The KFC Foundation, in partnership with Western Governors University (WGU), announced that KFC restaurant employees will have the opportunity to receive 100 percent paid tuition when attending WGU to earn their degree.

Through this partnership, KFC restaurant employees can choose from more than 60 different bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certification programs across business, information technology, education, and health care. The KFC Foundation program is non-competitive, meaning every eligible employee who applies and enrolls will get tuition coverage. Access to this opportunity is available beginning day one on the job for restaurant employees. WGU also offers rolling start dates every month, so KFC restaurant employees have the flexibility to enroll at any time and begin online courses as soon as they’re ready.

“Every year we look for new ways to support and enhance the lives of KFC restaurant employees,” says Emma Horn, executive director of the KFC Foundation. “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.”

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Western Governors University is an accredited online university dedicated to making higher education accessible for as many people as possible. It is the leading academic institution where students learn and advance through competency-based education, rather than semester completion. As soon as a student masters the skills in a course and proves them through rigorous assessment, they progress in the program. Competency-based education works particularly well for learners in the workforce, giving them control over the pace of how and when they learn and may save them time progressing through the degree program.

“Talent exists within every individual but the keys to unlock it can vary for each person,” says Scott Pulsipher, President of Western Governors University. “Tens of thousands of KFC restaurant employees across the country can now further advance their lives, and that of their families and communities, by accessing and completing education programs that are relevant and personalized. I’m thankful that the KFC Foundation has entrusted WGU as its education partner to expand pathways to opportunity for KFC employees.”

The KFC Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization that supports and empowers KFC restaurant employees and their communities by providing education opportunities, hardship assistance, grants for nonprofits, and more. In addition to the WGU tuition coverage program, the KFC Foundation offers participating restaurant employees up to $20,000 in educational grants to attend the two- or four-year college, trade school, or graduate school of their choice. KFC restaurant employees can apply for and win KFC Foundation scholarships year after year.

Programs offered by the KFC Foundation are funded and made possible by initiatives and programs including at-register Round-Up donations and purchases of KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries. KFC franchisees have the opportunity to participate in the Foundation’s Annual Franchise Donation Program, in which a portion of every case of Secret Recipe Fries sold at participating restaurants goes directly to the KFC Foundation. The KFC Foundation’s other charitable programs help restaurant employees earn their GED, receive support during a crisis, build an emergency savings fund, and give back to nonprofits in their community.

“Together with our franchisees, we seek to create meaningful career growth and employee
development opportunities for our restaurant teams every day,” says Karen Ancira, chief people officer, KFC U.S and KFC Foundation board member. “Whether it’s the opportunity to earn a GED for free, a scholarship to the educational institution of their choice, or 100 percent tuition to WGU, our restaurant teams now have more options than ever to grow their careers with KFC or pursue any career they wish.”

KFC restaurant employees interested in the WGU program can go to to learn more, and those interested in working at a KFC restaurant can visit for more information about available job opportunities in their area.

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