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NRF and University of Phoenix to Award 20 Retail Workers with Full-Tuition “Dream BIG” Scholarships
For immediate release
January 8, 2014

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NRF and University of Phoenix to Award 20 Retail Workers with Full-Tuition “Dream BIG” Scholarships
-Second year for scholarship program that seeks to help retail workers looking to advance their careers through higher education-

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2014 – For a second year, the National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix are providing the opportunity to U.S. retail workers to make their career dreams a reality through the Dream BIG scholarship program. Dream BIG will award 20 full-tuition scholarships for any University of Phoenix bachelor’s or master’s degree program applicable to retail workers who want to further their professional goals through education. The flexibility of the program will allow recipients to continue to work and live at home while pursuing a degree.

In 2013, hundreds of retail workers from more than 80 companies across the United States applied for the Dream BIG Scholarship, and 10 scholarships were awarded. The stories shared by the Dream BIG 2013 recipients can be seen here: 2013 Dream BIG recipients. Given the success of program in 2013, University of Phoenix and NRF decided to double the number of scholarships available for 2014. 

"Retail offers richly rewarding and diverse career opportunities to millions of hard-working Americans, and NRF is committed to fostering career growth for those who want to achieve great things in our industry,” said NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. “The stories shared by the 2013 Dream BIG recipients were extremely inspirational, and exemplify the ambition and passion for retail that exists among many industry workers. We’re delighted to double the number of full-tuition scholarships being provided this year.”  

“Connecting the skills and expertise of working learners with a degree program that will take their personal and professional goals to the next level is what we do,” said Barry Feierstein, executive vice president at University of Phoenix. “The Dream BIG Scholarship represents our commitment to align higher education with the needs of both our students and their employers.”

Daniel White, a 2013 Dream BIG recipient and employee at The Container Store, is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. “I am passionate about retail and this program with University of Phoenix has given me a firmer ground to stand on when looking at not just the company I work for but the retail industry as a whole,” he said. “Educated leaders will be the key driver in moving the retail industry forward.” 

How to Apply:

The scholarship program is open to any applicant who resides in the U.S. who works full-time or part-time for any retail or restaurant company beginning January 7, 2013. The scholarship opportunity is limited to the first 1,000 qualified applicants who meet all of the eligibility requirements and admissions requirements, and submit a complete application by April 8, 2014. The application includes three short essays that highlight the applicant’s educational goals, aspirations within the industry, and a personal reflection of what inspires them. The applicant must also submit a letter of recommendation from a current retail professional with knowledge of the applicant’s skills and work ethic. For complete scholarship eligibility requirements, terms and conditions visit:

University of Phoenix/NRF Dream BIG Scholarships demonstrate our corporate social responsibility to provide access to education opportunities. To learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship and how to apply, visit

The Dream BIG scholarship program is provided through NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. 

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.