Tuition Assistance

Click on the sections below for more information

What is Tuition Assistance?

We know that the cost of your education can make it challenging to earn a college degree. That’s why Archways to Opportunity® offers Tuition Assistance to eligible employees. Tuition Assistance is money to help pay for college courses that are taken at an “approved school” such as a two or four year public or private college or university; business, technical or vocational school; graduate or post-graduate school that is accredited by the Department of Education.

We know that the cost of your education can make it challenging to earn a college degree. That’s why we offer Tuition Assistance to eligible employees. Tuition Assistance is money to help pay for college courses that are taken at an “approved school” such as a two or four year public or private college or university; business, technical or vocational school; graduate or post -graduate school that is accredited by the Department of Education.

Who’s eligible?

McOpCo full-time Store Manager Trainee, Certified Swing Manager, Department Manager, or General Manager

You are eligible for $5,250 in Tuition Assistance if:

  • You have a performance rating of “significant performance” or better, maintained throughout the course/program.
  • Notify your Supervisor of your participation

McOpCo restaurant Crew, Floor Supervisor, Shift Manager Trainee, Primary Maintenance, or other part-time employee

You are eligible for $2,500 in Tuition Assistance each year if:

  • You are employed by McDonald’s for at least 90 cumulative days.
  • You work an average of 15 hours per week or more.
  • You have a performance rating of “significant performance” or better, maintained throughout the course/program.

Full-time restaurant manager or staff of a participating Franchise Owner/Operator

You are eligible for $3,000 in Tuition Assistance each year if:

  • Your Operator participates in the Archways to Opportunity program.
  • You work a minimum of 30 hours per week for that Franchise Owner/Operator.
  • You are in good standing as determined by the Franchise Owner/Operator.

Restaurant crew (including maintenance), part-time manager or part-time office staff of a participating Franchise Owner/Operator

You are eligible for $2,500 in Tuition Assistance each year if:

  • Your Operator participates in the Archways to Opportunity program.
  • You are employed by the same Franchise Owner/Operator at least 90 cumulative days as of the time of the Tuition Assistance Request application completion.
  • You work an average of 15 hours per week for that Franchise Owner/Operator.
  • You are in good standing as determined by the Franchise Owner/Operator.

What should I know about Tuition Assistance?

  • Tuition Assistance through Archways to Opportunity covers eligible course expenses (tuition and course fees) that are not covered by scholarships or grants.

    Example of how this works:
    • Ron receives financial aid that he must repay. He is eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance to cover eligible course expenses to avoid out of pocket costs.
    • Ron receives a grant that covers 100% of his tuition. The grant does not need to be repaid. He is not eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance because he has no out of pocket costs for eligible course expenses.
    • Ron receives a grant that covers 50% of his tuition. The grant does not need to be repaid. However, Ron is eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance to cover the remaining eligible course expenses that he would have to pay out of pocket.
  • Applications can be submitted 45 days before a course start date. If you attempt to submit prior to 45 days, your application will be placed in a pending status, and you will be notified.  You will then need to go back into the Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions site to resubmit within that 45-day timeframe. You can access your pending application in the “Action Needed” section on the home page.
  • To get tuition assistance, you must meet the eligibility requirements that are pre-verified through McDonalds.
  • You shall cease being eligible to receive benefits under this program upon the date in which you terminate employment or are discharged from employment.
  • Once approved you will receive a Letter of Credit (LOC) to sign and provide your school. A Letter of Credit (LOC) acts as tuition for registration and enrollment. The LOC is only good for the courses included on your tuition assistance application. The school will then bill Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions and they will pay your school via direct bill. It’s all taken care of for you.
    • In the event your school does not participant in direct bill, Bright Horizons EdAssist will reach out to you to complete your application via itemized tuition bill verification, and you will be mailed a check made out to your college upon approval.
    • If you submit after the start of your course the process for requesting tuition assistance will be the same.  If you paid for your course out of your pocket, once your application is approved you will receive a Letter of Credit (LOC).  You can submit that Letter of Credit to your School, once your tuition assistance is paid via direct bill you can request reimbursement of your out-of-pocket expense.
  • After you’ve completed your course, you must upload a transcript showing satisfactory completion of your previously awarded term.  You can access your approved application in the history section found on the homepage and follow prompts to add grades/transcripts to the “supporting documentation” section of your approved request.
    • If you do not provide acceptable documentation, you will be unable to submit an additional request for tuition assistance. If you have an unsuccessful grade, you will be suspended from receiving additional tuition assistance for the remainder of the program year.
    • If you are a manager you must submit a transcript showing satisfactory completion of your previously awarded term within 90 days of your course completion date.  If you do not submit your documentation, you will be responsible for repayment of tuition assistance awarded and it will be collected through the payroll process. 
  • You have until December 31st, each year to submit your application for tuition assistance for courses that end in that same year.
  • Tuition Assistance through Archways to Opportunity covers eligible course expenses (tuition and course fees) that are not covered by scholarships or grants.

