A high quality Culinary Arts education will pave the way to a successful and rewarding career in this industry. Unfortunately, the cost can sometimes get in the way for aspiring culinary arts students.
Student loans are an option, but a scholarship or grant is a fantastic way to fund a degree in Culinary Arts, without the stress of paying back a student loan. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of scholarships and grants available for women pursuing degrees in Culinary Arts. Some programs are available specifically to women in this field, some are available to all students pursuing degrees in Culinary Arts, and others are women’s scholarships that can be used to fund a Culinary Arts degree.
This guide will explore the many scholarship and grant programs available to women studying for a career in this rewarding field, application requirements, and instructions. For more information about one of the scholarship or grant programs, or to submit an application, simply follow the provided links.
Scholarships for Women Studying Culinary Arts
The following scholarships are available to women who are studying or plan to study in the field of culinary arts. Each have their own application criteria and process. Here is some basic information about these scholarships for women studying for a career in culinary arts, along with information about how to apply.
Les Dames d’Escoffier International Scholarship
Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an organization for female leaders in the culinary and hospitality industry. The organization is focused on education and charitable outreach for the culinary and hospitality industry. The organization features individual chapters, and scholarships for women interested in a career in the culinary arts or the hospitality industry are available through some of the individual chapters.
If you are interested in applying for a Les Dames d’Escoffier International scholarship, you must first find the chapter nearest you, then inquire directly with that chapter about the scholarship program. Many chapters offer the scholarship, but not all. Each chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier maintains its own rules and processes regarding the scholarship.
For more information, start by visiting the Les Dames d’Escoffier International website. On the website you will find more information about the organization and what its goals and values are, and also a listing of local chapters and contact information so you can get in touch with the nearest chapter to inquire about the scholarship program. The link to the list of local chapters can be found here, under the “To Apply for a LDEI Scholarship” section.
Women Chefs and Restaurateurs
This organization is another one dedicated to assisting women who are in the culinary industry, or interested in entering this profession. The organization promotes education and advancement for women in the culinary arts industry.
Each year, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs offers a scholarship program. The application period generally beings in January and ends in late March or early April. The program is school specific, so the money cannot be used at any school your choose. Participating schools are members of the organization.
More information can be found on the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs website .
In addition to a scholarship program, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs also offers internship programs. If you are interested in applying, you should use the contact information listed on the above mentioned website to get more information and ask questions.
Philadelphia Women’s Culinary Guild
This scholarship program is regionally specific, and only available to residents of Philadelphia. If you live in this area, though, this scholarship program could be a great opportunity for you.
The Philadelphia Women’s Culinary Guild is a professional organization made up of local women in industries related to food and wine. Goals include continued education, professional networking, and supporting aspiring young women interested in entering the industry through an annual scholarship program.
Visit the website here for more information.
General Culinary Arts Financial Aid Women Can Apply For
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Scholarships
This organization offers several scholarship programs to help support those who wish to enter the food service industry by providing funding and support for education. Three scholarships are available to current culinary arts students or incoming freshmen about to begin a food service program.
Al Schuman Ecolab Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Scholarship
This scholarship is available to current undergraduate students, currently enrolled in one of the colleges eligible for this scholarship. To qualify you must meet strict standards, including a minimum GPA of 3.0, be enrolled a minimum of 9 credit hours pet term, and have already completed at least one term.
The scholarship is intended, specifically, for students studying in a food service related field who display an entrepreneurial spirit. The application process includes an essay that demonstrates this spirit. There are several topics within this area to choose from when writing your essay.
Details about this scholarship can be found here, including all application requirements, a listing of eligible schools, deadline information, and a link to the online application.
Academic Scholarship for Undergraduate, ProStart Alumni, and MangeFirst Students
This scholarships is also offered through NRAEF, and is also available to current students studying for a career in the food service industry. You must have already completed one term and be enrolled at an accredited United States culinary school, college or university.
Two essays are required as part of this application; a personal narrative and an issues topic. You can choose the issues topic from the provided list on the application. Application instructions, requirements and deadline information can be found here.
