February 23, 2024
burger king scholarship

The Burger King Scholars program is one of the most prestigious and generous corporate-sponsored scholarships available to high school students today. Since its inception by Burger King co-founder James McLamore in 1998, the program has awarded over $55 million in scholarships to more than 51,000 students across North America. This comprehensive guide will provide high school students and their families with everything they need to know to successfully apply for and win a Burger King scholarship worth up to $50,000.

Burger King offers several scholarship awards through its foundation, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 over multiple years. Three top applicants receive the $50,000 WHOPPER® scholarship as the highest scholarship award. The purpose of this guide is to outline the eligibility criteria, timeline, requirements, application tips, selection process and benefits to equip students to submit the strongest possible application.

Winning a Burger King scholarship provides high-achieving students with substantial financial assistance to alleviate the rising costs of college tuition. This guide aims to help ambitious high school students access these awards to make their educational dreams a reality.


The Burger King Scholarship program offers opportunities for three main groups of applicants:

High school seniors in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico planning to enroll full-time in an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school are eligible to apply. Students of all academic abilities are encouraged to apply.

Current part-time or full-time employees of Burger King restaurants, and their spouse or domestic partner, as well as their children, are also eligible to apply. This includes restaurant general managers, franchisees, their employees, and their dependent children.

Finally, students who are children of BURGER KING® McLamore Foundation donors are eligible. These are donors who have contributed $50,000 or more cumulatively over the history of the Foundation.

In summary, the Burger King Scholarship is open to a wide range of applicants – both students and Burger King employees and families. Focusing on eligibility criteria is a key first step before applying.


To be eligible for the Burger King Scholarship, applicants must meet certain academic and extracurricular requirements. According to the Burger King Scholars program website, applicants should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants’ transcripts must demonstrate a strong academic record in high school, including honors/AP/IB courses.

In addition to GPA, standardized test scores are another key component of the selection criteria. The Burger King Scholarship recommends applicants have SAT scores of at least 1200 or ACT scores of at least 25. Strong SAT/ACT scores help demonstrate college readiness and academic achievement.

Beyond academics, extracurricular activities and community involvement are also evaluated. Competitive applicants will showcase leadership experience, volunteer work, sports/arts participation, and other unique pursuits. Well-rounded extracurriculars show the applicant’s passions, talents, and service commitment.

Overall, Burger King wants to award scholarships to hardworking high school seniors with a blend of strong academic credentials and meaningful extracurricular engagement. Meeting the GPA, test score, and activity requirements gives applicants the best chance at securing this prestigious scholarship.


The Burger King Scholarship application period opens annually in mid-October. For the 2023-2024 school year, the application will open on October 16, 2023 according to the Burger King Scholars website (https://bk-scholars.com/). Students interested in applying should mark this date on their calendars.

The deadline to submit a Burger King Scholarship application is December 15th every year. For 2023, the submission deadline is December 15, 2023 per the Burger King Foundation (https://www.burgerkingfoundation.org/programs/burger-king-sm-scholars). Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59pm Eastern Time on December 15, 2023 to qualify.

Students have just under two months to complete their Burger King Scholarship applications between the October 16th opening date and the December 15th deadline. Meeting the deadline is critical, so applicants should aim to submit their materials well in advance.

Application Tips

To submit a strong Burger King Scholarship application, you’ll want to pay special attention to the essay, recommendation letters, and transcript. Here are some tips:


The essay is your chance to showcase your achievements, passion, and personality. Make sure to:

  • Follow the prompt closely and answer all parts of the question
  • Show rather than tell why you are a strong candidate through engaging stories and examples
  • Proofread extensively for spelling, grammar, and clarity
  • Aim for 500-650 words to be concise yet compelling

Recommendation Letters

Choose teachers and mentors who can speak to your academic performance, leadership skills, and character. Ask them:

  • At least 2 months in advance to allow time to write a thoughtful letter
  • To provide specific examples of when you demonstrated achievement or positive impact
  • To submit the letter before the deadline so it arrives on time


Submit an official transcript that includes:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Rigorous coursework in core subjects
  • Consistently strong grades with an upward trend

Following these application tips will put you on the path to submitting a standout Burger King Scholarship application.

Sample Exceptional Essays

To get an idea of what a standout Burger King Scholarship essay looks like, here are some excerpts from exceptional essays written by previous winners:

“I was born in a small village in Ghana…” – This essay opens with an engaging story about the applicant’s background and personal challenges growing up in poverty, leading to their motivation to pursue higher education and make a difference.

