Dolly Parton wants to eliminate your student loans. Thus, Dollywood will pay 100% of your tuition fees.

Dolly Parton wants to eliminate your student loans, which is why her Dollywood Parks & Resorts will pay 100% tuition for all of her employees.

Here’s what you need to know.

Student loans

There’s another reason to love country music icon Dolly Parton. The singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist has impacted millions of children through her imaginative library. Now his company, Dollywood, will pay 100% of tuition, fees and books for all of its employees to go to college. It’s not too late to find a job at Dollywood.

The substantial investment in Dollywood employees comes courtesy of Herschend Enterprises, which owns Dollywood with Parton and is the nation’s largest privately-owned theme attractions company. “Whether it’s pursuing a new dream or advancing their careers with us, we care about the personal and professional growth of our employees because we believe their future should be built with love, not loans,” said said Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises. “The success of our team members is our success – and that’s why we’re excited to make this benefit available to everyone, regardless of their role in the business and without the burden of debt.”

This announcement comes as millions of student borrowers await news of student loan cancellation or student loan repayments restarting on May 1, 2022. (Will student loan repayments be delayed until 2023?) With 100% of tuition, fees, and books paid, eligible employees can forgive significant student loan debt they would otherwise have incurred to pursue a college education.

Tuition-free plan: how it works

  • Overview: the program is called GROW U.;
  • Eligibility: accessible to all 11,000 eligible seasonal, part-time and full-time employees;
  • How many programs: offers more fully funded (100% free) degree, diploma and certificate programs with 30 learning partners;
  • Education Partner: partnered with Guild Education and Guild’s Learning Marketplace; and
  • Programs available: business administration and leadership, cooking, finance, technology, marketing and more. The company will also provide partial funding, up to $5,250 per year, for 150 additional programs in areas such as hospitality, engineering, human resources and artistic design.

Student loan cancellation or student loan prevention

When it comes to student loans, you can fix the problem after the fact (student loan cancellation). (If Biden cancels student loans, that will happen next). Or, you can solve the problem before it becomes a problem (tuition free university). (Free college has been dropped from Biden’s agenda. Canceling the student loan could be next on the chopping block.) Innovative companies understand that both strategies can work. However, companies that want to be leaders in their industry will follow in the footsteps of Parton, Herschend, Walmart and others who pledged to pay for their employees’ education. It’s a wonderful commitment to giving back, to growth and development, to boosting employee morale, and to literally changing someone’s life. For those who don’t have an employer who pays for their college education or repays their student loan, it’s important to develop a game plan for paying off student loans. This is especially important since temporary student loan relief is ending soon. If you have student loans, now is the time to prepare for your student loan repayment. Here are some popular ways to pay off student loans faster:

Student Loans: Related Reading

Here’s who won’t get student loan forgiveness

Will student loan repayments be postponed until 2023?

Biden should end student loan relief

If Biden cancels student loans, it will happen next

About Judith J. George

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