Next Generation Scholarship

2019 Next Generation scholarship finalists at the NRF Foundation Student Program

Next Generation Scholarship

The NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship is the pinnacle achievement for students interested in pursuing careers in retail. This opportunity was created for students of various academic backgrounds who have demonstrated leadership skills, previous retail experience, and a passion for making an impact.

This scholarship develops students’ skills in retailing, business, and critical thinking, preparing and encouraging them to not only launch their career in retail, but be recognized among the next generation of leaders in the industry. Since its launch, more than $300,000 in funds have been awarded through the Next Generation Scholarship.

The Application

The 2019-2020 Next Generation scholarship application has now closed. The 2019-2020 process consists of two phases. In the first phase, applicants submitted an essay, personal brand video, two letters of recommendation, resume, headshot and school transcripts.

Applicants were notified by April 22, 2019 if they were selected to move on to the semi-finalist stage. In this phase, applicants will be required to complete a company-specific project and interview with an assigned retailer. From there, five finalists will be selected to advance to the final round and will be interviewed by retail executives to determine the top recipient. The top recipient will receive a $25,000 tuition scholarship, and four finalists will receive $10,000 tuition scholarships.

Learn more about the application process including submission requirements and key dates here.

Eligibility

The NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship was open to junior and senior students enrolled full-time at a NRF University Member school when the scholarship is awarded in January 2020.

Requirements:

  • Juniors or seniors enrolled full time at a University Member school at the time when the scholarship is presented in January 2020 (Note: current sophomores can apply if they will be of junior standing in January of  2020)
  • Must not have previously received an award of $10,000 or more from the NRF Foundation.
  • Must be U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents eligible to work in the United States.
  • Must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Must have prior or current experience working in a retail job or internship. This could be anything from working as a bagger at a grocery store or a server/host at a restaurant to having a summer internship with a retailer. 
  • Students in any major are eligible. Possible majors include business, merchandising, supply chain, analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, retail studies, computer science, marketing, communications, etc.

 For more information, review the full eligibility requirements (PDF).

"As a Next Generation Scholarship finalist, I had the opportunity to attend the Student Program and Gala in New York, but my favorite part about the experience was networking with professionals and meeting so many hardworking and intelligent peers. This experience led to so many great connections and has positively impacted my life in more ways than I can count."
- Brittany Rhoa, Kent State University

Next Generation recipient finds limitless opportunity in retail
Garrett Ledbetter, a Next Generation Scholarship recipient, shares the story of his retail career path, how he’s already shaping retail’s next generation of talent and what the industry means to him today.
 
Garrett Ledbetter
 

"The Next Generation scholarship has impacted me in so many ways that I am grateful for. I aim to be a strong leader and set positive examples for others through my work, and I am certain that the Next Generation scholarship was paramount in helping me achieve this goal — I’ve already learned so much about myself and the industry in general because of it."
- Marlowe Camblin, Santa Clara University

Other opportunities

Student Challenge
 
Student Challenge 2015 Finalists
A business case competition created for undergraduate students with entrepreneurial spirits and sharp business acumen.
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Student Program
 
Students at the Student Program
See how a career in retail puts you on the front lines solving complex business problems.
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NRF Student Ambassadors
 
Students ask questions during the Friday morning opening keynote session at NRFs Student Big Show 2017
NRF Student Ambassadors serve as the liaison between the NRF Foundation and their school.
Read more