Culinary Arts Scholarships for Women

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:
AAC Scholarships
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:

1. The Chef‘s Academy
2. Culinary Institute of America
3. Johnson and Wales University

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.


  • Reply Jimalowe R. Rulloda February 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Hello Ma’am/ Sir. Good day! Could you please share or provide me more details regarding the scholarship offered for culinary studies? What are the requirements for the scholarship, including the screening process? Hoping for your response. Thank you!

  • Reply Hellen Atyang February 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I am a Kenyan living in Kenya; aged 32 years and married to Thomas Opiyo and we have two boys. My husband took me to a college to do a Certificate in Food and Beverages which I will be clearing by July 2013.

    I would like you to help me proceed and get a Degree in the same field by sponsoring me to any college.

    I will not mind if you sponsor me to study outside my country so as to be able to be diverse in my study.

    Thank you.

  • Reply leigh-ann May 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm


    i am desperately looking for assistance to study at a culinary school, would you be able to assist?

  • Reply John MacLean March 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    My daughter, Madeline, is adopted from Vietnam. She will graduate from high school in Olympia, WA this Spring. She wants to study culinary arts and is considering attending the Seattle Central Community College. I am writing to research any relevant scholarship programs. Please advise on any scholarships that might be applicable. Thank you, John MacLean

  • Reply Halala Mdletshe March 24, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Hi, im Halala Mdletshe from South Africa, want to do Patisserie, but I cannot find assistance for my tuition fee and want to start studying next year. Please help me

  • Reply Denrele Pinnick April 2, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I am a 43 years old woman from Nigeria, I want to study the art of cake baking and decoration and cannot afford the tution , please find me a scholarship programe that is suitable

  • Reply Nomsa Makalande April 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

    hie,am a 25 years old lady from Malawi,i have a passion for baking and i would love to study baking would be greatful if you can help me with a scholarship.

  • Reply Mary B. Snoddy May 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    My daughter, Marlena, will graduate from high school in Greenville, SC this Spring. She wants to study culinary arts and is considering attending the Johnson & Wales University of Charlotte, NC.

    I am writing to research any relevant loans, grants scholarships or sponsorships. Please advise on any loans, grants, scholarships or sponsorships that may be applicable.

    Please feel free to email or mail the needed resources to me at P.O. Box 36364, Greensboro, NC 27416.

    Thank you in advance,

    Mary B. Snoddy

  • Reply Joan August 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Good-day Ma/Sir,My name is Joan Edet a Nigerian.I really want to study culinary art in one of the school outside my country.I have a prior knowledge is culinary art here in my country though not really sound and perfect.I will like to know how to apply for scholarship if any and also will need your help on how to go about it.please can u come to my aid.this is one passion I desire to nurture and grow in.I really enjoy cooking and love to explore.Pls would not mind any information that can be of help.Thank you in anticipation!Godbless you.

  • Reply Magdalena MArtinez November 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Hello my name is Magdalena Martinez, I’m 18 years old and a senior at Palm Desert High School in California. I want to become a pastry chef and open my own shop. This has been my career goal since I was 7 years old and honestly I wanted to know how I could apply to your scholarship and be able to keep my dream career going. I really appreciated it if you took your time and to read my comment from your busy schedule. I hope to hear from you very soon.

    Thank you for your time – Magdalena Martinez

  • Reply shamiso mwashita February 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    looking for a full scholarship for culinary studies ..i have a diploma in city and guilds,food preparation in culinary arts.

  • Reply debra May 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    i completed my diploma in food an beverage early 2014 an i will like to pursue a degree on it or a related course to it.please advice

  • Reply sandra May 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I have diploma in food production and would like to further my studies.kindly I reguestfor scholarship

  • Reply Shonse' May 26, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I am a recent high school graduate in Florida with 3 1/2 years of Culinary Education and have aspirations to become an Executive Chef. My dilemma is that, though I am still trying and am extremely interested in this career, I have not found enough money for tuition and desperately need assistance in this matter. Thanks so much

  • Reply sandra j lucy June 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    looking for full scholarship for culinary studies.i have diploma in city and gilds,food production

  • Reply komugisha Joan September 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    hello,am a Ugandan aged 22yrs, I really would like to attain a scholarship in bakery and pastry, I have just completed a diploma in travel and tourism, I hope I get your support and financial assistance because I deeply want to become a professional baker

  • Reply Maneo August 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

    good day,
    I am a mosotho leaving in Lesotho, a country within South Africa. i am an advocate and a magistrate currently. i would like to follow my passion in the hospitality industry. i love cooking and hosting people. please advise me as to where i will get financial aid and become a seasoned chef and restaurateur. please direct me as i have no idea where to begin in branching my career.

  • Reply sanele .melita.setloboko September 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I have been accepted to The Swiss Hotel school in Randburg .I am currently in matric at Parktown High School for girls .Im really passionate and dont have the funds to fund my dream.

  • Reply gedam gamlin September 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Dear sir/madam
    I’m aged 40years women. Who r dying to learn all type of culinary arts…. But ddnt know how apply. Please help me to find . Iam financial poor. So help me

    Mrs. G gamlin

  • Leave a Reply to sanele .melita.setloboko Cancel Reply