Burger King is one of the biggest fast-food establishments in the world.
But did you know that it’s also big on philanthropy?
That’s right—the King isn’t as selfish as one might think. It gives away millions of dollars every year to good causes. As a student, you’ll be glad to hear about the Burger King Scholars Program from Burger King Corporation.
You can win money for tuition, books, and more. Typical award amounts are $1,000, but you can win up to $50,000.
Best of all, the application process is super easy. Check out this guide to learn how to apply! We go over deadlines, eligibility requirements, and everything else you need to know. We even tell you how to improve your chances of winning.
What Is the Burger King Scholarship?
James W. McLamore was one of the co-founders of Burger King Corporation. He was a highly respected CEO as he worked hard to do right by Burger King employees and customers. He valued good citizenship, education, and integrity.
In honor of his legacy, the company established the Burger King McLamore Foundation. Since 2005, this not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization has done good around the world. It oversees the Burger King Family Fund that gives grants to employees in need. This fund has helped families through medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other unexpected hardships. Since its inception, the Burger King foundation has granted over $1.5 million to families in China, Italy, the U.S., and other countries.
Aside from the Family Fund, the Burger King McLamore Foundation hosts the Burger King Scholars Program.
The Burger King Scholars Program awards financial aid to help people pursue higher education. To date, the program has given over $44 million to more than 39,000 deserving applicants. Applicants can win one of the following three awards:
- Burger King General Track
- Burger King Employee-Based Track
- James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship
These awards are distributed by Scholarship America. The organization grants funds without regard to the race, age, gender, or sexual orientation of applicants.
What Does the Burger King Scholarship Provide?
The Burger King Corporation scholarship provides students in the United States., Canada, or Puerto Rico with financial aid. They must use the money to pay for their higher education.
Most people use the award to cover tuition, books, and other fees. You may also use it to cover room & board, transportation costs, and other expenses related to your schooling.
It’s nice to know that you can use the money to cover school-related expenses. But you’re probably wondering how much you can win.
If you win a Burger King general track award, you can win an amount up to $1,000. If you win an employee-based track award, you can win either $1,000 or $5,000. The number of winners and award amounts will vary year to year. It boils down to how much funding the Burger King foundation has available.
If you win the James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship, you’re in for a treat. You’ll get $50,000 that you can put towards your studies. Every year, only one person will win this amount.
No matter what amount you win, it will most likely not be taxed. This is good news as it lessens tax burdens for students. To avoid tax, just be sure to spend the Burger King award money on qualifying school expenses (tuition, books, etc.). If you have concerns about your award amount being taxed, consult with a financial advisor.
Note that the award amounts are non-renewable. So, if you won $1,000 in 2019, you will not automatically get another $1,000 next year. However, with some Burger King rewards, you may be able to reapply. We’ll discuss this later on.
How to Know If You’re Eligible for the Burger King Scholarship
We know what you’re thinking—the Burger King scholarship sounds pretty great. Students everywhere dream of getting $50,000 for their education. Even the smaller award amounts will go a long way.
So, you’re probably wondering if you’re eligible. Let’s take a closer look at the eligibility requirements for each of the award amounts:
When students hear about the Burger King scholarship, many think that they need to be an employee to apply. Luckily, this isn’t the case!
The general track lets anyone in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico apply. It accepts thousands of non-employee high school seniors per year.
Though you don’t have to be a Burger King employee to apply, there are some eligibility requirements you must meet to be eligible for a general track award. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- You must live in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
- You must be graduating/have graduated in the past 3 years as a high school senior (Puerto Rico and the U.S.), from grade 12 (Canada), or from homeschooling (Puerto Rico, U.S., or Canada).
- You have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
- You plan to enroll full-time at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational school in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
As you can see, the eligibility requirements for the Burger King general track are pretty simple. This makes it easy for everyone to have a chance to fund their postsecondary education.
Can Applicants Reapply?
As we mentioned earlier, general track awards can be up to $1,000. Once you win a general track award, you are not eligible to win another one. So, if you’ve already won a previous year, make sure you don’t waste your time by reapplying. Focus on getting other scholarships you are eligible for.
Burger King has a long history of taking care of its employees. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that it has an “employee-based” track for its scholarship program.
The employee-based track, of course, is open to employees. Applicants must be employed by Burger King Corporation or a participating franchise. The employee-based track is also open to children and spouses of employees.
Note that the employee-based track has two categories. Let’s take a closer look at the eligibility requirements for each:
Traditional Postsecondary Education
This Burger King award is for applicants who want to pursue traditional postsecondary education. They must enroll in a two- or four-year college, university, or vocational school in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
Other eligibility requirements include:
- You live in the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico.
- You must be graduating/have graduated in the past 3 years as a high school senior (Puerto Rico and the U.S.), from grade 12 (Canada), or from homeschooling (Puerto Rico, U.S., or Canada). Or you’ve earned your GED within the last three years. Or you’re a current undergraduate/graduate student at a qualifying college.
- You have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
Some people don’t want to pursue traditional postsecondary education. Instead, they enroll in enrichment programs.
Enrichment programs are courses that enhance learning. They may include GED, certification, etc. If you apply for this category, you must plan to enroll less than part-time in an enrichment program in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
Other eligibility requirements for the enrichment programs category include:
- You must live in the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico.
- You must be an employee or the spouse or domestic partner of an employee. (Employees and children & spouses or domestic partners of employees are eligible for the traditional postsecondary education category. However, children of employees are not eligible for the enrichment programs category.)
Can Applicants Reapply?
If you win an employee-based track award, you can win either $1,000 or $5,000. $5,000 winners are not eligible to reapply. $1,000 winners, however, can continue to reapply as long as they meet eligibility requirements. They may receive up to 4 annual awards totaling no more than $4,000.
James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship
The basic eligibility requirements for the James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship are the same as those for the other awards. For instance, you must be a graduating senior or have graduated from high school in the past 3 years.
However, this Burger King scholarship comes with additional eligibility requirements. They are stricter, which makes sense considering how big the award is.
See below to determine if you eligible for the WHOPPER scholarship:
- You must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.
- You must plan to enroll full-time at a 4-year college or university.
- You must have an unweighted grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
- You must have either at least a composite ACT score of 25 or a combined SAT score of 1700.
- You must exhibit substantial work experience.
- You must demonstrate substantial financial need.
- You must demonstrate active leadership (community service, sports teams, clubs, etc.).
Note that you do not have to fill out a separate application for this scholarship. The Burger King foundation will choose a winner from the high school seniors that applied for the general and employee-based tracks.
Realize that under no circumstances is this Burger King award renewable. So, once someone wins the James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship, they will not be eligible to win it again.
Application Steps for the Burger King Scholarship
Scholarship America hosts the Burger King scholarship. So, to apply, you must do so through its portal.
1. Choose Your Preferred Language
On the Scholarship America page, you can choose your preferred language (English, Spanish, or French). From there, you must make an account.
2. Create an Account
Creating an account is easy. All you have to do is provide a valid email address and create a unique username and password.
3. Verify Your Account
Scholarship America will send a verification email to confirm your account. Once you confirm your account, you’ll be able to log in using the username/password you created.
4. Fill Out Profile Information
Before you can fill out the application, you must fill out your profile information. This includes personal details, information about your scholarships, etc.
5. Fill Out the Application
After completing your profile information, you can fill out the application. It is relatively short and takes most applicants around 25 minutes to complete.
Be sure to fill out all forms correctly. Use standard capitalization, check for typos, etc.
6. Upload Transcripts
All Burger King applicants will have to upload their transcripts to show that they have an acceptable grade point average. Transcripts must be recent and complete.
Do your best to obtain an official transcript. Scholarship America will not accept report cards. If you can only get an unofficial transcript, make sure it has your name, your school’s name, and credit hours for each class.
7. Provide Other Documentation
Depending on what track you choose, you may have to supply additional documentation that shows:
- Acceptable ACT/SAT scores
- Other academic achievements
- Participation in the community and leadership roles
- Length of employment at Burger King
- Work experience
- Your family’s financial need
Remember that whether you choose the general track or the employee-based track, you will automatically be considered for the WHOPPER scholarship. So, be sure to provide all necessary documentation.
8. Review and Submit
Especially if you have all the documentation ready, you can sign up for an account and complete the Burger King application in one sitting.
But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take your time. Once you submit it, you can’t make revisions. So, carefully go over each response and ensure everything is accurate.
If you can’t complete your application in one sitting, no worries. Scholarship America lets you save your progress and come back. Just be sure to submit it before the application deadline (December 15th).
The Burger King Scholarship Annual Timeline
The timeline for the Burger King scholarship is the same every year. See below for important dates
Application Opens on October 15th
On October 15th, you can start filling out your Burger King application.
Application Closes on December 15th
You must submit your Burger King application by December 15th.
Winners Announced in May
In May, the Burger King Scholars Program will announce the winners and contact them by mail/email. You may have to provide additional information to the organization.
Checks Mailed in August
In August, Burger King will mail out checks to the winners’ institutions.
Tips and Strategies to Help You Win the Burger King Scholarship
Want to increase your chances of winning? Check out these tips:
The Burger King application is open for 2 months. This is plenty of time to complete it. And, unlike other scholarships, you don’t need to write an essay or get letters of recommendation.
But you shouldn’t put it off. Starting as early as possible will ensure you get your application in on time. Plus, once Burger King receives 50,000 submissions, the application will close. Even if this happens before the application deadline.
Have Someone Go Over Your Application
Ask a teacher, parent, or other trusted adult to go over your Burger King application. They will help you ensure everything is complete and correct.
Do Well in School
While you’re still in school, keep your grades up. You need to maintain a minimum GPA to be eligible. And, if you want to get the WHOPPER scholarship, you need minimum ACT/SAT test scores.
Be Active in Your Community
Being active in your community won’t just make you eligible for the WHOPPER scholarship. It will help you give back and build essential leadership skills. It will also prepare you for life beyond high school.
Conclusion – Go for the Burger King Scholarship!
If you are a student in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico, we highly recommend applying for the Burger King scholarship. It’s a great, easy way to get the funds you need for school.