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Chipotle offers employees debt-free college degree opportunity

Chipotle is offering employees the chance to get a college degree, debt-free.

The giant Mexican food chain announced on Tuesday that it will give all eligible employees the ability to get a degree from an accredited university -- without incurring debt -- via an enhanced version of its "Chipotle Cultivate Education benefits program." In partnership with Guild Education, all tuition costs will be covered "up front," the company says, for 75 kinds of business and technology degrees from various universities.

Participating universities include the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University and Wilmington University.

"Chipotle recognizes that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential," Marissa Andrada, chief people officer at Chipotle, said in a statement. "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."

Brice Widger, a Chipotle employee in New York City, added: "I had two majors with a number of credits and was debating whether or not to go back and pursue my degree. The accelerated program with Bellevue University combined with Chipotle's tuition assistance made the decision easy. It is convenient as I am able to take classes in the evening, which I really appreciate."

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