“The sizzling grill beckoned me closer…” – This essay uses vivid imagery and humor to reflect on the applicant’s meaningful experience working their first job at Burger King and the lessons they learned.

“As I wiped the grease from my hands, I glanced up to see a distressed customer…” – This essay highlights the applicant’s customer service skills and ability to resolve conflicts calmly, tying it back to how they aim to pursue a career improving people’s lives.

“Statistics homework was always my favorite…” – This essay effectively weaves together the applicant’s passion for numbers, interest in business, and desire to become the first in their family to graduate college.

These excerpts demonstrate creative storytelling, reflection, and tying experiences back to future goals. Following their lead can help you craft a compelling essay.

Selection Process

The selection process for the Burger King Scholarship is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of judges comprised of scholars, educators and community leaders. The judges evaluate applicants based on 4 major criteria:

– Academic Achievement: Applicants must have a minimum 3.3 GPA and submit transcripts to showcase their academic performance.

– Extracurricular Activities: Judges look for leadership roles, community service involvement and other extracurricular activities that demonstrate well-roundedness.

– Work Experience: Experience in a job, internship or volunteering is preferred, especially if it shows work ethic or entrepreneurship.

– Financial Need: Applicants must detail their financial need and how the scholarship will assist with college costs.

In addition, applicants are required to write short essays on given topics. These essays allow judges to evaluate applicants’ goals, motivations and communications skills. Recommendation letters from teachers, mentors and employers also provide insights into the applicant’s character and potential.

After several rounds of thorough review, only the most outstanding applicants are selected based on merit. Winners are notified by phone or email in May. Approximately 3,000 to 3,500 students receive Burger King Scholarships annually.

Awards and Benefits

The Burger King Scholars program offers substantial scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 over multiple years to help recipients fund their college education. According to the Burger King Foundation, they have awarded nearly $55 million in scholarships since the program’s inception.

The top scholarships include:

  • James W. McLamore WHOPPER® Scholarship Award – $50,000 (paid over 4 years)
  • Burger King Scholars Regional Scholarships – $1,000 to $50,000 (amount varies)
  • Burger King Employee Scholarships – $1,000 to $50,000 (amount varies)

In addition to the financial assistance, Burger King scholars are provided mentoring opportunities, invitation to networking events, and more. The Burger King Scholars Alumni Association helps connect recipients throughout their college experience and into their careers.

According to the Burger King Foundation’s website, “Scholarship recipients become part of the Burger King Scholars community where they have access to networking opportunities, professional development, and mentorships with the goal of empowering and developing scholars personally and professionally.”

The scholarships and ongoing support can provide Burger King scholars with a significant advantage as they pursue higher education and their future careers.

Winning Strategies

Here are some tips and strategies to help boost your chances of winning the prestigious Burger King Scholarship:

Start preparing your application early – Don’t wait until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to put together a polished, high-quality application. Starting early takes off the pressure (https://how2winscholarships.com/burger-king-scholars-college-scholarship/).

Get excellent grades – Your GPA is a major factor, so aim for the best grades you can get. Take honors/AP classes if possible to demonstrate academic rigor.

Ace the ACT/SAT – High test scores make you more competitive. If needed, sign up for a prep course or tutoring.

Show strong leadership – Participate in clubs, student government, or start your own initiatives. Leadership essays can highlight these.

Focus your essay – Put time into writing a compelling, personal essay. Tie it back to the scholarship’s goals/values.

Get glowing recommendations – Ask teachers who know you well to highlight your best qualities and achievements.

Perfect your application – Have teachers/counselors review your full application before submitting. Fix any errors!

Apply early! – Be in the first 50,000 applicants, as late applications won’t be considered.

Follow up – If you win, be sure to follow all instructions to claim your award.


Winning the prestigious Burger King Scholarship can be a life-changing opportunity for high school students. With awards ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 over multiple years, these scholarships provide invaluable support for your college education.

By meeting the eligibility criteria, following the application timeline, submitting a strong application, and showcasing your academic and extracurricular achievements, you can boost your chances of being selected. While the competition is fierce, thoroughly preparing your application and differentiating yourself can help your submission stand out.

Focus on demonstrating a well-rounded profile of academic excellence, leadership skills, community impact, and passion for your future goals. Craft compelling essays that bring your story to life. With diligent effort and strategic preparation, you can become a Burger King Scholar.

The Burger King Scholarships reward driven, civically engaged students every year. Believe in yourself and your potential, and submit an application you can be proud of. With the right mindset and execution, earning this prestigious scholarship is within your reach.

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