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Scholarships and Grants for Cooking School

If you are interested in attending culinary school or a pastry arts school, you can apply for one of several culinary arts scholarships. Cooking school scholarships are available from several colleges, universities, trade schools, corporate sponsors and private organizations for culinary degree-seeking students. These scholarships award students with funds to cover the costs of a degree program in the hospitality, food service, pastry arts, baking and restaurant management fields.

Getting a Culinary Scholarship

If you are interested in continuing your education in the field of baking, pastry arts, cake decorating, catering, culinary arts or restaurant management, you may be eligible to apply for a culinary scholarship. Many students who apply for cooking school scholarships also apply for financial aid through the school's financial aid office. Most organizations that offer scholarship and grant opportunities support students who are pursuing career in the fields of:

  • Food Service
  • Baking
  • Pastry Arts
  • Restaurant Management
  • Hospitality
  • Wine/Sommelier Training
  • Professional or Personal Chef Services
  • Hotel Management

Types of Culinary Scholarships

Many culinary schools and trade schools offer their own scholarships and grants for aspiring chefs, bakers, cake decorators and sommeliers. Students can also apply for a scholarship from private organizations and professional organizations in their area. Some of the scholarships available on an annual basis include:

  • Culinary Arts Program Cooking Competition for Scholarships
  • Chaine Des Rotisseurs Scholarships
  • Clay Tripette Scholarship
  • Ciroc Grape Chefs of America Culinary Scholarships
  • Future Culinarian of America Scholarship
  • Deseo at the Westin Scholarship
  • International Cake Exploration Societe Scholarship
  • Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students
  • The Peter Cameron Scholarship

Many state lodging and restaurant associations, hospitality and travel associations, restaurant associations and professional chefs and restaurateurs groups also offer scholarships for students attending a culinary school in their state.

Applying for Scholarships

Many scholarships require students to submit a formal application, references, transcripts, a list of culinary experience and training received, and a portfolio of work depending on their specialization. Culinary scholarships and grants can be both merit-based and based on need. Students need to review eligibility requirements and criteria in detail to ensure that they are eligible to apply.

Culinary scholarships and grants that involve a cooking competition require students to showcase their skills and talents and be judged by an official judging panel. These competitions can last for several hours and may require students to use special techniques or unique ingredients to create gourmet foods, decorated cakes and pastries.

Students who are interested in a career in pastry arts or baking may be required to submit a portfolio of work that includes examples of European pastry creations, hand-decorated cakes and other baked goods.

Getting a Scholarship from a Major Cooking School

Students interested in attending a world-renowned cooking school may be eligible to apply for an exclusive culinary scholarship or grant directly from the educational institution. Schools that offer their own set of scholarships, grants and financial aid include:

  • Le Cordon Bleu Schools
  • The Culinary Institute of America
  • The French Culinary Institute
  • The International Culinary School at The Art Institutes

Most of these schools require students to provide proof of enrollment and submit references and information about any work experience or projects they have worked on. Some students are called in for an interview or asked to demonstrate their skills. Getting into one of these major cooking schools and getting a scholarship to cover the full term can be very competitive so students need to be prepared to submit a very strong application. Only some students are selected to proceed to the interview stage, and many need to prove that they have the skills, stamina and talent to excel within the program.


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