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NRF University Member Benefits

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The National Retail Federation currently partners with more than 70 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. This program is overseen by the NRF Foundation, the 501 (c)(3) non-profit arm of NRF.

See what NRF University Membership means to our collegiate community:

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.

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.

University Member benefits include:

NRF membership

Every University Member school is a member of NRF (and, NRF's digital division), 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 Retail's BIG Show to each nominating university and $25,000 to a top recipient who’s 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.

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 Retail’s BIG Show, 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 Retail's BIG Show. This scholarship provides a travel stipend up to $1,500. Learn more.

Virtual Career Fairs to connect talented students to top retail brands and companies offering full-time jobs and internships around the country. All without leaving campus.

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

Retail's BIG Show, Jan. 14 to 16, 2018 in New York City, brings thousands of the most innovative leaders in retail to New York in January 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. 12 to 14. 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 the 2017 event.

SHOP.ORG, Sept. 25 to 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, Califonia, is an annual e-commerce conference that delivers insights into the future of digital retail, and demonstrates how they’re applicable in today’s marketplace. NRF University Member schools receive one FREE Educator pass and additional member discounts for educators and students.

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.

To become an NRF University Member, please contact our Manager of Student Initiatives at 202-495-7223. Or, view the online application to submit a request for University Membership.

NRF Associate Membership

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Questions about membership? Contact us at 202-783-7971 or

Featured Research
SORO 2015

Members can download the State of Retailing Online and other research for free.