    Example of how this works:
    • Ron receives financial aid that he must repay. He is eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance to cover eligible course expenses to avoid out of pocket costs.
    • Ron receives a grant that covers 100% of his tuition. The grant does not need to be repaid. He is not eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance because he has no out of pocket costs for eligible course expenses.
    • Ron receives a grant that covers 50% of his tuition. The grant does not need to be repaid. However, Ron is eligible to use Archways Tuition Assistance to cover the remaining eligible course expenses that he would have to pay out of pocket.
  • Applications can be submitted 45 days before a course start date. If you attempt to submit prior to 45 days, your application will be placed in a pending status, and you will be notified.  You will then need to go back into the Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions site to resubmit within that 45-day timeframe. You can access your pending application in the “Action Needed” section on the home page.
  • To get tuition assistance, your request must be approved by your Franchise Owner/Operator.
  • You shall cease being eligible to receive benefits under this program upon the date in which you terminate employment or are discharged from employment.
  • Once approved you will receive a Letter of Credit (LOC) to sign and provide your school. A Letter of Credit (LOC) acts as tuition for registration and enrollment. The (LOC) is only good for the courses included on your tuition assistance application. The school will then bill Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions and they will pay your school via direct bill. It’s all taken care of for you.
    • In the event your school does not participant in direct bill, Bright Horizons EdAssist will reach out to you to complete your application via itemized tuition bill verification, and you will be mailed a check made out to your college upon approval.
    • If you submit after the start of your course the process for requesting tuition assistance will be the same.  If you paid for your course out of your pocket, once your application is approved you will receive a Letter of Credit (LOC).  You can submit that Letter of Credit to your School, once your tuition assistance is paid via direct bill you can request reimbursement of your out-of-pocket expense.
  • After you’ve completed your course, you must upload a transcript showing satisfactory completion of your previously awarded term. You can access your approved application in the history section found on the homepage. Follow prompts to add grades/transcripts to the “supporting documentation” section of your approved request.
    • If you do not provide acceptable documentation, you will be unable to submit an additional request for tuition assistance. If you have an unsuccessful grade you will be suspended from receiving additional tuition assistance for the remainder of the program year.
  • You have until December 31st, each year to submit your application for tuition assistance for courses that end in that same year.

How do I request Tuition Assistance?

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Before you get started...

45 days before your course starts, gather your information, including:

  • Your personal information, including the last 4 digits of your SSN.
  • Your employee information: Payroll ID (found on paystub – 9 digits with leading zero), your start date, current role, and average hours worked.
  • Your restaurant address, you will be able to search this by zip code.
  • Your school and course information (number of courses, tuition costs, & start and end dates).
  • Your eligible textbook costs and receipts.

Once you have your information ready...

Complete your online request for Tuition Assistance:

New? Create a new account.

  • Using the store locator, search for the restaurant address you currently work at.
  • Complete all registration questions.
    • Be sure this information is accurate. Inaccurate information can cause request delays.
  • Last step for account creation, verify the restaurant address selected is correct, click “Continue” to enter your EdAssist homepage.
  • This will be your tuition assistance “account” for Archways to Opportunity.

Take your time exploring your new account, important messages are available, and you can take advantage of the live chat feature to get personalized assistance in answering any questions you may have.

