Walt Disney World is footing the bill for employees who want to attend the University of Central Florida, the company announced Thursday.
The offer is part of Disney’s Aspire program, which provides free tuition to eligible employees and cast members. UCF, the state’s largest university, is the latest addition to the initiative, which launched in August 2018.
More than 53,000 Florida-based employees are eligible for the UCF offerings, according to a statement from the company. There are 34 undergraduate and master’s degree programs for interested employees to choose from.
Disney Aspire covers the cost of tuition, application fees and books, according to the official website. Those costs can be applied to a college degree, a high school diploma or a vocational skill.
“Since its launch, Disney Aspire has enabled thousands of Cast Members to dream bigger and reach higher,” George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort and a UCF alumnus, 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.”
Forty percent of Walt Disney World’s workforce – consisting of 85,000 full-time and part-time hourly employees – are currently enrolled in the program.
Disney Aspire was born with a $150 million investment to help “Disney employees to gain confidence and grow in their careers,” the statement said.