Culinary Scholarships

Culinary arts students enter a useful and interesting profession, but the road to this particular career is undeniably difficult. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage-and-salary earnings of restaurant cooks was $38,770 in 2008 but some reported earning less than $22,120 — barely a living wage, depending upon where you live. As you may have guessed, this means that culinary arts students are much more likely to default on student loans than students with higher-paying majors.

For this reason, these students should be reaching out for additional types of financial aid, namely culinary scholarships and grants. Many scholarship awards are available for those who do the research.

While average wages may make paying for an education tough for culinary arts students, things will certainly be easier for those without hefty loans to worry about. Students in need of additional financial aid for their education should seriously consider applying for culinary scholarships. By concentrating on awards especially made for chefs in the making, students can eliminate a great deal of the competition.

Sites like the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Le Cordon Bleu are very helpful to potential and current students but to find culinary scholarships as well as other scholarships and grants you may be eligible to receive based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at The road to making a good living in this career may be tough, but getting through school will bring you one step closer.

AAC Culinary Scholarships for High School Seniors
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, with the support of the American Academy of Chefs, will award a limited number of scholarships annually, based on the availability of institutional and private funds. To be considered by the scholarship committee, an application must meet the following requirements:
-Be an exemplary student
-Have or maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or [...] More

AH&LEF Annual Scholarship Grant Program
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
The Foundation's largest program, the Annual Scholarship Grant Program, is co-administered with a group of universities and colleges affiliated with AH&LEF.

Nominees must:
-Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate hospitality management program an an AH&LEF affiliated school
-Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (2.0 if receiving Conrad Hilton Funds)
-Be a U.S. citizen or permanent [...] More

Al Schuman/Ecolab Entrepreneurial Scholarship
Application Deadlines: June 06, Annually
This scholarship is for any student pursuing an education in a restaurant, food-service, or hospitality related major who has an entrepreneurial spirit, a minimum GPA of 3.0 and attending one of the following schools: California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, DePaul University, Johnson & Wales University, Kendall College, Lynn University, [...] More

Cancer for College Leonard Family Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship
Application Deadlines: January 31, Annually
Since 1993, Cancer for College has provided hope and inspiration to cancer survivors in the form of college scholarships. Applicants are not discriminated against based on sex, race or religious belief. Community college applicants are eligible for the minimum scholarship level. All remaining applicants will be eligible for other one-time awards. Awards range from $1,000-$5,000. Scholarship [...] More

CANFIT Nutrition, Physical Education and Culinary Arts Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
Undergraduate and graduate scholarships are available for California African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Latino/Hispanic students expressing financial need to study nutrition, physical education or culinary arts in the state of California. By providing undergraduate and graduate scholarships, CANFIT hopes to encourage more students to consider [...] More

Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Scholarships
Application Deadlines:
The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Scholarships are awarded to incoming students who participated in C-CAP's competition events; eligible students must have a minimum combined score of 1030 on SAT math and reading sections (or 22 on ACT composite).

All finalists are selected by C-CAP and the scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years so long as recipients maintain a 2.75 GPA. [...] More

Clark E. DeHaven Scholarship Trust
Application Deadlines: February 15, Annually
The Clark E. DeHaven Scholarship is intended to provide financial support to students who demonstrate a commitment to a foodservice career. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited program that will lead to an undergraduate degree in a field of study designed to prepare students for careers in food service, or related areas.

-Enrolled at an institution that is a [...] More

Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund Undergraduate Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 04, Annually
The Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund awards scholarships to qualified students in foodservice/hospitality management programs. Applicants must have demonstrated interest in hospitality/foodservice evidenced by work experience in the industry.

-Be a part-time or full-time student enrolled in an accredited foodservice-related program (this includes [...] More

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals
Application Deadlines: December 01, Annually
CBYX for Young Professionals is a yearlong fellowship, funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress through the U.S. Department of State. The program annually gives 75 American young professionals the opportunity to study, work, and live with a host in Germany. The CBYX program consists of three phases: two months of German language school; four months of classes in your career field at a [...] More

CRAEF Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: May 15, Annually
Since its inception in 1981, the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF) has awarded deserving students and educators more than one million dollars in scholarships and grants. Traditionally, these scholarships are allocated to eager and talented high school seniors and undergraduate students who dream of pursuing higher education in the restaurant, food service, and [...] More

Hungry To Lead Scholarship
Application Deadlines: June 01, Annually
The Hungry to Lead Scholarship is awarded to high achieving students interested in food service and hospitality degrees. The scholarship is based on high school records, ACT and/or SAT scores, college transcripts (if applicable), and extracurricular activities. Applicants will be judged bast on their ability to demonstrate leadership capabilities.

-U.S. citizen attending any [...] More

Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
In 1988, Hyatt established this fund to provide financial aid to minority students pursuing a degree in hotel management. Since 1988, approximately 351 minority students have received $702,000 through this scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria:
-Enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for the upcoming fall and spring semesters, or just the fall semester if graduating this December
-A baccalaureate [...] More

IFA Educational Scholarship Sponsored by Marriott Foundation
Application Deadlines: December 01, Annually
The IFA Educational Foundation and the Marriott Foundation have partnered to sponsor this one-time $2000 competitive award. Additionally, the individual selected will be invited to IFA's Annual Convention in February and will receive a travel stipend to attend. To be eligible for this one-time award, applicant must:

-Be enrolled in an U.S. accredited college or university with studies in [...] More

IRAEF Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 29, Annually
Since its inception, the IRA Educational Foundation has awarded almost $2.5 million to deserving students pursuing Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management in college.

To qualify for a scholarship, you must:
-Be a permanent resident of the State of Illinois (under the age of 30)
-Be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited culinary school, college, or university
-Enrolled as a [...] More

JWU ProStart Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The JWU ProStart Scholarship is awarded to accepted incoming students who participated in a ProStart curriculum. This award is renewable up to four years and can be used at all campuses. The amount of scholarships awarded for participation in specific high school curricula is limited to one per student.

For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's [...] More

Les Dames d'Escoffier Colorado Chapter Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 30, Annually
The Colorado Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier offers two $1,000 scholarships, available to qualified female students who are enrolled or planning to enroll in an applicable program in the upcoming fall. Applicants must have a focus in a food-related industry (such as culinary, food science, dietetics, nutrition, beverage and fermentation, hospitality and restaurant management, animal science, [...] More

National Candy Technologists Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
The scholarship award for the recipient is $5,000, paid in two $2,500 installments after verification of enrollment.

To qualify for this non-renewing scholarship award, the student must:
- Be either a college sophomore, junior or senior for the upcoming academic year
- Have a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology (this can include many activities including but not limited to [...] More

Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Fund
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
Founded in 1949, the Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship is available to graduating seniors from public high schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in Washington state. Application forms are only available through these high schools and candidates for the scholarship are nominated by their school each year. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 a year, and scholarships are renewable for four (4) [...] More

NEWH Atlantic City/Philadelphia Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The NEWH Atlantic City/Philadelphia Chapter is awarding scholarships to students who are pursuing careers affiliated with the hospitality industry. The scholarship winner(s) will be presented at our chapter's Product Runway event in Philadelphia.

-Must be attending an accredited institution of higher learning
-Must have completed one-half (1/2) of the requirements for a degree [...] More

NEWH Houston Scholarship
Application Deadlines: November 15, Annually
NEWH, Inc. and its chapters are tasked with fundraising to provide scholarship dollars for eligible students wishing to enter the Hospitality Industry. NEWH Chapters offer scholarships annually.

-Must be a currently enrolled student attending an accredited college in: Arkansas, Louisiana or Southern Texas
-Must have completed half the requirements for a degree or certification [...] More

NEWH New England Region Scholarship
Application Deadlines: November 01, Annually
NEWH New England Regional Group is offering a scholarship to a student pursuing a career affiliated in the Hospitality Industry. The selected scholarship recipient will be awarded during the New England Region NEWH Holiday Event.

