National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix Encourage Retail Employees to ‘Dream Big’

Twenty recipients to be awarded full-tuition scholarships for
undergraduate or graduate degree programs at University of Phoenix

of Phoenix® School of Business
and The
National Retail Federation
share a
commitment to support the dreams of the next generation of retail
leaders. For the fourth consecutive year, the two organizations are
collaborating to offer the Dream
BIG Scholarship Program
, which will award 20 full-tuition
scholarships to retail industry professionals who want to advance their
retail careers through higher education.

The retail industry is already the largest private sector employer in
America, employing more than 42 million Americans,1 and it is
poised for significant growth. Over the past three years alone, it has
grown by more than half a million people, and the industry is expected
to hire more than a million more employees by 2022.2

The Dream BIG Scholarship Program was created to provide retail workers
the opportunity to further their careers and to highlight the diverse
career paths that are available within the industry. In fact, 44 percent
of retail workers today are employed in positions other than sales.3

“Over the past four years, this scholarship has changed the lives of 50
different deserving retail employees, each of whom knew that their
passion for retail and commitment to hard work was the perfect recipe
for success in the retail industry,” said NRF Senior Vice President and
NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. “We are proud to partner
with University of Phoenix once again to recognize 20 more retail
professionals for the Dream BIG Scholarship Program and are honored we
can contribute to the growth and development of the next generation of
retail leaders. ”

“The many facets of the retail industry create exciting opportunities
for career growth and upward mobility,” said Ruth Veloria, executive
dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “Rapidly changing
technology and consumer behavior make innovation a priority for retail
leaders, and education is critical to career advancement and leadership
in the industry. University of Phoenix is proud to team up with the
National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of retail
leaders and provide industry-aligned education.”

The Dream
BIG Scholarship Program
is open to applicants who reside in the
U.S., work full or part time for a retail or restaurant company and meet
additional eligibility criteria. Applications will be accepted through
March 31, 2016. Retail executives from some of the industry’s most
well-known companies will serve as members of the executive judging
committee. To learn more about the program, including scholarship terms
and conditions and how to apply, visit

The Dream BIG Scholarship Program is made possible through a
collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and
University of Phoenix. This is the fourth year the NRF Foundation and
University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship for current
retail employees.

In 2015, NRF and University of Phoenix surprised 10 of the Dream BIG
scholarship recipients with the big news while they were at work. Watch
the video
of each surprise. More information about all of the
2015 recipients can be found here.

Recipients can apply their scholarships to a variety of University of
Phoenix programs including some that are aligned with NRF standards.

About National Retail Federation

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail
worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including
chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more
than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S.
establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working
Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily
barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail
Means Jobs
 campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and
encourages policymakers to support a Jobs,
Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda
 aimed at boosting economic
growth and job creation.

About 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

1 National Retail Federation, “The Economic Impact of the
U.S. Retail Industry,”
National Retail Federation, “Retail Recruiter Toolkit,”


University of Phoenix
Tanya Burden, 303-570-0617
Retail Federation
Treacy Reynolds, 202-495-7221