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 Academy of Chefs (AAC), the honor society of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), offers educational scholarships to high school students, college students, professional chefs looking to further their education or become certified and student culinary teams currently competing at ACF Regional and National conferences.

The American Academy of Chefs will award a limited number of [...] 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. Award amounts can range from $500 to $6,000 depending upon enrollment and recommended amount from school.

Nominees must:

- Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate hospitality management program an an AH&LEF affiliated school
- A minimum [...] More

Al Schuman Ecolab Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 29, Annually
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the Al Schuman Ecolab Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to college students who are accepted or enrolled in a foodservice related program at a select set of colleges.

This scholarship is targeted toward students who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit through a written essay. Chosen recipients must be highly [...] More

APWU Vocational Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: March 15, Annually
The APWU Vocational Scholarship is open to high school seniors who are children or grandchildren of an active APWU member.

Scholarship recipient must attend an accredited vocational school or community college vocational program of his or her choice as a full-time student. Applicant must make own application to school.

Winners receive up to $3,000 for specialized training in such fields as [...] More

CANFIT Program Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
CANFIT Program Scholarships are open to undergraduate and graduate African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Latino students who express financial need and are studying nutrition, physical education, or culinary arts in the state of [...] More

CIA Cream of the Crop Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The CIA offers 20 Cream of the Crop Scholarships per year to aspiring culinarians with outstanding academic and leadership skills. Scholarships of $20,000 are available to bachelor's degree students and $10,000 to associate degree students ($5,000 per year).

To be eligible for a Cream of the Crop Scholarship, you must:
- Have a 3.5 high school or college GPA
- Complete the Cream of the [...] More

Clark E. DeHaven Scholarship Trust
Application Deadlines: February 16, Annually
This $4,000 scholarship is for college sophomores, juniors, and seniors who plan a career in the foodservice industry and are majoring in a foodservice related field of study.

Applicants must be enrolled full time, in good standing, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75; be U.S. or Canadian citizens attending college in the U.S. or Canada during the award [...] 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 16, 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

Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarships
Application Deadlines: May 02, Annually
Applicant Qualifications:
- Be a permanent resident of the State of Illinois
- Be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited culinary school, college or university
- Major in a culinary, restaurant management of foodservice related program

How Scholarsrhip Applications are Judged and Selected:
A judging panel of educators, industry leaders, and culinary professionals will evaluate [...] 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
Applicants for the Nellie Martin Carman Scholarships must:
- Be a graduating senior from a public high school in the county of King, Pierce or Snohomish in the state of Washington in the year of appointment
- Be a United States citizen
- Plan to attend a college in the state of Washington on a full-time basis

Application forms are only available through the high schools in the counties [...] More

NRAEF ProStart National Certificate of Achievement Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The ProStart® National Certificate of Achievement Scholarship is for students who have received the National ProStart Certificate of Achievement. Students who earned a ProStart National Certificate of Achievement may be considered for a scholarship each year they are in college. To apply complete the application process for either the NRAEF Undergraduate Scholarship or the Scholarship for [...] More

NRAEF Scholarships for First-Time Freshmen
Application Deadlines: May 21, Annually
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) understands the importance of scholarships and supporting students and educators. We offer a variety of merit-based scholarships to students who want an education and a career in the foodservice industry as well as professional development scholarships for restaurant and foodservice educators.

This scholarship is for students [...] More

NRAEF/GRI Giacomo Bologna Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 26, Annually
The NRAEF and Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani (GRI) will award up to six (6) students with an all-expense-paid trip from New York City to Italy. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in Italian viticulture.

The scholarship enables students to travel to Italy for a week and participate in various culinary and restaurant industry related classes and tours. During this program, students will be [...] More

Russ Casey Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 17, 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. The Jordan Family created the Russ Casey Fund with their contribution of $5,000. This contribution was the [...] More

South Dakota Retailers Association Jerry Wheeler Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: April 11, Annually
The South Dakota Retailers Association provides scholarships to students who are studying for a career in retailing. Individuals must have graduated from a South Dakota High School, or be enrolled in retail-related course of study at a vocational technical school, college or university in South Dakota to be eligible.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must plan to enrolled full-time [...] More

The American Express Scholarship
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
Administered through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), this program was founded by American Express in 1994 and designed specifically for current lodging employees and their dependents. Endowed with more than $500,000, the fund has awarded more than $215,000 in scholarships to approximately 200 students. Baccalaureate majors will receive $2,000 (full-time) and $1,000 [...] More

The Ecolab Scholarship
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
Administered through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), this program was established by Ecolab in 1996 as a commitment to the lodging industry and to support the development of its future leaders.

Ecolab Scholarships are self-nominated, which means students do not have to attend a particular school or be nominated by their respective schools. Baccalaureate majors [...] More

The George Snow Scholarship Fund
Application Deadlines: February 01, Annually
Financial need is the common criteria that bind all of the grants awarded through the George Snow Scholarship Fund. We also review all special circumstances.

To qualify for The George Snow Scholarship Fund, applicants must:
- Be a graduate of a Palm Beach County or North Broward County high school
- Show financial need
- Must be active in their school and community have strong [...] More

The Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students
Application Deadlines: May 01, Annually
In 1988, Hyatt established this fund through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) to provide financial aid to minority students pursing a degree in hotel management. Over the years, Hyatt has continued its investment to permanently endow the fund, currently valued at more than $800,000. Since 1988, more than 200 minority students have received funding for college through [...] More

W. Price Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 01, Annually
Each year, the Texas Restaurant Association awards the W. Price Jr. Memorial scholarship to students with a growing passion for the foodservice industry. The scholarship is named for W. Price Jr., the first executive director of the Texas Restaurant Association who served from 1953 until 1974. Two scholarships for $5,000 are awarded to students attending a four-year university or a culinary [...] More

Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
Due to the chronic shortage of qualified bakers, the Wisconsin Bakers Association (WBA) started a scholarship fund. The WBA’s education committee submitted recommendations to the board of directors on October 24, 1983, to implement a scholarship program. The first scholarship awards were later presented in 1984. Under the WBA scholarship program, the maximum award that can be given to any one [...] More

WRA Education Foundation Scholarship in Foodservice & 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 the amounts ranging from $750 to $2,250.

To qualify, you must be enrolled full-time or part-time (minimum 6 credits) and be enrolled in a food service program (emphasis on food service) or a culinary [...] More

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