In addition to culinary arts schools themselves, a number of organizations award culinary scholarships for students. Read this list carefully before requesting information. Some organizations give scholarships only for very specific purposes. Others give scholarships only for management training or for graduate work.
1.) American Culinary Federation (ACF)
This long-established association of professional cooks has a membership of nearly 20,000 and more than 200 chapters in many cities. In addition to its apprenticeship program, which provides an excellent alternate approach to culinary training, the ACF awards some scholarships on the national level. Contacts at the local level will be able to provide information about any scholarships awarded by a local chapter. Information about culinary scholarships at the national level may be obtained withe the following contact information:
Phone: (800) 624-9458, ext. 154
2.) American Dietetic Association (ADA)
This organization is made up of nearly 65,000 members, 75% of whom are registered dietitians. It only awards scholarships for registered dietitians working toward master’s degrees. If you think you are eligible, contact them at:
3.) American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF)
A non-profit organization created to promote appreciation of wine and food and encourage scholarly education in gastronomy, this nearly 6,000-member organization has twenty-nine chapters in US cities. Only certain chapters of the AIWF give scholarships for culinary education. Some are administered by the individual chapters; others are administered through the facilities of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Foundation scholarship committee. You can reach AIWF at:
4.) Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Inc. (C-CAP)
A school-to-work program, established in a number of major metropolitan areas, C-CAP integrates culinary training at the high school level with work and business experience. C-CAP provides awards and scholarships ranging from $1,000 to full tuition and assists students in making college and career choices. If you are a high school student, ask your guidance counselor if there is a C-CAP program in your area and how you might participate.
5.) Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
A long-established organization for promoting appreciation of fine food and wine, this society has members in more than seventy countries and has granted $3,000,000 scholarships to more than 75 qualifying schools since 1996. Scholarships are established directly with culinary schools, such as The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, the Court of the Master Sommeliers, and the American Academy of Chefs, among others. Interested candidates should ask financial aid officers at specific schools about these awards.
6.) The Culinary Trust
This charitable and educational affiliate of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Foundation has, as one of its functions, the administration of culinary arts scholarships that provide either tuition-credit assistance at specific institutions or financial assistance that can be applied to a variety of institutions. The IACP Foundation scholarship committee awards scholarships on an annual cycle. Interested applicants should contact the Culinary Trust at:
7.) International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC)
Dedicated to the improvement of media communications quality in the food field, this small organization of food service magazine editors and public relations executives awards between four and six scholarships annually to persons seeking careers that combine food service and communications.
8.) International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
A long-established educational and community service association, this group provides some scholarships of its own and also provides information about scholarships offered by other organizations.
9.) James Beard Foundation
This prominent organization of food professionals, devoted to the ideals and principles of legendary American cook and writer James Beard, has awarded $4.6 million in culinary school scholarships since 1991. Applicants are evaluated by grade point average, extracurricular activities, work experience, letters of recommendation, and financial need. Work/study grant opportunities are also available. The application deadline is usually in May.
10.) Les Dames d’Escoffier (LDEI)
This association has chapters in many major cities. One of its major purposes is the creation and awarding of scholarships to assist women with culinary training. The individual chapters have awarded over $4,000,000 in scholarships to date.
11.) National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
This group is an educational organization that produces a variety of courses, video training sessions, seminars, and other educational opportunities for persons in the hospitality industry, in addition to offering food service scholarships.
12.) Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR)
An association specifically designed to promote the education and advancement of women in the culinary profession and to promote the industry overall, the WCR awarded forty-five internships and culinary scholarships for women in 2005. For further information, contact them at: