Professional Development Scholarships

Helping our own go further.

Our professional development scholarships are exclusively for individuals currently working at a hotel who want to advance their career. These scholarships enable them to grow their industry knowledge and enhance their professional skills. They also cover the cost of professional certifications recipients earn. 

Certifications from the American Hotel & Lodging Association are the ultimate distinction of professional excellence in the hospitality industry. Certifications are offered for more than a dozen positions in the hospitality industry, including the prestigious CHA®-Certified Hotel Administrator.   

Financial support for the scholarship program is provided from:

  • Jack Vaughn Scholarship Fund
  • American Express Scholarship Fund
  • Ecolab Scholarship Fund 
  • Proceeds from previous capital giving campaigns such as Opening Doors to Opportunity

Application deadlines are quarterly: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.
 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Working a minimum of 35 hours per week at an AHLA member hotel with at least 12 months of hotel experience. If you need to confirm your hotel is a member, contact AHLA’s membership department at (202)-289-3100 or membership@ahla.com.
  • Some certifications have minimum qualifications that must be met. The certification process is administered through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.  Visit AHLEI’s Website at https://www.ahlei.org/Certifications/AHLEI-Professional-Certification/ for a complete list of certifications and to review the qualifications for each.  

Scholarship Awards

Scholarships cover the cost of the certification study guide (if applicable), examination fee, and certification fee. AHLEF will reimburse AHLEI directly for the costs of all professional development scholarships.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the online scholarship application. There is no need to complete a certification application on AHLEI's website. All applications will be evaluated according to industry-related work experience; professional, community, and extracurricular activities; and personal attributes, including career goals as expressed in a required essay. Scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis, with application deadline dates of January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Applicants will be notified within 30 days after application is received.