BURBANK, Calif. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Walt Disney Company announced on Monday that the University of Arizona is now a part of the Disney Aspire education investment program.
The program offers 100 percent free tuition to eligible employees and cast members so that they can partake in an online bachelor's degree program. It also reimburses application fees, required books, and course materials.
The Walt Disney Company reportedly employs more than 90,000 hourly employees and cast members. Since the launch of Disney Aspire, more than 40 percent of Disney's eligible employees have signed up. More than 8,000 individuals have enrolled in education programs.
“With Disney Aspire, we are helping employees create the futures they imagine for themselves,” said Jayne Parker, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief HR Officer of the Walt Disney Company. “The addition of the University of Arizona to our growing list of Disney Aspire network schools helps us further our commitment to support our more than 90,000 eligible employees’ and Cast Members’ education and career goals.”
U.S. News & World Report (2019) said that the University of Arizona is among the top 30 best Online Bachelor's Programs. The Disney Aspire program is also available to Disney employees who gain admission to the University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Brandman University, University of Florida Online, University of Denver, Wilmington University and Bellevue University.
“The University of Arizona has an impressive list of alumni already working for Disney worldwide,” said University of Arizona Senior Vice President and Provost Liesl Folks. “Through Disney Aspire, Arizona Online offers Disney employees and Cast Members that same high-quality education in flexible and innovative ways. Teaming up with a company like Disney to improve the lives of its team is a thrill and it’s part of a shared commitment and vision to the fulfillment of these people’s dreams, inside or outside of their current role.”
Disney has reportedly partnered with Guild Education to help administer this program. Through the Guild academic network, Disney Aspire can include a variety of schools with a wide array of disciplines and flexibility.
“Since the launch of the Disney Aspire program, Guild Education has helped thousands of employees and Cast Members pursue their educational goals,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-founder of Guild Education. “The addition of the University of Arizona to the Disney Aspire network of learning providers will allow even more Disney employees and Cast Members the opportunity to gain valuable skills and education that will further enable their success in the 21st century economy.”
Those who partake in the Disney Aspire program are not required to stay at Disney after the completion of their degree or certificate.
To sign up or learn more, Disney employees can visit the Disney Aspire website.