LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A partnership between a long-standing fast-food chain and a university will allow Arkansas employees to attend college tuition-free.
The KFC Foundation, the charitable arm of the KFC restaurant franchise, announced its partnership with Western Governor’s University to provide 100% scholarships to KFC employees.
A KFC Foundation spokesperson said the scholarships were non-competitive, all applicants would be accepted, and applications could be made on day one of employment.
Arkansas has 57 KFC restaurants, according to the company.
WGU is a fully accredited online university with monthly starting dates that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as certifications across various specialties.
KFC Foundation Executive Director Emma Horn said the free-tuition program fits the foundation’s model.
“Every year we look for new ways to support and enhance the lives of KFC restaurant employees,” Horn said. “What better opportunity to be able to offer team members than a flexible college degree program from Western Governors University that can fit seamlessly into their schedule. The program at WGU is perfect for someone who may not have enough hours in the day to balance a traditional college experience on top of a full- or part-time job and other life priorities.”
Foundation program funding comes from register round-ups and KFC’s “Secret Recipe” fries sales. Franchisees can also participate in an annual donation program to support the foundation.
The foundation began in franchise founder Colonel Harlan Sanders paying for a hitchhiker’s tuition, according to the organization.