McDonalds launches important scholarship fund for students

McDonald's launches important scholarship fund for students

 July 29, 2020

McDonald’s USA has launched its $500,000 Black & Positively Golden® Scholarship Fund. Facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the scholarship helps students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue their education in fall, despite impacts of COVID-19.

This is in conjunction with the launch of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience, in which McDonald’s officially kicks off its partnership with the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative.

“We know that education is the key to success,” said Marissa Fisher, a second-generation McDonald’s franchisee with four restaurants in southeast Louisiana. “With many college students uncertain of returning to classes in the wake of COVID-19, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted. As a brand with roots that run deep in communities, McDonald’s has been part of these students’ lives while growing up and is the place where many received their first jobs. We want to help ease some of the stress caused by this pandemic as they plan to return to school.” 

Providing critical donations to HBCUs

HACER McDonalds

According to TMCF, supporting HBCUs is increasingly paramount. These institutions face challenges of supporting a large percentage of low-income students (up to 90% at some schools), while managing unexpected costs related to shifting to an online education infrastructure.

“This year, donations to HBCUs are even more critical, as students continue dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and, now, civil unrest and demands for Black equality,” said Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO. “Black students, with allies from across the globe, are calling for companies to do more than issue statements and run ads. That’s why TMCF is excited to further our commitment with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college.”

ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative

Commemorating a 20-year partnership with the ESSENCE Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience, McDonald’s is also embarking on a collaboration with the ESSENCE Girls United HBCU initiative, powered by Black & Positively Golden.

The multi-week program includes inspiring virtual events for student entrepreneurs. Through this program, McDonald’s also awards seed capital and exclusive mentoring opportunities to select participants.

McDonald's commitment to advancing education 

These initiatives are natural extensions of McDonald's longstanding commitment to advancing education, as previously demonstrated through its partnership with TMCF and its Archways to Opportunity program, which has increased education access to over 55,000 and awarded more than $100M in tuition assistance for restaurant employees.

The company has donated $250,000 to Reach Higher’s Emergency Grants Relief Fund that will assist first-generation, low-income students and students of color who are on the path to obtaining a degree. Additional education programs include the HACER® National Scholarship for Hispanic students and the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program for Asian/Pacific Islander students. Since 2008, the HACER National Scholarship has awarded nearly $5M in financial assistance to 75 students across the country. In its inaugural year, the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship is awarding a total of $500,000 to 55 students.


IMAGE: HBCU students Ariana Griggs and Joshua Baker of Alabama A&M University were presented with McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden scholarships at the company’s 2019 Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour stop in Washington, D.C.

Being a catalyst of change

On a mission to supporting communities nationwide, McDonald’s strives to be a catalyst of change by funding scholarships, leadership training and dream building. 

“I often tell my employees that McDonald’s is more than burgers and fries,” said Marissa, who began working as a crew member in her parents’ McDonald’s restaurants prior to becoming a franchisee. “I’m proud to be part of a global brand that is stepping up to help America’s Black future leaders continue their education during such a challenging time.”

McDonalds black and positively golden

Work for a company making a positive impact on communities

McDonald's is proud to be a part of the communities it serves. The company shows its commitment to helping others through a range of scholarships, programs, partnerships and events. Giving back is an essential part of the way McDonald's operates every day.

If giving back to the community is important to you, search and apply for a job at McDonald's.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:

Join our women's careers community