Academic Scholarship for First-Time Freshmen, General Education Diploma (GED) Graduates, and ProStart Students
Unlike the other two scholarships discussed that are available through the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, this one is for incoming freshmen. To apply you must meet the criteria including being a high school graduate or GED recipient enrolling in college for the first time, be planning to enroll for a minimum of 9 credit hours at an accredited Culinary school, college or university, and complete the application yourself, including the required essay.
Deadline information, application and essay instructions, rules and requirements, and a link to the online application can be accessed here.
NEWH The Hospitality Industry Network
NEWH The Hospitality Industry Network offers scholarships each year to current food service and hospitality industry students. To be eligible, applicants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, display real financial need, and must have already completed half of the coursework for their degree. General information about NEWH The Hospitality Network scholarships can be found here.
The scholarships are available through local chapters. The list of local chapters offering scholarships contains links to the scholarship applications for any chapters currently accepting applications.
American Academy of Chefs (AAC) Scholarships
Two scholarships are available through the American Academy of Chefs for students with a goal of becoming a professional chef.
AAC Scholarship for High School Seniors
This scholarship is available to high school seniors with a high level of academic achievement who have been accepted to an accredited college, planning to study culinary or pastry arts. Students receive points for GPA, participation in culinary competitions, volunteer work, letters of recommendation and the essay portion of the application.
Instructions and the application can be found here.
The application can be printed and mailed to:
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL 32095
Or saved and e-mailed to:
AAC Scholarship for College Students
The Academy of Chefs also awards scholarships each year to current students studying culinary or pastry arts. Similar to the scholarship for high school seniors, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and will receive points for a higher GPA, participation in culinary competitions, volunteer work, letters of recommendation, and the essay.
To be eligible, students must have completed at least one term at an accredited college or university.
The application and detailed instructions, along with deadline information can be found here.
Like the scholarship for high school seniors the application can be printed and mailed to the same address, or e-mailed to the same e-mail address.
Additionally, the AAC offers three school specific scholarships, that are paid directly to the school. The three eligible schools are:
Following the links will take you to the application and detailed information about each program. The requirements are similar to the other AAC scholarships. Points are awarded based on GPA, volunteer work, letters of recommendation and the essay portion of the application.
Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Scholarships
If you are planning to attend one of the three Culinary Institute of America locations, there are several scholarship program available for CIA students. The programs vary by campus location; here is an overview of what is available at each of the locations.
The New York Location
Students applying to the New York location will automatically be considered for the following scholarships as part of the application process:
- High-Impact Leadership Scholarships
- SAT/ACT Achievement Scholarship
- First Generation Inner-City Scholarships
- National Student Organization (NSO) Competition Scholarships
Three more scholarships are available to New York CIA students, but require a separate application.
- The National Student Organization (NSO) Member Scholarships
- MFK Fisher Scholarship
- The CIA’s Alumni Referral Scholarship
Detailed information about all New York location scholarships can be found here. You will find deadlines, application requirements, and amounts for each of the scholarships.
St. Helena, CA Scholarships
Like the New York location, you will automatically be considered for some scholarships, and others will require a separate application. Those you will be automatically considered for are as follows:
- High-Impact Leadership Scholarships
- SAT/ACT Achievement Scholarship
- National Student Organization (NSO) Competition Scholarships
The following scholarships are also available, but require a completed application.
- The National Student Organization Member Scholarship
- CIA Alumni Referral Scholarship
- ACAP Select Programs Referrals
- Vi Endowed Scholarship
- CIA Alumni Referral Scholarship (for accelerated Culinary Arts certificate students)
Detailed scholarship information for the California location can be found here.
San Antonio, TX Location
Finally, there is the San Antonio Texas location. This location offers just one scholarship, but it is a generous scholarships that awards up to 50% of tuition to qualifying students. Application instructions and a link to the application can be found here
The SFM Foundation Undergraduate Merit Scholarship for High School Seniors
This scholarships is available to high school seniors who display a high level of academic achievement, have completed a minimum number of work hours in the restaurant or food service industry, and have been accepted into a full time restaurant or food service related post-secondary program.
