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Chipotle serving up debt-free degrees from University of Arizona

(Chipotle Mexican Grill Photo)

PHOENIX – Chipotle Mexican Grill is rolling out something new – and it is not food.

The Denver-based chain announced on Monday that they will be offering all eligible employees the opportunity to pursue a debt-free college degree, according to a press release.

The program allows employees to attend accredited universities, and the University of Arizona is part of the agreement the restaurant has with Guild Education, a company benefits group.

“[We wanted] to open up and create access to working adults to our world-class online degree program. One of our focuses as corporate partnerships is to work in conjunction with partners for tuition assistance,” Kara Forney, executive director for the university’s online education told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

The partnership with the university will launch in January, and which majors will be offered is still being determined.

Once launched, the institution will be offering degrees for Chipotle employees online only.

The company has covered over $20 million in tuition relief over the last two years.

Chipotle will also cover the complete cost of tuition on over 75 types of business and technology degrees.

To be eligible, employees and crew members must hit 120 days of employment.

Marissa Andrada, human resources officer at Chipotle, stated in the press release that, “We are proud to launch this opportunity for debt-free degrees by providing free tuition to help our employees excel in all areas of their lives.”

This is the latest addition to Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program, which features an existing tuition reimbursement program.

The grant allows employees enrolled in college to be repaid up to $5,250 in tuition annually from the university they are attending.

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