Apr 12, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

For some, working in fast food is a way to an education.

Taco Bell is helping its employees offset the costs of college.

A recent article in Moneyish details the story of Francis Spenser, a 22-year-old single mother in 2005, who worked her way through the ranks at Taco Bell, becoming a shift supervisor and earning her GED.

Her reward? Taco Bell is paying for her college degree.

Taco Bell has partnered with Guild Education to offer financial support for education for its 210,000 employees in over 7,000 restaurants.

Members of the Taco Bell team will have access to personalized college advising and tuition discounts up to $5,250 per year--paid up front.

It's available starting day one of their employment.

All employees can also earn college credit for on-the-job restaurant training, which could save them up to $5,000 in academic credits.

What's Spencer doing with her education? She's going to study forensic science at Southwest Tennessee Community College this spring.

Her hope? To help communities solve medical problems.

She thanks Taco Bell for the opportunity.

Burger King, Chipotle, and McDonald's also offer education programs and scholarships for their employees. 

At McDonald's, employees can finish their GED, learn English, or earn scholarship money for a college degree through their Archways to Opportunity program. As of May 2018, McDonald's pledged to triple their investment over the next three years to $150 million for all restaurant employees seeking to expand their educational opportunities.

Learn more about earning your bachelor's degree


Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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