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Chipotle will send employees to college


A fast-food chain is offering over 75 types of debt-free degrees.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its Chipotle Cultivate Education benefits program, which the retailer says has provided employees with over $20 million in tuition assistance in the past two years. The company is now 100% of tuition costs upfront for 75 different types of business and technology degrees through a partnership education benefits company Guild Education. 

After 120 days of employment, employees are eligible to pursue degrees from nonprofit, accredited universities, including The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University. The new debt-free degree program is an addition to existing educational benefits, such as a tuition reimbursement program allowing eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 a year at the school of their choice. 

Qualifying employees can also take advantage of a full suite of benefits including access to healthcare; fitness discounts; and free English as a second language and GED classes for employees and family members. Chipotle promoted more than 13,000 of its employees in 2018.

“Chipotle recognizes that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential,” said Marissa Andrada, chief people officer at Chipotle. “We are proud to launch this opportunity for debt-free degrees by providing free tuition to help our employees excel in all areas in their lives, both in and out of Chipotle.”

Chipotle had over 2,500 corporate restaurants as of June 30, 2019, in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, and Germany. The company does not run a franchise program. 

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