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Culinary Arts Scholarships

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Preparing food for others may sound simple, yet it is truly a specialty. Culinary arts is a highly competitive field that with proper training, experience, and education, can be a lucrative career. With so many cooking schools and culinary arts degree programs available, it is not difficult to reach your dream of becoming a chef. But, it can be difficult to afford. This is why many cooking schools, professional organizations, colleges, and charitable foundations offer scholarships to help students pay for their culinary education. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look.

Where to Find Free Money for Culinary Arts Students

Scholarships are a great supplement to your financial aid package mainly because they do not have to be repaid, making it more the reason to start searching early. Finding the right scholarships can take some time, but with perseverance and a little research, you can find the right ones for you.

Here are examples of some culinary arts scholarships:

The James Beard Foundation Scholarship program provides financial assistance to emerging culinary arts students. The requirements for this scholarship are strict, including an evaluation of each applicant, along with letters of recommendation, and proof of financial need. Awards from this scholarship include cash scholarships, and tuition waivers for qualifying students.

Academic Scholarships for Undergraduate Students —this scholarship is awarded to full-time students pursuing careers in culinary arts and food service management. Award amount is $2,000.

Statler Foundation —scholarships are funded to students enrolled in culinary arts and/or hotel/motel management programs in the Western New York region. Award amounts vary.

The American Culinary Foundation (ACF) offers culinary arts scholarships to college students, professional chefs, and high school students to help pay for their college education, certifications, or career advancements.

ACF American Academy of Chefs Chairs Scholarship is awarded to outstanding students enrolled in a culinary program full-time. These funds help pay the cost of culinary programs for students pursuing a culinary career. Award amount is $1,000.

Women Chefs & Restaurant (WCR) offers the WCR Scholarship and Internship Program to its members in the field of culinary arts.

The International Association of Culinary Professionals offers the Culinary Trust Scholarship and Grant Program to qualifying students. Applicants are awarded funds to help pay for college expenses. Award amounts vary.

Cappex Culinary Arts Scholarship is awarded to qualifying students to help pay for their culinary education. Students must hold a major in culinary arts, or a related field. Award amount is $1,000. *

The Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation in Chicago, Illinois awards scholarships to students earning a career in the culinary field.

There are many cooking schools which offer scholarships to its students. Here are some examples:

The American Institute of Wine & Food offers scholarships to full-time students majoring in culinary arts and enology at an accredited school. Award amounts vary.

The French Culinary Institute in New York City offers several scholarships to qualifying students. The Friends of the FCI Award is awarded to students majoring in culinary arts or pastry arts. Award amount is $10,000.

The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College awards its students a variety of scholarship opportunities. The scholarship designed for culinary arts students is the President’s Award Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to incoming students with any major. All scholarships are merit-based.

Le Cordon Bleu School offers many scholarships and awards at its various locations. An example is the Future Chef of America Competition. This competition is open to high school students interested in a culinary arts career. Applicants must submit an application, transcript, and an essay. As a finalist, students are asked to participate in a culinary cook-off. Award amount ranges from $2,500 to $10,000.

Tips for Finding Culinary Arts Scholarships

  • Start early. Be proactive and seek out culinary scholarships way in advance.
  • Be sure to speak your school’s financial aid office as well as the culinary arts department for all scholarships.
  • Check local businesses and local chapters of professional organizations for other culinary arts scholarship opportunities. The more ‘free money’ you receive, the better the financial aid package.
  • Keep in mind, there are culinary arts scholarships dedicated to minorities, such as women. Be sure to look for those if you qualify.

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