(CBS) – U.S. veterans are getting a break on their college tuition, thanks to coffee company Starbucks.

The company has hired more than 5,500 vets and military spouses, which is more than half of its goal of 10,000 by the year 2018.

Starbucks already offers a tuition-free education to eligible U.S. employees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. But it also announced Monday it is providing employees who are current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces with an additional tuition-free education to extend to a spouse or child as a part of a partnership with Arizona State University.

“We have a responsibility as a nation to honor our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, but it goes beyond saying thank you – we must put our thanks into action and collectively help those who are making the transition from military to civilian life,” said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a statement.

In addition, Starbucks is honoring active duty service military, veterans and spouses on Veterans Day with free coffee.