In an unprecedented move, the Walt Disney Company has announced that it will begin a program to offer tuition assistance to it’s U.S based cast members.
The new program, called Disney Aspire, will make it easier for cast members to achieve their educational goals. Open to all U.S based hourly cast members, Disney Aspire will offer assistance in a variety educational opportunities. Among the options for cast members high school equivalency (G.E.D) programs, vocational training, continuing education certificates and traditional degree programs will be eligible. Disney has stated that it will continue to add schools and programs to the available offerings over time.
In keeping with Disney’s commitment to providing a good quality of life for its cast members Disney Aspire is built with working adults in mind. The program will encourage cast members to pursue their dreams, no matter what they may be. One of the more groundbreaking aspects of the program will be that unlike many employer based tuition assistance, Disney Aspire will not limit the cast member to programs relating to their role at Disney. They are free to choose any educational goal they wish. This means that cast members working in entertainment could, if they wanted to, pursue a degree in
Following an initial investment of $50 million the program will have a yearly endowment of $25 million in dedicated funds to continue the program.