Chick-fil-A is increasing its investment in educational scholarships for restaurant Team Members in 2019, awarding $15.3 million to more than 6,000 deserving Team Members across the country. As part of Chick-fil-A’s Remarkable Futures education initiative, this increase in scholarship funding reflects Chick-fil-A’s continued commitment to Team Members and their futures, and it remains one of the highest unrestricted per-employee scholarship investments in the industry.
To kick off the 2019 scholarship announcements, Chick-fil-A surprised 12 Team Members on stage at the company’s annual conference Tuesday with the news that they were this year’s $25,000 True Inspiration Scholarship recipients. The celebration will continue throughout March as local Chick-fil-A Franchise Operators present $2,500 Leadership Scholarships to 6,016 Team Members across 47 states.
Through Chick-fil-A’s annual scholarship application process, students employed by the company’s local franchise Operators can apply to receive up to $25,000 in scholarships to pursue the higher education opportunity of their choice. The initiative is unique in that the scholarships can be applied to any area of study at any accredited institution, including any two- or four-year college and university, online program or technical/vocational school.
In a 2018 survey of previous scholarship winners, 60 percent of Chick-fil-A Team Members stated this scholarship made it possible for them to attend college, with 20 percent being first-generation college students. Approximately 99.56 percent of Team Members agreed that these scholarships are a benefit to employment and, even though there is no requirement to remain employed after receiving the scholarship, nearly 90 percent of Team Members responded that they planned to continue working at Chick-fil-A.
“Chick-fil-A Team Members provide incredible service to our restaurant guests every day, but we know their commitment to excellence extends far beyond those four walls,” says Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Chick-fil-A and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. “Many Team Members work part- or full-time while also pursuing their education and serving in their communities. Through our Team Member scholarships, our goal is to help these emerging leaders achieve their education dreams and create their own remarkable futures.”
Chick-fil-A’s Remarkable Futures initiative includes three opportunities:
- True Inspiration Scholarship: In 2019, 12 Team Members will receive an individual, one-time award of $25,000. Unlike traditional scholarships which are based solely on academics, the True Inspiration Scholarship is for students who also demonstrate financial need, leadership and community involvement. This year’s True Inspiration Scholarship recipients logged an average of 596 hours of community service each during the previous 12-month period.
- Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship: In 2019, 6,016 Team Members will receive a $2,500 scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. Team Members may re-apply for up to four years for a potential total of up to $10,000 for college while working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. These scholarships are awarded to Chick-fil-A Team Members based on leadership, academic achievement and community involvement.
- Educational Assistance Opportunities: In addition to scholarships, Chick-fil-A offers all 120,000 restaurant Team Members access to tuition discounts of up to 30 percent and other educational benefits at more than 100 colleges and universities across the country. The benefits can be combined with either of the above scholarships.
To be eligible for these opportunities, applicants must be employed by a Chick-fil-A Franchise Operator, a Chick-fil-A, Inc.-operated restaurant or an S. Truett Cathy (STC) brand restaurant at the time of application and award.
Chick-fil-A began awarding scholarships in 1973 based on founder S. Truett Cathy’s desire to empower team members to further their education. Since then, more than 53,000 Team Members have received scholarships from Chick-fil-A, Inc., bringing the total amount funded to more than $75 million, applied at more than 3,200 schools nationwide.