  • To submit a tuition assistance application, click on “New Application”.
  • Important: If you are unable to proceed with your application due to a notification, you do not meet the eligibility requirements for tuition assistance that are pre-verified from HR. The notification will provide an explanation of why you’re not eligible.  If you think this is inaccurate or have further questions, please reach out to your supervisor for further assistance.

Make sure you have the school specific information you gathered and complete all required fields.

  • Fill in the following: Area of study, select your education provider (this is your school), and session start and end dates.
  • Next enter each course, the course amount, credit hour, and instruction type. If you have eligible course fees, click “Add an Expense” and enter that course related fee amount to that specific class. Complete this step by clicking “Save Expense”.

    Important:  Do not add fees for books to this part of the application process.  If you are requesting assistance for textbooks you will be able to add that expense after you have completed and submitted your application.  This will be a separate transaction.
    • Continue this process and add all courses for the session requested, then click “Continue”.
    • Make sure you accurately identify Y/N if you plan to receive grants, scholarships, or discounts. If you select yes (Y), enter the scholarship/grant type and amount.
    • This information will be verified when your school sends the invoice to Bright Horizons EdAssist for payment. Tuition Assistance awards will be paid for eligible tuition and course fees requested, not covered by scholarships or grants, up to the annual cap available.
    • Click “I Agree” to both the participant & FERPA terms, then digitally sign your application to accept both agreements.
    • You can review all entered information and edit any details before finalizing your application by clicking “Submit Application”. This is your final step to requesting tuition assistance.

To request tuition assistance for textbooks, go to the latest application under the “Actions Needed” section of your homepage.

  • Click on “Actions” and follow the prompts to enter textbook details & the cost (fees).
  • Confirm the information entered for books is correct, then click “Save Expense”.
  • Click “I Agree” to both the participant & FERPA terms, then digitally sign your application again.
  • You can review all entered information and edit any details before finalizing your request for textbooks by clicking “Submit Application”. This is your final step in your textbook application.
  • Next you will need to submit supporting documentation (receipts for textbooks).  Click on “Supporting Documentation” and upload your documents. Acceptable document formats are pdf, jpg, jpeg, and png. File size limit is 3 MB.
  • Awards for textbooks are sent via payroll as reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expense.

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions will review your application to ensure it meets policy compliance.
  • Once your application has been approved, a Letter of Credit (LOC) will be issued automatically. You will receive this via email, and it will be available on your account homepage under “Action Needed”. You will sign this LOC and provide it to your school which acts as the direct bill verification. At that time, you can begin your classes, and the rest of the tuition assistance award process is completed for you!

What happens after I complete my courses?

  • Log back into your Bright Horizons Account homepage and upload your grades/transcripts.
    • You can access your approved application by clicking the “History tab” found on the top of your homepage. Follow the prompts to add your transcript/grades to the “supporting documentation” section of your approved request.
  • You must provide satisfactory completion of courses in order to start another application.
    • Questions about grade requirements? Review the policy document located in the “Using You Benefits Section”.
  • Once your grades have been submitted and reviewed as passing, your application will be considered complete, and will unlock your next application.
    • If you have an unsuccessful grade, you will be suspended from receiving additional tuition assistance for the remainder of the program year.
    • If you are a manager you must submit a transcript showing satisfactory completion of your previously awarded term within 90 days of your course completion date.  If you do not submit your documentation, you will be responsible for repayment of tuition reimbursement awarded and it will be collected through the payroll process.


Still unsure of where your request is at in the process? Log in to your Bright Horizons EdAssist account and review the status on your homepage.

You can also get support with live chat right away or submit a ticket via the support services tab on your homepage. Need more help? Call Bright Horizons customer care at 844-358-1622 which operates Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST.

Before you get started…

45 days before your course starts, gather your information, including:

  • Your personal information, including the last 4 digits of your SSN.
  • Your employee information: your start date, current role, and average hours worked.
  • Your restaurant address, you will be able to search this by zip code.
  • Your school and course information (number of courses, tuition costs, & start and end dates).

Once you have your information ready...

Complete your online request for Tuition Assistance:

New? Create a new account.

