For the fifth consecutive year, University of Phoenix® and the National Retail Federation (NRF) are collaborating to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship program to support the dreams of the next generation of retail leaders. The program will award 20 full-tuition scholarships to retail industry professionals who want to advance their retail careers through higher education.


“The multifaceted retail industry offers various opportunities for career growth and upward mobility,” said Ruth Veloria, Executive Dean for the University of Phoenix School of Business. “In fact, 44% of retail workers today are employed in positions other than sales. An ever-changing technology and consumer landscape makes innovation a top priority for retail leaders, and education is crucial to enhance career outcomes in the industry.”


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, 2017. Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies will serve as members of the executive selection committee.


“During the past five years, the NRF Foundation has seen the Dream BIG Scholarship change the lives of more than 70 worthy individuals, with recipients’ passion for retail and commitment to hard work culminating in the perfect formula for success in the retail industry,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are proud to partner with University of Phoenix once again to recognize 20 more retail professionals for the Dream BIG Scholarship program, and we look forward to reading about the dreams and stories of those looking to advance their retail career through higher education.”


The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between National Retail Federation, the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix.


“Receiving the Dream BIG Scholarship offered a significant opportunity to support my career goals and helped to make achieving a master’s degree possible,” said Leigh Deal, Custom Closets Designer, The Container Store. “The ability to attend class remotely, work in a collaborative virtual setting and sharpen my writing skills for the digital space not only aided my own professional growth, but also helped me to effectively impact employees within our organization by assisting them in making better decisions and establishing more positive customer relationships.”


To learn more about the program, including scholarship terms and conditions and how to apply, visit