Starting Wednesday, students, military servicemen and women and individuals pursuing a restaurant, foodservice or hospitality career can apply for scholarships and grants offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).

Each year, the NRAEF awards nearly $1 million in scholarships and grants to individuals across the country. Applications for post-secondary education and/or technical training will be accepted through March 15, 2020.

Professional development grants for the NRAEF’s Summer Institutes program (SI) are also open January 1 – 31, 2020 for secondary restaurant and foodservice educators looking to grow their skills.

“2020 is the Foundation’s 33rd year of awarding financial assistance to people from all backgrounds interested in building a career in our industry,” says Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “With college and professional training costs on the rise, these scholarships and grants help hundreds of students and educators obtain the skills they need to be successful, no matter where their journey takes them.”

Scholarships range from $2,500 to $10,000 and can be used towards tuition and fees, books, room and board and other school-related expenses. The scholarships have no age restrictions. Whether applicants are recent high-school graduates or adults looking to make a career change, individuals at various education levels are encouraged to apply.

Summer Institute grants of $1,675 are also available to educators seeking to advance their knowledge of the industry over the summer at one of the thirteen post-secondary host sites across the country. Applicants are evaluated and scored on a number of factors that take both merit and financial need into account.

In 2019, one in two scholarship recipients were first generation college students and identified as minorities, and two-thirds were women. 95 percent of recipients have experience working in the restaurant and foodservice industry. The Foundation awarded 63 grants to educators who had a combined 186 total years of foodservice teaching experience.

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