Small biz offers $22,000 over four years

free tuition dicks drive in
Stephanie Antioquia just finished her degree with help from a scholarship from Dick's.

Dick's Drive-In operates six burger joints in the Seattle area and has given away $1.3 million in scholarship money since it started offering the program to all employees about 20 years ago.

Workers can study anything they want and enroll in any school as long as they keep working at Dick's at least 20 hours per week. They are not required to remain at the company after completing their studies.

"We want them to be able to get their education and follow their passion," said vice president Jasmine Donovan.

Related: Coping with a $15 minimum wage in Seattle

Anne Stevenson used the scholarship to earn her bachelor's degree in applied arts in interior design. Thanks to the scholarship, she graduated without any loans.

Currently 80% of Dick's 200 workers are enrolled in school or already graduated with help form the scholarship.

Recent high school grads can receive money for tuition in the fall if they worked full-time over the summer, while other workers can start after six months on the job. Workers can get $3,000 annually for their first two years in school and $8,000 in each of their last two years.

First published June 19, 2014: 9:32 PM ET

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