Washington, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF), the philanthropic arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), today announced $1.3 million was awarded via 420 scholarships this year–the highest amount ever awarded to students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. More than 70 percent of scholarship recipients are women, and more than one-third of the total recipients are minority students.
“With students taking on crippling loans to deal with the rising cost of college, the hospitality sector is leading the curve in developing talent and providing career pathways for students who would not otherwise be able to access education,” said Rosanna Maietta, AHLEF president. “As an industry supporting more than 8 million employees, we are focused on creating lifelong career opportunities for aspiring hospitality students. We’re especially excited to empower, promote, and encourage a diverse workforce for the industry through these scholarship awards, which are emblematic of our mission to ensure a strong future for the entire lodging sector and build the next generation of hoteliers.”
AHLEF administers nine scholarship programs for students enrolled in hospitality-related degree programs at colleges and universities across the country. The Foundation received and evaluated more than 2,000 applications based on financial need, academics, relevant work experience, extracurricular activities, and personal attributes. Scholarships, up to $7,500, are awarded based on the university program and student’s enrollment status.
Since its founding, AHLEF has distributed more than $14 million in scholarship funds to promising hospitality management students. Scholarship funds are available to incoming freshmen through graduate level for students studying hospitality management. The AHLEF Annual Scholarship Grant Program, the Foundation’s largest, includes funds provided by the AHLEF General Campaign, AHLEF Hospitality 2000, Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), AHLEF New Century, the National Restaurant Association, Melinda Bush Mentors, John Clifford Memorial, Cecil B. Day Memorial, Handlery Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton Memorial, Creighton Holden Memorial, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship, Richard Kessler, J. Willard Marriott Memorial, Joseph McInerney Scholarship, Curtis C. Nelson, and AHLEF’s Annual Giving Program.
Additional scholarship programs include The Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students; the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream Program; the American Express Scholarship Program; the Ecolab Scholarship Program; the Karl Mehlmann Scholarship; the Graduate Scholarship Program; the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program; the Incoming Freshman Scholarship, which awards PepsiCo Foundation and ALIS Scholarships; and the Opening Doors to Opportunity Scholarship, which awards Minaz Abji Scholarships.