File picture: Reuters

Los Angeles -

Starbucks will reimburse employees to finish their bachelor’s degrees, the Seattle-based company announced on Monday.

Dubbed the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, the measure offers help to complete a bachelor's degree with full tuition reimbursement for juniors and seniors through Arizona State University's online programmes, the company said.

The programme covers about half of tuition of the degree.

“In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American Dream. There's no doubt, the inequality within the country has created a situation where many Americans are being left behind,” Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive Howard Schultz said.

“Everyone who works as hard as our partners do should have the opportunity to complete college, while balancing work, school and their personal lives.”

Employees who work an average of 20 hours per week will be eligible to choose from more than 40 undergraduate degree programmes taught by Arizona State, the statement said.

Employees participating in the programme are not committed to stay with Starbucks after graduation. One year of online courses at the university costs about $10 000, the Los Angeles Times reported. - Sapa-dpa