Discounted Classes & Scholarships

Achieve your education dreams with these opportunities for UFCW members and family. UFCW Local 663 values affordable education for our members’ families. Here are some resources to find a path to higher education that works for you and your pocketbook.

UFCW Local 663 Educational Grant Application

UFCW Local 663 recognizes how important education is for the future growth of the young people in this country. We are again awarding education grants to our members or their dependents to further their education. The winners will receive a one-time educational grant to be applied to the verified school for tuition, book, or room and board. The only qualification is that the student will be attending a community or technical college or university. The winners will be chosen at random during the July Executive Board meeting from applications submitted. Winners will be notified in writing after drawing has taken place.

Free Language Courses

UFCW members can learn a foreign language for free online and at their own pace. Spanish, French, German, English, Japanese and other languages are offered. Our Foreign Language program has experienced an unprecedented surge in applicants and is currently at capacity. If you’d like to learn more, send an email to

Get Your GED for Free

UFCW members can take General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes for free through Essential GED. This GED program offers a customized learning plan, so that you’ll be able to successfully prepare yourself to pass the GED test, regardless of when you last went to school. This program also allows you to study at your own pace – all classes are self-guided and can be completed from your phone or tablet.

If you are interested in using this benefit, please click on the button below to fill out the form online. It may take a few days to verify your UFCW membership. However, once confirmed, you’ll receive an email that explains how to login and begin taking free online GED classes. At this time, this benefit is only available to UFCW members and retirees.

UFCW International Charity Foundation Scholarship

For the 2023 awards, online applications will be accepted for the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship from any student who has graduated from high school, will be graduating in the spring of 2023, or has received their GED. This year the application will be available from February 13 through May 14, 2023, and we are proud that the Charity Foundation will award at least eight scholarships worth up to $8,000 each over a four-year period.

Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarships

Each year, scholarships up to $2,500 are given to students enrolled in community, technical, undergraduate, or graduate studies. Students are eligible for consideration for up to two years for community, technical, and graduate studies, and up to four years or undergraduate work at a university. Applications must be postmarked by June 1.

John Rene Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship Fund

Local 663 is a Sponsor of the United Latinos and our members are eligible for the John Rene Rodriguez Memorial scholarship Fund. The John Rene Rodriguez Memorial scholarship Fund was established by the Rodriguez family and is administered through the United Latinos of U.F.C.W. The Fund benefits U.F.C.W members and their dependents that pursue a higher education and need financial assistance to pursue those goals. The Scholarship Fund will award one (1) academic scholarship annually at a minimum of $1,000.

Union Plus Scholarships

Each year, the application deadline is January 31 and chosen scholarship recipients' names are announced May 31. All applicants are notified when the award winner list is posted in early June.

Martin Duffy Scholarship

The Martin Duffy Adult Learner Scholarship is a $500 tuition scholarship awarded to Union members of Minnesota AFL-CIO (not high school graduating dependents). All scholarship funds are applicable only to accredited educational institutions. Awards will be made payable jointly to the winners and the educational institutions as indicated. Only winners will be notified. Winners must use the scholarship within one year of receipt of notification letter. The application must be postmarked no later than April 30 of the current year. Sponsored and funded by the Minnesota AFL-CIO. Please call Labor Education Service at 612-624-5020 for additional information.

Labor Leadership Grants

The Tobey Lapakko Labor Leadership Grant is available to women who are union members in good standing; the Charles McKenna Leadership Grant is available to men who are union members in good standing. Grants are available for members of affiliated unions seeking to develop their abilities and skills as union leaders. The grants help defray the cost of classes, programs or conferences sponsored or endorsed by the AFL-CIO or affiliated organizations. The Minnesota AFL-CIO Education Committee determines recipients and grant amounts. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Shields at 651-227-7647.

CURRENTLY ON HOLD--UFCW Free College Benefit

Since 2016, the UFCW has been committed to helping our members and their families build a better life through our continuing education programs. We started this with our Free College program and were able to expand our offerings to include GED classes, foreign language classes, and workforce essentials classes, all at no cost to our members.

Unfortunately, we were made aware that Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) has been ordered to suspend the Free College program immediately because the Department of Education believes it violates Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

EGCC disputes these charges, and you can read their response as well as answers to frequently asked questions here:

Students who were enrolled in the program by July 18 will be able to attend the Fall 2022 semester and the college is working on an alternative plan for students who enrolled after that date.

This program not only offered free college to UFCW members but to thousands of other union members. We firmly believe that all union members deserve the opportunity to better their lives through education. That is why we are working with both ECGG and the Department of Education to get answers to all the questions raised by this decision and to figure out a solution moving forward.

We will be in touch with more information as we receive it. Your access to our other educational programs, such as Free Foreign Language, Free GED, and Workforce Essentials, are not affected. The UFCW Free College Benefit ensures that UFCW members and their families do not have to pay out of pocket for any tuition, fees or e-books at Eastern Gateway Community College—resulting in cost savings of thousands of dollars!

The Free College Benefit covers any amount for tuition, fees or books that is not covered by federal or employer education grants.

Children (or stepchildren), grandchildren (or step-grandchildren), spouses, domestic partners, and financial dependents of UFCW members are eligible for the UFCW Free College Benefit. Retired UFCW members are also eligible.

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