Report list and first for online student services and technology. It ranks fourth for "Best Online Programs for Veterans" in the same report.

ASU’s online program began in the fall of 2010 and holds the same accreditation as the university’s traditional program.

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