LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - What better way to start the school year than by having a university president hand you a check?
That's what happened to four University of Louisville students working at United Parcel Service (UPS) Worldport on Monday night.
The students had been working nights at UPS, benefiting from tuition bonuses from the Metropolitan College program.
UPS describes Metropolitan College as "a workforce development and educational opportunity partnership that includes Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), the University of Louisville (UofL), Louisville Metro government, State of Kentucky and UPS."
Students working at UPS can earn 100% of their college tuition.
UofL President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi greeted each student with a smile and a hug as she gave them each a check for tuition expenses.
Monday night's ceremony marked the 20th anniversary of the Metropolitan College program.
"There are a lot of different public-private partnerships but what makes this unique is the scope of it, the breadth of it, by a major employer," Bendapudi said. "Anything on this scale I have not seen and I think that it's an incredible opportunity for us and the city and the state to be proud of it and to build on it and to take it to other areas."
UPS said so far 5,107 employees have earned a total of 8,342 degrees through Metropolitan College.
The company said about 18,000 students have taken advantage of the program for at least one semester.