1. Business

Disney offers to pay full college tuition for hourly workers

The Walt Disney Co. will now offer to pay full tuition for hourly workers who want to earn a college degree or finish a high school diploma, the company announced Wednesday.

As many as 80,000 hourly workers in the U.S. could be eligible for the program, which pays up-front tuition for employees taking classes starting this fall, according to a news release.

Disney said it plans to invest $50 million into the program, known as Disney Aspire, and up to $25 million the following year.

Disney makes cast member dreams come true with new, groundbreaking educational investment program:

"The program is designed for working adults and offers our Cast Members and employees maximum choice and flexibility with their studies, regardless of whether the program and classes they choose are tied to their current role at Disney," said Jayne Parker, Disney's chief human resources officer.

Disney will begin to implement its program in phases, with the first being limited to online classes. In-classroom courses could be added if there's demand for them, according to a blog post on its website.

so i need to become a cast member & then apply for this program? this is tempting. REAL tempting. work @ disney and get 100% tuition paid for up front

The company emphasized that Disney Aspire is intended for hourly workers only, not those who are on salary.

Disney joins other large corporations that have set up similar programs to pay workers tuition as an incentive for working there.

In May, Walmart said it will offer workers the chance to get a college degree at three universities with online programs. Starbucks recently partnered with Arizona State University to offer tuition coverage for U.S. workers earning a bachelor's degree.

well, looks like i need to go work for disney