-Must be a currently enrolled student attending an accredited college in: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire or Massachusetts
-Must have completed half the [...] More

NEWH New York Scholarship
Application Deadlines: September 26, Annually
To be eligible for the NEWH New York Chapter Scholarship, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
-You must be attending an accredited institution of higher learning
-You must have completed one half of the requirements for a degree or certification in the program which you are currently enrolled
-You must show financial need
-You must have a 3.0 GPA or higher
-You must have a [...] More

NEWH Orange County Region Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
NEWH, Inc. and its chapters are tasked with fundraising to provide scholarship dollars for eligible students wishing to enter the hospitality industry.

-You must be attending an accredited institution of higher learning
-You must have completed one-half (1/2) of the requirements for a degree or certification in the program which you are currently enrolled
-You must show [...] More

NEWH Rocky Mountain Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 12, Annually
NEWH, Inc. and its chapters are tasked with fundraising to provide scholarship dollars for eligible students wishing to enter the Hospitality Industry. NEWH Chapters offer scholarships annually.

-Currently enrolled at an accredited college/university in Colorado, Wyoming, or Nebraska
-Completed at least half of the degree requirements
-Demonstrate financial need and have [...] More

Pink Boots Scholarship
Application Deadlines: January 31, Annually
In partnership with Siebel Institute of Technology, the Pink Boots Society offers this scholarship to any woman, anywhere in the world, who earns income from beer - especially women who desire to prepare or are preparing for advanced brewing programs, certificates, diplomas and master brewer IBD exams. This intensive three-month course is an intermediate level and therefore, it is highly [...] More

South Dakota Retailers Association Jerry Wheeler Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: April 18, Annually
SDRA's Jerry Wheeler Scholarship program is designed to encourage and support students studying for a career in retailing. To be eligible, applicant must be enrolled in or planning to enroll in a retail-related course of study at a technical school, college or university, or other trade school in the fall of the application year. Enrollment in an online program is acceptable if applicant meets [...] More

The American Express Scholarship
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
Founded by American Express in 1994, this program is designed specifically for current lodging employees and their dependents. Endowed with more than $500,000, the fund has awarded $318,000 in scholarships to 281 students and professionals. For full details or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.

Eligibility Criteria:
-Enrolled full- or part-time in an undergraduate [...] More

The Ecolab Scholarship
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
This program was established by Ecolab in 1996 as a commitment to the lodging industry and to support the development of its future leaders. To date, more than $401,650,000 has been awarded to 269 hospitality management students.

-Enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for both the upcoming fall and spring semesters
-An undergraduate hospitality management major at a U.S. college [...] More

The Russ Casey / Maine Restaurant Associates Scholarship Fund
Application Deadlines: April 29, Annually
The Russ Casey / Maine Restaurant Associates Scholarship Fund was established to promote careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry in Maine. This scholarship honors the integrity and memory of Russell Casey, a beloved and extraordinary employee of the Jordan's Foods Corporation.

Any student who is a resident of Maine and is, or will be attending an institution of higher education in [...] More

The Vegetarian Resource Group College Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 20, Annually
Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Vegetarian Resource Group each year will award $20,000 in college scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are vegetarians who do not use other animal products such as dairy or eggs. Entries may only be sent by [...] More

WGA Mary Macey Scholarship
Application Deadlines: June 15, Annually
The Women Grocers of America (WGA) is pleased to assist the National Grocers Association (NGA) in its pursuit to recruit and retain the next generation of quality managers and entrepreneurs. We offer at least two academic scholarships per year worth $1,500 each to students who intend to pursue a career in the independent sector of the grocery industry.

-Independent grocery [...] More

Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The Wisconsin Bakers Association’s education committee submitted recommendations to the Board of Governors on Oct. 24, 1983, to implement the WBA Scholarship Program. The first scholarship awards were later presented in 1984. Since then, the WBA has awarded more than $25,000 in WBA Scholarships! If you are a student who wants to take commercial baking courses you may be eligible for a WBA [...] More

WRA Education Foundation Scholarship in Culinary & Hospitality
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
The Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation (WRA EF) welcomes your application for a culinary and/or hospitality scholarship. WRA EF Endowed Scholarships will be awarded in amounts of $4,000 for the upcoming academic year. For full details, eligibility and to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.

-Must be enrolled in an accredited culinary or [...] More

Last Edited: January 2016

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