ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Disney is teaming up with the University of Central Florida to offer free college tuition for its employees.
Disney announced Thursday it had added UCF to its Disney Aspire program. The education investment program offers completely free tuition to eligible employees and cast members.
According to the UCF website, the new partnership will help give Disney employees more educational opportunities and make it easier for them to pursue their career goals.
Disney Aspire covers 100% of college tuition upfront and will reimburse application fees, book costs and course materials. The program launched last August. Since then, the company says about 40% of its employees have signed up. More than 6,000 are actively taking classes.
“Since its launch, Disney Aspire has enabled thousands of Cast Members to dream bigger and reach higher,” Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis said in a statement. “Adding UCF to this prestigious network of schools will provide our Cast Members with even more options to create the futures they imagine.”
Employees are eligible for the program after 90 days of employment with the company. UCF officials say employees who get into the university and meet in-state residency requirements will be able to choose from 34 undergraduate or master’s degree programs. Ten of those programs are completely online.
“We could not be more excited to be working with Disney to make a high-quality college degree even more accessible,” UCF Interim President Thad Seymour Jr. said. “Many of our students already are Disney employees who will immediately benefit, and this program has the potential to change lives in our community for generations.”
According to UCF’s website, more than 53,000 Florida-based Disney employees will be eligible for the program during the upcoming fall 2019 semester.