What is the Disney Aspire Program?

The Walt Disney Company has delivered nearly 100 years of magic, in part because of the dedication and talent of its Cast Members. In addition to being a fun place to work that builds lifelong friendships, Disney remains committed to fostering a supportive and fulfilling workplace.

One of the initiatives our cast members and employees love is Disney Aspire, which allows them to expand their professional skills and grow their careers.

Disney Aspire at a glance

Disney Aspire is an educational investment program that provides hourly cast members and employees with resources they need to achieve their educational goals. It breaks down barriers to higher education, inspires career mobility and helps the company’s workforce prosper by offering 100% upfront tuition coverage for a network of schools and universities, along with added benefits, like reimbursement for books and fees.

What does the Disney Aspire program offer?

The Disney Aspire program offers various opportunities for hourly employees to continue their education and be better prepared for their futures. From tuition assistance to career mentoring, Disney Aspire is there to support employees and put their dreams within reach.

Tuition assistance

One of the toughest challenges students face is the high cost of tuition. Disney Aspire offers comprehensive tuition coverage to eligible hourly employees to help them remove this barrier.

This benefit allows them to pursue higher education without the burden of excessive student debt. The program covers tuition, required fees, and even required books for approved courses or programs.

In addition to undergraduate and master’s degree programs, Disney Aspire offers tuition coverage for high school completion, English language learning and college prep. Any fees or required book purchases that come from these educational pursuits are eligible for reimbursement through the program.

Educational options

Through Disney Aspire, employees can choose from a wide range of study. The program offers diverse educational programs, ranging from undergraduate and graduate degrees to trade programs and technical certificates.

In addition to traditional forms of higher education, the program provides access to courses, such as business, technology, healthcare, leadership, and more.

With so many educational options, the Disney Aspire program helps employees get the chance to pursue careers that line up with their specific interests and long-term career goals, regardless of their current field of work at Disney.

Career development

Getting started on a new career path can be intimidating, which is why Disney provides cast members and employees with the resources they need to begin the process with confidence.

In addition to financial assistance and career development resources, employees receive guidance on selecting educational programs that align with their career goals, helping them enhance their professional skills and explore new opportunities within the company.

Cast members and employees enrolled in Disney Aspire are encouraged to participate in development offerings such as resume writing and networking events. They also have career advisors to help them along the way.

How do you qualify for Disney Aspire?

The Disney Aspire program is available to Disney’s US-based, full- and part-time hourly cast members and employees. After 90 days of employment at Disney, individuals are eligible to enroll in the program.

More information about eligibility can be found on the Disney Aspire webpage, where cast members and employees can explore the various programs and degree paths available.

Disney Aspire vs. Disney College Program: What’s the difference?

The Disney College Program is a separate initiative that promotes education and opportunities for career-minded students working across The Walt Disney Company.

While Disney Aspire encourages current employees to continue their education, the Disney College program invites active college students to gain experience while working at the theme park. Like Disney Aspire, this initiative allows participants to broaden their horizons, continue their education and get valuable experience along the way.

While working at the park, participants in the college program learn to uphold Disney’s high standards for guest service, teamwork and innovation. With hands-on experience in a fast-paced working environment, students get a chance to develop skills essential to the broader workforce.

In addition to real-world work experience, participants in the Disney College program can earn credits towards their degree. While this program assists students already engaged in academic institutions, Disney Aspire is there to support current employees and engage them in broadening their career opportunities.

Disney Aspire: Empowering employees with real results

Since Disney Aspire debuted in 2018, over 3,800 current employees have completed the program, and 30% of the program’s graduates have enrolled in another program. Likewise, 3,100 students and graduates have been promoted internally.

Now, as of 2023, more than 15,000 students are currently enrolled — a significant portion of more than 90,000 eligible employees across the United States. With more than 50% of students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, Disney Aspire offers the most comprehensive educational investment program of its kind.

At Disney, it’s our job to turn dreams into reality. For our cast members and employees, the Disney Aspire program is one way we help make dreams come true – by covering college tuition, English language learning, high school diplomas and trade programs for thousands of employees.

To learn more about what Disney Aspire means to our Cast Members, check out Maria’s story.