In Missoula we have lots of choices for a great cup of coffee, and for the most part really enjoy supporting local shops. So, it's not a shock around western Montana to hear things like " I don't like Starbucks". Regardless of their coffee and food choices they seem like a pretty good company to work. Especially after the news broke that they will now start paying for college tuition for their employees.

Starbucks says it will now cover four years of tuition reimbursement for workers to earn an online undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. Like everything in life there always seems to be fine print that you have to read.

THE OFFER: Reimbursement for tuition to earn an online undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. The amount a worker pays upfront would vary depending on his or her financial situation.


WHO'S ELIGIBLE: Starbucks says workers who average at least 20 hours of work a week are immediately eligible. The program is only for workers at company-owned stores, which account for about 60 percent of the more than 12,100 locations in the U.S.


HOW IT WORKS: Starbucks and ASU say two years of the online program costs about $30,000. But ASU is reducing the standard tuition by about 42 percent for Starbucks employees. Many workers are expected to qualify for federal aid and other grants because of their limited incomes.


Workers pay whatever costs are leftover up-front and are reimbursed for that amount at the end of each semester.


ALSO: Workers can pick from a range of academic fields and aren't required to stay with the company.


PARTICIPATION: Starbucks says about 2,000 workers have enrolled since the program was introduced last June. It says it has more than 140,000 workers at its company-owned stores and support centers in the U.S.

They may not be your favorite cup of coffee in Missoula, but you have to appreciate the fact that they are trying to help their employees like this.

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