Scholarships are grants or payments made to support a student’s education, awarded on the basis of academic achievement, career field and/or financial need.  As students seeking careers in the Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Management field, you are fortunate to have multiple opportunities to apply for scholarships to assist you in paying for tuition, fees, books and other expenses you may incur in completing your degree.

Listed below are links to these opportunities from both industry organizations, outside supporters through OTC Foundation and general opportunities offered through various organizational websites. Keep in mind scholarships are “Free Money” and it costs $0 to apply and in reality, probably won’t require more than 1-2 hours of your time to complete.

Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA) - Deadline: April 1

Over $1 million in scholarships awarded!  MRA and its affiliated chapters embrace the importance of education in helping prepare future leaders for the challenging restaurant and hospitality industry of tomorrow. MRA chapters across the state conduct numerous events to raise scholarship funds. Since its inception, the MRA Scholarship Program has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to assist outstanding students with the cost of their education.  The chapter fundraising events are conducted with the help of MRA members who volunteer their time and resources.

Click the link below to apply for scholarship:

Students from our program have received up to as much as $2,000 for applying.

Springfield Hotel Lodging Association - Deadline: October varies

This opportunity is posted to student internal through the department.

Must be enrolled to apply

Each year, the Springfield Hotel Lodging Association awards scholarships to MSU and OTC students studying in the Hospitality Industry. Updated scholarship application will be sent out through canvas prior to the deadline in October each year. Interviews are held the first week of November. Two $750 scholarships awarded to OTC students annually.

AHLA Educational Foundation Scholarships - Deadline: varies

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) is the not-for-profit, charitable-giving and fund raising affiliate of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). For more than 50 years, the Foundation has been the primary source of financial support for industry-related scholarships and research. In recent years its mandate has expanded to include funding to launch and maintain school-to-career and workforce development initiatives. These initiatives help attract and retain more employees to our industry. The AH&LEF website is designed to provide information regarding educational and research programs as well as provide giving opportunities and recognition to their donors.

The AHLA Foundation offers numerous scholarships.  For more information, deadlines and to see which scholarship is right for you, view the AHLA Foundation  website.

ACF Education Foundation - Deadline: April 10 and October 31

With the support of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), offers a limited number of scholarships annually to students:

  • Certificate programs – up to $1,500
  • Post-secondary degree programs – up to $2,500

Click the link below to apply:

James Beard Foundation Scholarships - Deadlines vary

Established in 1991, the scholarship program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution, college, or university. In the past 25 years, the program has not only grown in visibility and financial scope, but in the array of subjects its recipients have embraced. As of 2019, the Foundation will have awarded nearly $8 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients.

This year JBF will offer three basic types of Awards:

  • Scholarships: Cash grants applied to tuition (and sometimes other school-related expenses)
  • Tuition Waivers: Tuition waivers granted by educational institutions, which are renewable in some cases
  • Work Study Grants: Grants for working culinary professionals that cover expenses from programs offering experiential learning at farms, fisheries, wineries, and other venues of food production, under the auspices of the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study program

The James Beard Foundation’s National Scholarships Program is accepting applications in April 2021. Go to Scholarships | James Beard Foundation for more information on scholarship opportunities and access to the applications.

NEWH – The Hospitality Industry Network - Deadlines vary

The objective of the NEWH is to promote scholarship, education and interest within the Hospitality Industry. NEWH, Inc. and its chapters fundraise to provide scholarships to students pursuing a career within Hospitality related fields (Interior Design, Hospitality Management, Culinary, Architecture, Senior Living, etc.).

NEWH has awarded over $6,800,000.00+ in scholarships to over 2,555 students to date!

Click the link to apply:

Jennifer Wishon Scholarship - Deadline: June 1st

Awarded in the fall – Applications Accepted: March 1 – June 1

This scholarship is an OTC Foundation Scholarship established in 2008 in honor of Jennifer Wishon who was granted an honorary degree in Culinary Arts as a student of the program.  Jennifer exuded the true spirit of hospitality in all that she did as a student despite her struggles battling a genetic heart disease.  Jennifer passed prior to graduation and the fund was started in her honor by Chef Lou Rice to recognize her accomplishments while attending OTC.

Students must meet the following requirement in order to be eligible.

  • Applicant must have worked an average of 20 hours or more, per week, in the hospitality industry for the last 6 months.
  • Applicant must have an OTC GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Applicant must have completed at least 12 credits

Apply by clicking the link:  Application – Jennifer Wishon Scholarship

OTC Institutional Scholarships - Deadlines: June 1st & November 1st

Institutional Scholarships are very easy to apply for by just clicking the link to the application below, enter your information and the school evaluates your application and they will consider you for all scholarships offered at you qualify for in the application period.

OTC Institution Scholarships

Please note to qualify you must submit your FASFA for the upcoming year prior to applying.