Hundreds of MGM Resorts Employees Apply for Free College in Inaugural Semester of Company’s College Opportunity Program

RENO, Nev. – More than 500 employees of MGM Resorts International from across the nation have applied in the first semester of the company’s College Opportunity Program, which provides more than 70,000 MGM Resorts employees in the United States with access to free college through the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Classes begin in August.

The MGM College Opportunity Program marked the first time a Fortune 500 company has partnered in this manner with an entire system of higher education. It allows eligible U.S.-based MGM Resorts employees to receive online education through NSHE institutions, free of charge for all credit hours. The institutions include the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada State College, Great Basin College, Western Nevada College, the College of Southern Nevada, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch this landmark program and partner with NSHE on such an important cause. Higher education is a key pathway to the middle class, and we are proud to support opportunities for growth and success for both our employees and the communities in which we operate,” said MGM Resorts International Chairman & CEO Jim Murren.  “Providing workers with the skills needed for today’s evolving job market is not only the right thing to do – it’s imperative when it comes to driving business success through sustainable tourism destinations and communities. We are committed to doing right by both.”

The program, which is set to begin in the fall, will emphasize degree completion and helping employees focus on taking the right classes to achieve their individual goals. Employees may apply to eligible online certificate, associates, bachelor’s, or graduate degree programs at any of NSHE’s seven degree-granting institutions. Once accepted into a certificate or degree program, they will receive academic and financial counseling and MGM will pay the base costs for the degrees/certificates after all financial aid the employee is eligible for is exhausted.

“I want to thank Mr. Murren and his team for their leadership in recognizing the importance of helping their employees grow through this opportunity,” Chancellor Thom Reilly said. “This partnership shows the advantage of our institutions working together as one system.”

The partnership between NSHE and MGM Resorts was approved by the Board of Regents in September.

“I am thrilled to see so many people taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity offered by MGM Resorts,” Regents Chair Kevin J. Page said. “I’m proud of this partnership. This will change the lives of these employees and their families, many of who are first-generation college students. I look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years.”

Master’s Degrees 65 21         86
Bachelor’s Degrees 68   5 54     127
Associate Degrees     204 34


3 263
Certificate Programs     14 9 8 4 35
Total 133 21 223 97 30 7 511


MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio, which was rebranded as MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 83,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at


The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.