  • Important: If you received a pre-registration email or already have an account make sure you log in to your existing account.
  • Using the store locator, search for the restaurant address you currently work at.
  • Complete all registration questions.
    • Be sure this information is accurate. Inaccurate information can cause request delays.
  • Last step for account creation, verify the restaurant address selected is correct, click “Continue” to enter your EdAssist homepage.
  • This will be your tuition assistance “account” for Archways to Opportunity.

Take your time exploring your new account, important messages are available, and you can take advantage of the live chat feature to get personalized assistance in answering any questions you may have.

  • To submit a tuition assistance application, click on “New Application”.
    • Important: If you are unable to proceed with your application due to a notification, you do not meet the eligibility requirements for tuition assistance.
    • You can verify the employment information you supplied is correct in your profile, including hire date, average hours worked, and role.  If your information is inaccurate, click on “Edit” to be taken to the restaurant verification step and then proceed to correct your profile details.
    • If all employment information is accurate under your profile but you still have eligibility questions, please reach out to your Manager or Owner Operator for further assistance.

Make sure you have the school specific information you gathered and complete all required fields.

  • Fill in the following: Area of study, select your education provider (this is your school), and session start and end dates.
  • Next enter each course, the course amount, credit hour, and instruction type. If you have eligible course fees, click “Add an Expense” and enter that course related fee amount to that specific class. Complete this step by clicking “Save Expense”.
    • Continue this process and add all courses for the session requested, then click “Continue”.
  • Make sure you accurately identify Y/N if you plan to receive grants, scholarships, or discounts. If you select yes (Y), enter the scholarship/grant type and amount.
  • This information will be verified when your school sends the invoice to Bright Horizons EdAssist for payment. Tuition Assistance awards will be paid for eligible tuition and course fees requested, not covered by scholarships or grants, up to the annual cap available.
  • Click “I Agree” to both the participant & FERPA terms, then digitally sign your application to accept both agreements.
  • You can review all entered information and edit any details before finalizing your application by clicking “Submit Application”. This is your final step to requesting tuition assistance!

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions will review your application to ensure it meets policy compliance.
  • Once approved by Bright Horizons, an employment verification email will be sent to your Owner Operator to approve.
  • It can take up to 3 days for Bright Horizons EdAssist to notify your Owner/Operator that your request is pending their approval of employment.
  • Once your Owner/Operator has approved your request, a Letter of Credit (LOC) will be issued automatically. You willreceive this via email, and it will be available on your account homepage under “Action Needed”. You will sign this LOC and provide it to your school which acts as the direct bill verification. At that time, you can begin your classes, and the rest of the tuition assistance award process is completed for you!

What happens after I complete my courses?

  • Log back into your Bright Horizons Account homepage and upload your grades/transcripts.
    • You can access your approved application by clicking the “History tab” found on the top of your homepage. Follow the prompts to add your transcript/grades to the “supporting documentation” section of your approved request.
  • You must provide satisfactory completion of courses in order to start another application.
    • Questions about grade requirements? Review the policy document located in the “Using You Benefits Section”.
  • Once your grades have been submitted and reviewed as passing, your application will be considered complete, and will unlock your next application.
    • If you have an unsuccessful grade, you will be suspended from receiving additional tuition assistance for the remainder of the program year.

Still unsure of where your request is at in the process? Log in to your Bright Horizons EdAssist account and review the status on your homepage.

You can also get support with live chat right away or submit a ticket via the support services tab (?) on your homepage. Need more help? Call Bright Horizons customer care at 844-358-1622 which operates Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST.



Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions™

New Features that make Your Tuition Assistance Process Easier!

You've asked, we've listened. Through this partnership eligible restaurant employees now have access to:

  • Easy to use and intuitive system – that no longer requires an itemized tuition bill.
  • Tuition assistance awards paid directly to schools – via direct bill.
  • Access to McDonald's College partners plus access to Bright Horizons Education network with 200+ discounted education institutions.
  • Consistent annual deadline of December 31st each year, giving you more time to submit your annual applications for tuition assistance.
  • Dedicated coaches to continue advising support with a connection to your education journey, all in the same place.
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