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WGU, McDonald's, and Its Participating Independent Franchisees Connecting Archways to Opportunity to Real Degree Pathways

Eligible McDonald’s Restaurant Employees Qualify for Degrees With Little to No Out of Pocket Cost through WGU*

WGU, McDonald’s, and its independent franchisees have partnered to make higher education even more accessible for current McDonald’s restaurant employees. Here’s what you should know:

  • Eligible employees of participating restaurants can apply for tuition assistance through Archways to Opportunity, which covers all remaining degree program costs after federal aid and tuition assistance are applied.
  • For applicants who can demonstrate financial need, the Online Access Scholarship covers the cost of home internet plus installation and provides a refurbished laptop with webcam. 
  • Tuition assistance through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity can be applied toward any WGU degree program. 
  • Immediate family members of eligible employees of participating restaurants can apply for WGU scholarships.
*Costs for WGU tuition and learning resource fees billed by the University will be covered by federal financial aid (if applicable), Archways to Opportunity tuition assistance (for eligible restaurant employees working for organizations participating in the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program), WGU tuition discounts and WGU scholarships.

Get Started in Three Simple Steps

FOR WGU:

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Complete the Pre-Enrollment Form

Once you've found a degree program that interests you, click "Get Started" to fill out your pre-enrollment form and indicate that you are interested in starting with a full degree program at WGU.

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An Enrollment Counselor Will Contact You

After you complete the form, a dedicated McDonalds Enrollment Counselor will reach out and let you know how to proceed. 

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Complete the FAFSA and Request Archways to Opportunity Tuition Assistance

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and then take the necessary steps on the McDonalds Archways to Opportunity website.  Student who complete the above steps will automatically be eligible for the WGU Archways Gap Scholarship.

FOR WGU ACADEMY:

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Complete the Pre-Enrollment Form

Click "Get Started" to fill out your pre-enrollment form and be sure to indicate that you believe you could benefit from a personalized academic advancement program.

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An Academy Counselor Will Contact You

After you complete the form, an Academy Enrollment Counselor will reach out and let you know how to proceed with enrollment in WGU Academy. 

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Request Archways to Opportunity Tuition Assistance

Complete the necessary steps on the McDonalds Archways to Opportunity website.


NOTE: WGU Academy is only for undergraduate students.

Map Your WGU Journey

Wondering how WGU could work for you? Explore these potential student journeys for McDonald's and see how how Archways to Opportunity in conjunction with financial aid, scholarships, and WGU’s unique approach to higher education come together to make earning a college degree a reality.

Why WGU is the Perfect Choice for McDonald’s Restaurant Employees

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A degree you can afford:

  • After applying tuition assistance through Archways to Opportunity, the average cost for a full-time McDonald’s restaurant employee to attend WGU will be about $2,650 per six-month term—fees and learning materials included. Individual program costs vary, and scholarships, federal aid, and tuition discounts can lower them even more.
  • Eligible McDonald’s restaurant employees automatically qualify for a 5% tuition discount for four terms.
  • The cost to attend WGU Academy is covered 100% by McDonald’s tuition assistance. Academy is an optional series of courses that prepares students with little to no college experience for their bachelor’s programs.
  • In addition to Archways to Opportunity, WGU offers plenty of scholarship opportunities that can decrease your tuition costs. 
  • The Online Access Scholarship provides free internet access, a laptop, and a webcam to those who meet the eligibility requirements.

College that works around your schedule:

  • Take tests and turn in assignments when you want with no set log-in times or class schedules. WGU’s online degree programs are flexible enough to balance around your work, family life, or other responsibilities. 
  • All WGU degree programs are competency based. Competency-based learning means you can progress through your coursework as quickly as you master the material—the faster you complete your courses, the more time and money you save.
  • No more waiting around—begin your degree program the first day of any month and graduate any day of the year.  
  • Don’t let your prior college experience go to waste. Restaurant management employees who have completed Hamburger University training can earn up to 13 CU’s toward a College of Business degree.
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Support for every step:

  • WGU’s dedicated enrollment team for McDonald’s will get you started and answer any questions you might have. 
  • Meet with your program mentor regularly to plan out your education roadmap, set goals, and get the personalized support you need from day one through graduation. 
  • Students with little to no college experience can enroll with WGU Academy to prepare for their bachelor’s programs.

Online Degree Programs from Four Colleges

WGU is an online school with career-aligned bachelor's and master's degrees—in teaching, nursing, IT, and business—designed to allow working adults the opportunity to fit a online university education into their busy lives.