AHLA Foundation School-Nominated Scholarships

School-Nominated scholarships means that scholarship winners are selected by their respective schools--not by the Foundation. If you're attending a Foundation-affiliated school, request nomination through your dean or program director's office. These scholarships include:

  • AHLA Foundation Annual Scholarship Grant Program
  • Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship
  • Rama Scholarship for the American Dream

AHLA Foundation Annual Scholarship Grant Program

The Foundation's largest program, the Annual Scholarship Grant Program, is co-administered with a group of universities and colleges affiliated with the AHLA Foundation.

For the 2021-22 academic year, more than $500,000 has been disbursed to Foundation-affiliated schools. Financial support for the scholarship grant program is provided by the following scholarship funds:

  • AHLA Foundation General Campaign
  • AHLA Foundation Hospitality 2000
  • Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS)
  • 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

Click here for more information on each fund .

Additional funds for the program come from the Foundation's Annual Giving Program and special events like the Golf Classic .

General Eligibility Criteria

Nominees must:

  • Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate hospitality management program an affiliated school
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (2.0 if receiving Conrad Hilton Funds)
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Completed 1-2 years of school depending on the program

Scholarship Award

Award amounts can range from $500 to $6,000 depending upon enrollment and recommended amount from school.

Participating Schools

These affiliated schools agree to co-administer Foundation scholarships with us. In return for receiving an annual scholarship grant, the school selects the student recipients and award amounts based upon AHLA Foundation criteria. Schools also assist in the disbursement process. View the Scholarship Manual for a complete account of all policies and procedures.

Every three to four years, the Foundation initiates a review process of both existing and new schools wishing to participate. The next application period will take place in 2022.


Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship

Arthur Packard This scholarship honors Arthur J. Packard, a third-generation hotelier, whose work for AHLA extended over 30 years -- one of the longest tenures on record.  The Packard Competition provides scholarships to the most outstanding student of lodging management and to two runners-up through an annual competition among Foundation affiliated four-year programs.

Eligibility Criteria

Each affiliated four-year program nominates its best qualified student to compete in the national competition.  Eligibility criteria for nominees are:

  • Enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for upcoming fall and spring semester, or just the fall semester if graduating this December
  • A  baccalaureate hospitality management major at a U.S. college or university
  • At least a junior for the upcoming fall semester
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • A U.S. citizenship or permanent resident

Scholarship Awards

  • First-place winner receives a $5,000 scholarship
  • Second-place receives $3,000 scholarship
  • Third-place receives $2,000 scholarship

Participating Schools

View a list of the 63 four-year affiliated schools that are eligible to nominate students for the Packard award.


Rama Scholarship for the American Dream

auro hotelsAuro Hotels established the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream with a $1,000,001 endowment.  The five Rama brothers, principals in the company, emigrated from India to pursue their American Dream.  It began with the ownership of one lodging property and grew into a successful operation of 30 properties worldwide.  The fund, established on the 25th anniversary of the brothers' first hotel purchase, encourages others to create their own American Dream. Since its inception in 1998 the Rama Scholarship Fund has awarded $817,800 in scholarships to 492 recipients.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Enrolled in at least 9 credit hours for the upcoming fall and spring semesters, or just the fall semester if graduating in December
  • An undergraduate or graduate hospitality management major 
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.5
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident
  • Participating schools select the recipients. Preference is given to students of Asian-Indian descent and other minority groups, as well as Auro Hotels employees. 

Participating Schools

The following 12 hospitality management schools have been designated to participate in the program:

  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • California State Polytechnic University
  • Cornell University
  • Florida International University
  • Georgia University
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte
  • New York University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Houston
  • University of South Carolina
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Scholarship Award

Award amounts can range from $500 to $3,000 depending upon enrollment and recommended amount from school