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Starbucks coffee costs extra on campus, causes commotion

What is one thing that is essential to most students’ daily lives? Coffee. And what is one of the most popular places to get coffee on campus? Starbucks.

Unfortunately, like most places on campus, the menu at this particular Starbucks is more expensive than other off-campus venues. This fact causes problems because many Starbucks fans believe the prices of Starbucks’ coffee is already too highly priced at regular locations. Now they have to pay extra on top of it. Some drinks are really not that much more expensive, such as the Grande Café Mocha which is $4.55 on campus and $4.50 at another location such as Carrs or Fred Meyers. But another typical drink, such as a Grande Vanilla Latte runs at $4.70 on campus and $3.95 off. Also, generally when a person upgrades their drink from a Grande to a Venti the price difference is around 30 to 40 cents, but on campus it can rise up to more than 60 cents.

“We get a lot of people that complain about the higher prices. But [the people who own it] draw their prices based on profits and that’s where some of the extra comes from,” said Starbucks barista Amber Preston.

The nearest off-campus Starbucks is over a mile away on Tudor, which can take over thirty minutes to get to walking. Impossible for students who want a Starbucks beverage in-between classes, and unthinkable in the winter when the sidewalks become treacherous sheets of ice. This forces most students to shell out the extra money to get their favorite concoctions conveniently.  Some people opt to not spend any money at all, at least not their own.

“I don’t go there unless I have a gift card anyways. All of the Starbucks cafes are expensive,” said student Amanda Owens.

Fortunately, the Starbucks Corporation has provided a way to help keep the costs down and still allow students to have their favorite drinks. This miraculous deal is called the treat receipt. All one has to do to get one of this tasty little receipts is to buy any Starbucks drink, have the receipt stamped, and bring it back to any Starbucks after 2pm the same day to receive any cold drink for $2.

As an added bonus, with the treat receipt students can add whatever extras they want to their drink and it will still be only $2. So, if a student is craving that extra shot of espresso or a few pumps of peppermint flavoring, which usually costs 50 cents or more extra, then they should go for it, it’s on Starbucks!

For those who are not constant coffee consumers, the deal still applies because it allows redemption for any cold beverage on the menu including Frappuccinos, Tazo teas, Vivanno smoothies, and their new shaken iced tea lemonades.

Student Maria Elison figured out a way to make the treat receipt the most effective, “I really like getting a cheap drink in the morning like a drip coffee which is like less than $2.50 and then coming back and getting a $5 or more drink for $2. It makes it almost like a two for one deal.”

The campus Starbucks is not corporate owned, but they still offer treat receipts which is great for students to offset the costs of drinks on campus. Though they generally do not hand out the treat receipts unless a customer specifically asks for it, so those who do not know that the deal is going on are left out.

“We don’t print receipts automatically and it’s pretty much by request,” said Preston

Although the deal is only going on until September 5th, barely scratching the first week of the new semester, the treat receipt deal occurs several times a year. The best way is to check on Starbucks’ website for upcoming deals.

Another way to offset the cost is for students to bring their own mugs, which will discount the drink by 10 cents. There is also the option of keeping the cup from an earlier visit and bringing it back later that day for a 50 cent refill on a drip coffee.

Regardless of the high cost, students continue to return for their coffee fix or for a tea break, keeping this Starbucks busy and a prime location for drinks.

“There are a lot of college kids and they always want coffee,” Preston remarked.

Written by Ashley Snyder

Hello everyone! I'm Ashley Snyder, a Journalism and Public Communications student at UAA. I enjoy spending my free time with kung fu (three years of experience and counting), photography, fishing, and biking. I will officially be done with college Dec. 2014! I am currently unsure of my goals after college but as long as I get to do something I love I will be more than happy :)

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