Fourteen additional degree programs now available to Disney’s 90,000+ eligible hourly employees and Cast Members in the company’s 100% tuition-paid education initiative

BURBANK, Calif., August 12, 2019 – Disney Aspire, The Walt Disney Company’s 100% tuition-paid education plan for more than 90,000 hourly employees and Cast Members, welcomes University of Arizona to its network of schools. Now, eligible employees and Cast Members can pursue an additional 14 online bachelor’s degree programs including Public Health, Network Operations, Environmental Science, and Business Administration. This is in addition to the current programs in the Disney Aspire network, offered by universities and education providers including University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Brandman University, University of Florida Online, University of Denver, Wilmington University and Bellevue University.

Disney Aspire is the most comprehensive education investment program of its kind, offering nearly 300 total degrees and programs at 11 educational institutions nationwide. The Company has committed $150 million to fund Disney Aspire over the first five years of the program and will add up to $25 million more each year after that. Disney Aspire is designed to remove key barriers to enrollment in a multitude of ways, including:

· Covers 100% of costs associated with tuition and required books and fees
· Offers the choice and convenience of multiple programs, classes and schedule options
· Provides individual coaching and support from application through graduation
· Does not require employees and Cast Members to stay at Disney after the completion of their degree or certificate

Since Disney Aspire launched almost a year ago, more than 40% of Disney’s eligible employees have signed up and more than 8,000 individuals have enrolled in education programs.

“With Disney Aspire, we are helping employees create the futures they imagine for themselves,” said Jayne Parker, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief HR Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “The addition of the University of Arizona to our growing list of Disney Aspire network schools helps us further our commitment to support our more than 90,000 eligible employees’ and Cast Members’ education and career goals.”

University of Arizona has been named among the top 30 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News & World Report (2019). The addition of University of Arizona to the Disney Aspire catalog also brings entirely new areas of study, including bachelor’s degrees in Care, Health & Society; Sustainable Built Environments; Information Science & eSociety; and Global Information Security Technology.

“The University of Arizona has an impressive list of alumni already working for Disney worldwide,” said University of Arizona Senior Vice President and Provost Liesl Folks. “Through Disney Aspire, Arizona Online offers Disney employees and Cast Members that same high-quality education in flexible and innovative ways. Teaming up with a company like Disney to improve the lives of its team is a thrill and it’s part of a shared commitment and vision to the fulfillment of these people’s dreams, inside or outside of their current role.”

To help administer the program, Disney has partnered with Guild Education, a leader in education benefits that provides a technology platform and academic counseling to help employees find the programs that best fits their educational and professional development needs. Through Guild’s academic network, Disney Aspire includes a variety of schools that offer a wide array of disciplines, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, high school completion, English-language and Spanish-language learning, vocational training and more. Disney Aspire offers convenience and flexibility, with individual coaching provided by Guild to help students every step of the way throughout their education journey.

“Since the launch of the Disney Aspire program, Guild Education has helped thousands of employees and Cast Members pursue their educational goals,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-founder of Guild Education. “The addition of the University of Arizona to the Disney Aspire network of learning providers will allow even more Disney employees and Cast Members the opportunity to gain valuable skills and education that will further enable their success in the 21st century economy.”

For more information or to sign up, eligible Disney employees can visit aspire.disney.com.