Scholarships & Academic Support


When restaurant employees are ready to pursue higher education, Yum! Brands is there to help.

Team members in the U.S. can receive scholarships through a variety of sources, such as Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más Scholarship, created for innovators, creators and dreamers — students whose passions lie outside the conventional academic or athletic categories. The Taco Bell Foundation set a bold goal of donating $10 million in Live Más Scholarships by 2022.

The REACH Educational Grant Program helps KFC employees pursue their dreams of going to college. Employees can receive up to $3,000 to help them attend a two-year or four-year college, trade or vocational school, or graduate degree program. Beginning in 2016, all employees at participating KFC U.S. restaurants were eligible to apply.

Another signature educational investment is the Andy Pearson Scholarship, established in honor of Yum!’s founding chairman. Since the inception of the scholarship in 2003, more than $6.7 million has been awarded to more than 3,000 scholarship recipients across the U.S. In 2017, 96 employees or their eligible family members received a total of $212,000 in scholarships, with 90 percent being awarded to field and restaurant employees.

A number of new education programs allow team members to turn their on-the-job restaurant training into college credit, giving employees even more opportunities to succeed. Pizza Hut’s Life Unboxed EDU is offered to all U.S. corporate and franchisee employees and immediate family members. It allows participants to apply their team member training courses as credits toward their chosen degree program at Excelsior College®, a fully accredited, private, nonprofit college with more than 40 degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Undergraduate students can save more than 50 percent on tuition, while master’s degree earners can save 15 percent.

Through Taco Bell’s partnership with Guild Education, all Taco Bell corporate and franchise employees have access to coaches, discounts to Guild's education partners, as well as academic and financial aid. This includes a network of 80 online nonprofit universities and learning providers, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, high school completion and English-as-a-second-language programs, as well as a wide selection of certificates. Taco Bell corporate employees, along with employees of participating franchisees, also have access to up to $5,250 per calendar year in tuition assistance. All employees can receive credit for their restaurant training, which could add up to an additional $5,000 in savings. Evidence suggests that these programs not only strengthen resumes, they also make for satisfied employees who want to stay at Yum! restaurants.


of employees enrolled in Guild stayed at Taco Bell more than 6 months


increase over employees
not enrolled


In 2016, Taco Bell officially launched Start with Us, Stay with Us, a platform and mentality to set Taco Bell apart as a category of one through its education and career-building programs. Whether employees stay for a year or stay for life, Taco Bell has made it a priority to offer benefits and programs that create innovators and leaders for our communities inside and outside of its restaurants. The platform includes the full spectrum of opportunities that Taco Bell offers, including Live Más Scholarships for employees and customers, GED certification program and partnership programs with Guild Education. The platform supports Taco Bell’s goal of attracting and retaining top talent as it creates thousands of new jobs across the U.S.