Eligibility and selection


Applicants for the scholarship must demonstrate the following to be considered:

  1. Applicants MUST reside in the United States and MUST meet one of the following requirements: be a legal resident of the United States; have been granted permanent residency; have a valid visa that does not prohibit educational studies; have been granted temporary protected status along with approved Notice of Action issued by Citizen Immigration Services and verified through CIS Form g-845; or have been granted asylum along with the approved Notice of Action issued by the Citizen Immigration Services.
  2. Applicants must be currently employed in any role within the retail or restaurant industry, defined as at a business that sells a product directly to consumers, with aspirations to continue and advance a career within retail. Applicants must be employed part or full time by a retailer during the scholarship application submission period through the scholarship award and announcement period. Employment will be verified.
  3. Applicant must be completing or in pursuit of their first undergraduate or master’s degree.
  4. Applicants must have ambitions and intentions to pursue a career in the retail or restaurant industry. *If recipient no longer works in the retail industry or plans to leave the retail industry during the time of the scholarship award and announcement period the recipient will forfeit his/her scholarship.
  5. Applicants must not have been convicted of a federal crime in the past ten (10) years and agree to a background check conducted by NRF Foundation (at their discretion) if selected as one of the top fifty (50) finalists.
  6. Applicants must not be currently enrolled nor in the process of enrolling at a University of Phoenix campus or an online program at any time prior to the scholarship award date. Applicants who enroll after submitting an application, or before, the award date are not eligible to be a recipient of this scholarship.
  7. Applicants must meet all admissions requirements of University of Phoenix if selected as a scholarship recipient.
  8. Applicants must not be an employee (including full and part time faculty members) or family member (spouse, dependent child or domestic partner) of an employee of University of Phoenix, or any other subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. Further, applicants who are National Retail Federation or NRF Foundation employees or their immediate family members are ineligible to apply for the scholarship.
  9. Applicants must agree to be a national spokesperson for the advancement of retail careers, if selected, for the term of the scholarship. This includes, but is not limited to, being highlighted in special communications, e.g. newsletters, media campaigns, and research studies. There are no fees associated with being the spokesperson and there is no additional compensation to the scholarship recipients. Applicants must be eligible to agree and must agree to the Apollo Education Group, Inc., Consent and Release form.
  10. Applicants must submit completed essays as described in the Essay section. High importance will be placed on the applicant’s desire to advance in their education, with an emphasis on furthering their careers, and their impact in the community in which they reside.
  11. Applicants must also submit a letter of recommendation as described in the Letter of Recommendation section.
  12. Applicants must submit a complete, signed application, together with all supporting documentation by the deadline date listed under the Selection Process section. The completion of the application form does not create an obligation to award a scholarship to applicant.
  13. The top 50 finalists will be required to submit a Resume within five (5) days of notification of being designated as a finalist.  Around April 21, 2017, the top 50 finalist will receive an email from admin@communityforce.com with instructions on how to upload your resume.  A follow-up email will come from scholarships@phoenix.edu, where you can also submit questions. If a finalist fails to submit a resume within the time designated by scholarship criteria, such finalist will be disqualified and the next highest scoring semi-finalist will be selected.


  1. This scholarship opportunity is made available by University of Phoenix working together with the NRF Foundation, a non-profit organization, and the scholarship process is managed by a staff member at the NRF Foundation. The process includes, but is not limited to, application creation, scholarship promotion, selection committee formation and recipient list finalization. The application and any additional information submitted by eligible applicants will be subject to the NRF Foundation privacy and confidentiality policies, if any.
  2. The recipients of this scholarship will be selected by the scholarship selection committee consisting of representatives from University of Phoenix, the National Retail Federation, and/or the NRF Foundation. Non-staff members may assist in the selection committee process.
  3. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete and signed application, along with all the supporting documentation, which must be received on or before the deadline. The scholarship selection committee accepts no responsibility for incomplete applications, applications not in proper form, lost applications, or any other submission in exception to the instructions.
  4. The scholarship award will be based on the committee’s scores of the overall quality of the application, the scholarship essay(s), resume and the Letter of Recommendation. The higher the average score, the higher the probability of selection.
  5. Scholarship selection shall be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
  6. The decision of the scholarship selection committee is final and not subject to a review process.


A complete application, and supporting documentation, must be received on, or before, March 31, 2017. Applications not submitted or submitted after the designated deadline will not be considered. No exceptions.

Award Date:

The scholarship committee will determine the recipients of the scholarship by the award date, August 22, 2017. All applicants with a submitted application will be notified via email, regardless if selected as a recipient or not, by award date regarding the status of the scholarship.