4 Fast Food Jobs That’ll Help Pay Your College Tuition

You may want to consider getting a job at one of the following restaurants and receive some serious tuition benefits.

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 15, 2016

4 Fast Food Jobs That’ll Help Pay Your College Tuition

At first glance, a job at a fast food chain may not seem like a lucrative option for students looking to pay for school. However, you may want to reconsider. Many restaurant chains offer employee tuition assistance benefits, which allows you to pay for school and earn some extra dough on the side.

As reported by U.S. News & World Report, “Yum! Brands, TGI Friday’s and Arby’s are just some of the many restaurants offering tuition assistance, and this is definitely something we’ll be seeing more of in the future,” says Christin Fernandez, a spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association.

And, according to U.S. News & World Report, “most fast-food chains offer hourly employees some form of financial support for colleges through scholarships, such as Burger King’s scholars program or Taco Bell’s Live Más Scholarship. A small, but growing number of fast food companies, now offer tuition assistance programs.”

This small number includes the four following fast food chains, which all have student tuition assistance programs for their employees. Meaning: you may want to consider getting a job at one of the following restaurants and receive some serious tuition benefits.

Learn more about the details of the four restaurant chain employee student tuition assistance programs below:

1. Starbucks

Tuition Assistance Program Details:
The well-known Seattle-based coffee and restaurant chain offers employees full tuition at Arizona State University’s (ASU) online program. The program gives Starbucks’ hourly employees an opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree, with Starbucks covering the tuition costs.

Starbucks developed a partnership with ASU, which reimburses its employees’ tuition costs at the end of each semester. The program’s tuition assistance is valued at over $47,000 or the estimated cost of attending ASU’s online program for four years as a full-time student.

Eligibility:
Any Starbucks employee working an average of at least 20 hours weekly, at any company-operated store, is eligible from the very first day of their employment.

Student Participation:
Since introducing the program, more than 5,000 Starbucks employees are enrolled in the program, with 44 participating employees who have already graduated after taking advantage of the offer. Due to the program’s success, Starbucks reportedly plans to spend an additional $250 million to help 25,000 student employees throughout the next ten years.

2. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Tuition Assistance Program Details:
Chipotle reimburses its employee’s student tuition up to $5,250 – the IRS’s limit. Plus, employees are able to reimburse tuition costs from two- and four-year colleges, as well as technology and vocational schools.

Eligibility:
Hourly employees must have at least one year of employment at Chipotle under their belts, but salaried and hourly managers are eligible immediately after employment. Slight stipulations are attached: employees looking to qualify for the program must maintain at least a “C” average, provide course descriptions and submit their grades in order to be reimbursed by the company.

Student Participation:
The popular restaurant chain expanded its tuition assistance program in July of 2015 to include hourly workers – previously, only salaried employees were eligible for the reimbursement program. According to a company spokesperson, adding the additional assistance benefit option to hourly workers has been successful and has exceeded company expectations.

3. McDonald’s

Tuition Assistance Program Details:
McDonald’s “Archway to Opportunity” tuition program can be used for both on-campus and online degree programs. Hourly paid restaurant workers are eligible to receive up to $700 yearly in tuition assistance. Additionally, restaurant managers are eligible to receive $1,050.

Eligibility:
Employees must work a minimum of 20 hours weekly and be employed at McDonald’s (both company-owned restaurants and at over 3,000 franchise locations) for at least one year before qualifying for the program.

Student Participation:
It may not seem like much, but the program is estimated to cover the cost of two classes for hourly workers and three for managers, which adds up. This estimation is based on the average cost to attend a community college course (about $300-$400). The program began in July of 2015 and aims to assist McDonald’s employees in building their skills to move up within the company internally.

4. Pizza Hut

Tuition Assistance Program Details:
Owned by Yum! Brands, the popular pizza giant offers a tuition program known as the “Life Unboxed EDU” tuition reimbursement program. The program offers hourly employees discounted tuition at Excelsior College – up to 45 percent off undergraduate tuition prices and 15 percent off graduate degree programs.

U.S. News & World Report reports that, according to the college’s net tuition calculator, employees attending school part-time in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree can cut costs from nearly $6,000 down to just over $3,000.

Eligibility:
This tuition reimbursement benefit is offered to all Pizza Hut employees and their immediate family members after being employed at the company for at least 60 days.

Student Participation:
Pizza Hut launched the program in December of 2015 and has had around 99 employees take advantage of the opportunity.

As reported by U.S. News & World Report, students taking advantage of the program span both hourly employees and regional coaches. Additionally, the majority of the students are mature, within their mid-twenties or early thirties, according to a Pizza Hut spokesperson.

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