Grade Point Average, work experience, an essay and letters of recommendation will all be considered when scoring applications. Application information for this scholarship can be found here.
Clark E. DeHaven Scholarship
This scholarship is offered through The National Association of College and University Food Services. It honors the NACUFS’ first executive director and has been assisting students pursuing food service related degrees since 1992.
To be considered, applicants must be attending a university that is a member of the NACUFS, must be in good standing and must be pursuing a career in the food service industry. A completed application, letters of recommendation and an essay are all required as part of the application process.
Deadline information as well as a link to download the application and instructions can be found here.
Scholarships Available to Students in Specific Geographic Areas
The following scholarships are available to students living or studying in specific geographic areas.
Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarship
Residents of Illinois can apply for the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarship. To be eligible, an applicant must be a permanent Illinois resident, be enrolled at an accredited culinary school or university, and be enrolled in at least 8 credit hours. The link to the application can be found here.
Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship
The Wisconsin Bakers Association offers two scholarship programs for students pursuing a career in baking or pastry arts. One is a national program, and the other is available only to Wisonsin residents.
The first one is the Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship; it is open to Wisconsin residents only. Students can be awarded as much as $1000 per calendar year. Application requirements as well as a link to the scholarship application can be found here.
The Wisconsin Bakers Association also administers a national scholarship program, called the Robert W. Hiller Scholarship. This scholarship is also meant for students pursuing a career in baking or pastry arts, and also awards up to $1000 per year to qualified applicants. This scholarship, however, is open to students throughout the country, not just Wisconsin residents. Follow the same link as the one for the Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship to read more and find the link for the application.
W. Price Jr. Memorial Scholarship
The W. Price Jr. Memorial Scholarship is offered through the Texas Restaurant Association and is open only to Texas residents. Students can, however, use scholarship funds to attend school outside of Texas. Applicants must be enrolled full time in a food service or hospitality degree program and have a minimum general GPA of 2.75. The deadline for the scholarship is February 1st. The application as well as detailed instructions can be found here
Russ Casey Scholarship
The Russ Casey Scholarship, also known as the Maine Educational Foundation Scholarship, is available to students who are residents of Maine, and are pursuing degrees in culinary arts or other hospitality oriented areas, with preference given to culinary arts students. Application requirements include a personal narrative, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. The link to the application can be found here
General Scholarships For Women That Can Be Used to Earn a Culinary Arts Degree
Jeanette Rankin Foundation Scholarships
This scholarship is intended to assist low income women, ages 35 and older pursue post-secondary education. To qualify, applicants must be women ages 35 or older, must meet income requirements, and must be enrolled in an accredited school pursuing technical education, an Associates degree or a Bachelors degree. Detailed information about the Jeanette Rankin Foundation and the scholarship is available here
Emerge Scholarship Program
This scholarship program is available to women ages 25 and older. The purpose of this scholarship is to assist women taking a non traditional path to education in reaching their goals. Examples of women who might be awarded this scholarship are women who are returning to school after taking time off for personal reasons or to care for a family, and women who have overcome obstacles and are still pursuing their educational goals. Women who are committed to giving back to their communities are given special consideration.
Financial need, future goals of the applicant and service to the community are all considered heavily in application decisions. Additional application requirements include letters of recommendation and an essay portion.
To read more about this scholarship and to access the application, visit this site: Emerge Scholarship
AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program
AARP administers a scholarship program for women 50 and older who display financial need. In addition to age requirements and financial need requirements, applicants must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. school and be pursuing a technical education program, Associates or Bachelors degree.
Application criteria, important deadlines and a link to the application can all be found here.
Talbots Scholarship Program
The Talbots Scholarship Program has been awarding scholarships to women pursuing post-secondary education later in life since 1997. During the yearly application period, you can apply by following the link on this page.
Don’t let the cost of a Culinary Arts degree prevent your from reaching your career goals. Use the information here to apply for all of the grants and scholarships that you might be eligible for to make a degree in Culinary Arts more affordable.