Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it is expanding its Debt-Free degree program to include Paul Quinn College, the nation’s first urban work college and one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the country. Chipotle covers 100 percent of tuition costs up front for over 75 different types of business and technology degrees for eligible employees, including crew members, through its partnership with Guild Education, the leading education benefits company in the country.

After 120 days of employment, employees are eligible to pursue debt-free degrees from leading nonprofit, accredited universities, including Paul Quinn College, the program’s first HBCU. Additional schools in the debt-free degree program include: The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University. 

“We want to provide employees with the tools to achieve their full potential and recognize that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles for not furthering their education,” said Marissa Andrada, Chief Diversity, Inclusion and People Officer at Chipotle. “Ensuring we provide inclusive benefits and a support system for our employees and recognizing the importance of offering an HBCU in our education program will continue to aid in our efforts to cultivate a better world.” 

Since the launch of Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program in 2016, more than 8,000 employees have enrolled in classes leveraging the tuition reimbursement benefit or debt-free degrees introduced last year. To date, Chipotle has seen a retention rate of three and a half times higher among students who are enrolled in Cultivate Education. Of those using the benefit, 85 percent of students are crew members, and the benefit has the biggest impact on their growth and tenure. Additionally, crew members using the benefit are seven and a half times more likely to move into a management role within the organization.

“Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program continues to thrive, giving employees the opportunity to achieve enhanced economic mobility,” says Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education. “By expanding the program to include Paul Quinn College, Chipotle is offering employees a more comprehensive, inclusive benefit.”

In addition to education, Chipotle offers industry-leading benefits such as: an all crew bonus program, which allows its restaurant employees the opportunity to earn an extra month’s worth of pay each year, access to mental health care and English as a second language for employees and their families; among others. Chipotle has been intentional in its efforts to enhance the employee experience with a focus on personal growth, which has positively impacted business. Last year, the organization saw a 35% reduction in turnover at its general manager level, causing greater stability and a stronger guest experience. To learn more about opportunities at Chipotle, visit To learn more about Paul Quinn College, visit

Employee Management, News, Chipotle