Dolly Parton to cover college tuition fees for all Dollywood employees

"We care about our hosts’ development and we want their future to grow because of love — not loans"

The team behind Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood has announced they will cover 100 per cent of tuition for employees who wish to pursue higher education.

The initiative, which also covers costs like textbooks, will start February 24 and all full-time, part-time and seasonal Dollywood employees will be able to enroll in the education benefits package. From that date on, all new hires will be eligible from their first day of employment.

“One of The Dollywood Foundation’s key tenets is to ‘learn more,’” Dollywood Company President Eugene Naughton said in a statement. “This program is created with that very tenet in mind. We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation’s other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more.”


“When our hosts strive to grow themselves, it makes our business and our community a truly better place. We care about our hosts’ development and we want their future to grow because of love — not loans,” Naughton continued.

This isn’t Dolly Parton’s first foray into charitable acts though. She used the royalties from Whitney Houston‘s cover of ‘I Will Always Love You’ to invest in a historically Black neighbourhood in Nashville. It was estimated that Parton earned $10million (£7.2 million) from the song, which was re-recorded by Houston for The Bodyguard.

In 2020, it was revealed that Parton donated $1million (£716,000) to the team behind the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. “I’m a very proud girl today to know that I had anything at all to do with something that’s gonna help us through this crazy pandemic,” she said.

Next month, Parton will release her 48th studio album ‘Run, Rose, Run‘.


The record acts as a companion piece to a novel of the same name. The book was co-written by Parton and with US fiction writer James Patterson, who described the project as “a new thriller about a young singer/songwriter [Rose] on the rise and on the run…and determined to do whatever it takes to survive!”.