NRF University Membership Benefits

The National Retail Federation currently partners with more than 75 university members and more than 6,500 students!

In an effort to develop retail’s future talent, NRF membership provides resources, tools and experiences to support and promote education, research and careers within the retail industry. 

See what NRF University Membership means to our collegiate community.

University Membership benefits

For an annual fee of $1,000, membership benefits include networking opportunities for educators to build professional relationships, eligibility for student scholarships and special events to educate students on the retail industry and highlight retail’s diverse careers.

speaker in front of an audience at student experience at
Student experience at Shop.Org conference

To be eligible for University Membership with NRF, your institution must be an accredited public or private college, university or online learning institution that offers degree programs at the bachelor level or higher. Accredited public or private colleges, universities or online learning institutions that offer degree programs at the bachelor level or higher are solely eligible for membership at the NRF University Member level. University membership is limited to colleges and universities within the United States. View the list of current NRF University Members.

These benefits include:

NRF membership

Every University Member school is a member of NRF, which includes exclusive access to research, webinars and more. Find out more about NRF membership.

NRF Student Association membership

Along with dozens of other schools from across the country, NRF's University Members can offer an unlimited number of students membership to the NRF Student Association. The NRFSA is recognized by top retailers as the source for tomorrow’s retail leaders.

Scholarship and employment opportunities

The Next Generation Scholarship is the pinnacle achievement for skilled and passionate students pursuing a career in retail. This scholarship awards a $1,500 travel stipend for NRF’s annual convention to each nominating university and $25,000 to a top recipient who is recognized by the retail community. Only students at NRF Member schools are eligible to receive this scholarship. The top 25 students also have the opportunity to attend the NRF Foundation Gala. Find out more about the Next Generation Scholarship.

Student Challenge 2018 recipients
NRF Foundation Student Challenge winners at the NRF Foundation Gala

The Student Challenge is a business case competition that allows students to showcase their creativity, business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit to retail executives. Participation in the Student Challenge offers a chance to travel to New York City for NRF’s annual convention, face-to-face interaction with some of retail’s biggest executives and a scholarship up to $5,000. Learn more about the Student Challenge.

The Rising Stars Scholarship is an opportunity for freshmen and sophomore students to attend the Student Program at NRF’s annual convention. This scholarship provides a travel stipend up to $1,500. Learn more.

One free educator pass to Retail's Big Show and SHOP.ORG + student discounts ($1,450 value)

NRF 2019: Retails Big Show, Jan. 13-15, 2019, brings thousands of the most innovative leaders in retail to New York City for world-class educational sessions, exclusive networking opportunities and dedicated access to some of the top retail CEOs in the country. NRF University Member schools receive one free educator pass and additional member discounts for educators and students.

The NRF Foundation hosts a Student Program and Career Fair in conjunction with this event, Jan. 11-13. With this program, students don't have to wait until graduation to learn about retail’s diverse career paths, build relationships or make connections in the industry. See highlights from the 2018 event.

Standing out among the crowd

University Members receive an online directory listing with links to their school’s website, program description and logo. The NRF Foundation also uses its communication outlets to promote member schools, enhancing visibility to retailers and prospective students, potentially increasing the quantity and quality of student applicant pools.