By Buddy Blouin
Getting a college education is the dream of many Americans; however, there are many roadblocks that can prevent this dream from becoming a reality. Most notable is the continual rise in the cost of tuition. On average, American students can expect to pay more than $10,000 per year in tuition, and that cost is only expected to rise. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP) is a great program offered as a collaboration between Starbucks and Arizona State University (ASU) to help students achieve their academic goals. For military families, it can be a lifeline and a great path to education from one of the most notable universities in the country.

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How Does the Starbucks College Achievement Plan Work?

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan began in 2014 as a way to send employees of the world’s largest coffee brand to college with an opportunity to earn their Bachelor’s degree. SCAP pays the full tuition until graduation for the student for a top-quality education through ASU’s top-ranked online degree program. Or at least that’s what it was. Because it didn’t take long until the program expanded to help others achieve their educational goals. Beginning in 2015, Starbucks College Achievement Plan ASU invitation was extended to families within the military community. If you are a “partner” (any employee of Starbucks, Teavana, and Evolution Fresh) with family members serving or who have served in the U.S. military, they, too, can enjoy SCAP’s benefits. As of their last count, Starbucks stores across the nation have employed roughly 7,700 military members, Veterans, and military spouses who would be eligible to take part in the program.

Is the Starbucks College Achievement Plan Worth It?

Considering the rising costs of attending college, this is a great opportunity for partners who qualify. Through the College Achievement Plan Scholarship, those accepted receive 42% of the cost of their tuition paid by ASU along with access to financial aid grants. Starbucks then reimburses the rest of the tuition and fees which aren’t covered after each semester. Together, this means partners receive full tuition coverage as they continue their education.

Eligibility and Applying

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan requirements include the following:
  • Eligibility is for partners who lack a Bachelor’s degree.
  • You’ll need to complete your FAFSA, complete your financial aid file, and meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
  • Your submission must include your FAFSA and any other documents for your financial aid.
  • Those not meeting ASU’s admission criteria can be offered Pathway to Admission, giving you a chance to earn admission to the university and access to SCAP.
Applying is easy, and an ASU enrollment coach can help you throughout the entire process:
  • Click “Apply now” on this free application website, where you can also request a coach. You can also contact the program directly at

    1 (844) 278-7289

  • Complete your application, provide the documentation necessary, and be eligible to attend ASU.
  • You’ll also need to finish your financial aid file.
  • If you're admitted to ASU, you can then register for your classes through your My ASU account.
For more information, please refer to the website linked above or contact the program through the number provided.

A Special Benefit for Members of the Military Community

For anyone, this is a great chance to receive free education from a top-rated university, but the fact that it is extended to the military community is an exclamation mark at the end of an already strong statement. While there are many benefits to be found for both active-duty and Veterans, too many options for free education is never a bad thing. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is a great way to give back to a community that gives its all to all of us.

Is Starbucks College Achievement Plan Only for ASU?

Yes, it only applies to Arizona State University. Specifically, the program is exclusively for Bachelor's degrees online at ASU. If you are completing an Associate degree from another college, it could be possible to transfer to ASU later in your academic journey through SCAP to complete your Bachelor’s.

Does Starbucks College Achievement Plan Work for a Second Bachelor's?

No, the focus of SCAP is to help those pursuing their first Bachelor’s degree reach their goal. You cannot use it for your second Bachelor’s. While this may be seen as one of the College Achievement Plan Starbucks disadvantages, it’s in place partly to help divert funds to those who have yet to reach such a milestone. Education is important, and no matter what your journey looks like, it can help you take control and explore more options. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is a great route for military families to expand their education and not worry about the financial burdens that may otherwise come along with it.

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