The Walt Disney Company offers scholarships to college students in the form of paid internships at either Disney World amusement parks in Orlando, Fla., or Disneyland parks in Anaheim, Calif. In addition to money and college credit, students receive special housing with other scholarship winners from around the world. The goal of the scholarships is to give students hands-on training in leadership, teamwork, customer service and business communication while learning the ins and outs of theme park and resort management.
Applicants must be 18 years old, have unrestricted U.S. work authorization and currently be enrolled in a college or university, with at least one semester already completed. College seniors may apply and interview for the program while they are still in school and participate directly after graduating. College freshman can apply for the program during their first year of school, but may not participate until at least their second semester. Students must comply with all of their college's or university’s requirements regarding grade point average and number of credits completed in order to participate in the Disney scholarship program.
Students Who Should Apply
While graduate students can apply for a Walt Disney College Scholarship, this program is designed for undergraduates who have finished at least a semester of school and want to learn about the Walt Disney Company. There are 10,000 scholarships a year available.
The Disney Look
In order to accept the scholarship to work and study at Disney, all students must adhere to the company’s strict dress code. A conservative, clean and neat appearance – also known as “the Disney look,” is required. Tattoos must be completely covered and there may be no body piercing jewelry, with the exception of traditional earrings for women, worn while working. Hair must be natural looking without any extreme dyes or hairdos. Facial hair for men should be well groomed and hairstyles should be conservative. Women’s makeup must be natural and conservative; finger nails should be manicured and short with neutral or no polish.
In addition to hands-on work experience, the Disney scholarship includes educational opportunities in a variety of subjects pertaining to business, academics and entertainment. Some of Disney’s educational courses, workshops and seminars can earn college credit and are recommended by the American Council on Education, ACE. While the classes themselves are included in the scholarship, students will be expected to pay for their own books and applicable course materials fees.
Bonnie Crowe is a mother of two teenagers; a teacher and author of children's books, curriculum and articles on English grammar, literature, technology, art, parenting and career guides for high schoolers. She's a former director of AOL Parenting, a member of SCBWI, and a graduate from the University of California,Berkeley.