McDonald’s: Archways to Opportunity

Short case description

McDonald's Archways to Opportunity is a comprehensive education strategy with multiple programs that give people an opportunity to grow and learn - no matter where they are on their journey. Education helps people reach their full potential. 

Situation background

Today nearly 40 million American working adults don't have a high school diploma. By 2020, 65% of jobs will require some college education or above. Currently there is an annual shortfall of 300,000 college graduates needed for the workforce, which translates to lost economic opportunity for millions of American workers.

Problem Statement

To close the  for up to 850K McDonald’s employees across US.

Steps to solving the problem

McDonald's created a program, that gives an access to $700-3,000/year for educational spending. Program participant is able: 

  • Improve English skills;
  • Earn a high school diploma (extended to immediate family of eligible employees of participating restaurants);
  • Work toward a college degree in any field.

Thus McDonald's created aт environment that stimulated employees to study and personal growth.

Since March, 2018 requirements for participation in the program were liberalized:

  • To work continuously at least 90 days at any participating restaurant;
  • To work at least 15 hours per week.

Since the launch in April, 2015, more than 38,500 restaurant employees in the U.S. have enrolled in a program through Archways to Opportunity:

  • 26,000+ restaurant employees awarded College Tuition Assistance;
  • 570+ graduates in the Career Online High School Program;
  • 6,800+ graduates from English Under the Arches since 2007;
  • $58 Million+ Awarded in High School and College Tuition Assistance.


Additional information

“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s. By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO