Fast Food Scholarships

Fast food isn’t the only tempting value offered by your local drive-thru restaurant.  Several popular chains award college scholarships to qualifying employees and their children, to local high school students, or to all of the above. 

“This year, over 48,000 applications were submitted,” reports Belissa Alvarez of Burger King’s Have It Your Way Foundation.  “The scholarships are open to high school seniors, Burger King system employees, and children of Burger King system employees.”  Alvarez also notes that Have It Your Way Scholarships are offered in $1,000, $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000 denominations; she encourages prospective applicants to visit the Foundation’s website (noted below) for full details. 

Similarly, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s scholarship is open to any high school senior who meets the eligibility requirements, demonstrates financial need, and displays an entrepreneurial spirit.   “The KFC Colonel’s Scholars Scholarship receives over 100,000 applications per year,” says Cindy Harbin, Executive Director of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, Inc.  “Colonel Harland Sanders was more than a talented cook,” Harbin explains, describing KFC’s founder and scholarship namesake.   “In addition to developing one of the most famous chicken recipes in the world, he was passionate about families, kids, and education.”

If you’re a fast food employee or a student in search of financial aid for college, the following scholarship programs may be a good fit:

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Colonel’s Scholars Program

Description:
KFC’s Colonel’s Scholars Program is a national scholarship contest open to qualifying high school students.  The award is intended to support students seeking four-year degrees at public institutions within their home states.  Qualifying recipients may begin their college studies at community colleges or two-year programs, so long as they eventually intend to transfer into bachelor degree programs.  KFC scholarships are made possible by donations and funds from the KFC corporation, its customers, employees, and participating franchisees. 

Sponsor:
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, a nonprofit organization

Amount:
Up to $5,000 per year toward a bachelor degree (up to $20,000 total)

Eligibility Requirement 1:
Recipient must be a high school senior with a grade point average of at least 2.75, and must demonstrate financial need.

Eligibility Requirement 2:
Recipient must plan to enroll at a public, in-state college or university, for the fall semester immediately following high school graduation.

Application Requirements:
Applicants must create an online account and complete an online application, which seeks financial, academic, and extra-curricular information.  Work can be saved and completed over several visits.  Semi-finalists will be asked for additional documentation.

Deadline:
Mid-February, annually

For full program details, eligibility requirements, and the most current deadline information, visit the organization’s website at www.kfcscholars.org

Burger King Scholars Program

Description:
Burger King’s Have It Your Way Foundation offers a series of scholarships to qualifying students, employees, and their dependent children.  Eligibility criteria differ for the different award types.  Qualifying employee recipients may use scholarship funds toward enrichment courses as well as two or four-year degrees.

Sponsor:
The Have It Your Way Foundation, along with participating Burger King franchisees, customers, employees, suppliers,  and the McLamore Family Foundation

Amount:
Hundreds of $1,000 awards, four $5,000 regional awards, one $25,000 award, three $50,000 awards

Eligibility Requirement 1:
For the General Track and Employee Track awards, recipients must be high school seniors planning to enroll in an accredited two or four-year college program or vocational-technical program.  Employee recipients may opt to enroll part-time; all other recipients must enroll as full-time students.  Employee recipients and their children may also qualify as GED holders and/or as current college students (not just as high school seniors).  General Track applicants must have a high school GPA of at least 2.5; Employee Track applicants must maintain a GPA (either high school or college) of at least 2.0.

Eligibility Requirement 2:
James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship recipients must be high school seniors or recent (within three years) high school graduates, planning to enroll as full-time students at accredited, nonprofit, four-year colleges.  They must have GPAs of at least 3.3, and must meet minimum score requirements on the SAT or ACT.  They must also demonstrate extra-curricular involvement and work experience.

Application Requirements:
Applicants must create an online account and complete an online application.

Deadline:
January, annually

For full program details, eligibility requirements, and the most current deadline information, visit the organization’s website at www.haveityourwayfoundation.org

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Scholarships

Description:
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) oversees a network of U.S. chapters, many of which offer scholarships to qualifying high school students who demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, and extra-curricular involvement.  Along with a general RMHC Scholars Award, participating RMHC chapters offer three additional types of scholarships for qualifying students with Asian-Pacific, Latino/Hispanic, or African American and/or Black Caribbean heritage.  Not all participating chapters offer all four awards.  (McDonald’s also offers its $2,500 National Employee Scholarship to qualifying employees representing all 50 states.  For the employee program, terms and requirements differ from those listed below.)

Sponsor:
Ronald McDonald House Charities

Amount:
Varies

Eligibility Requirement 1:
Recipient must live within the jurisdiction of a participating RMHC facility.  Not all chapters offer all four types of scholarships.

Eligibility Requirement 2:
Recipient must be a high school senior, age 21 or younger, planning to enroll as a full-time student at an accredited postsecondary school or college.  (Verification of enrollment is eventually required.)

Application Requirements:
Applicants must create an online account and complete an online application.

Deadline:
January, annually

For full program details, eligibility requirements, and the most current deadline information, visit the organization’s website at www.rmhc.org

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