NRAEF : Blog

How to Apply for NRAEF Scholarships

by | Jan 15, 2021 | Blog Post, Scholarships |

College students across the country are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. For the first time in five years, the majority of college-bound seniors plan to take out a loan (CNBC).

The NRAEF is here to help and is planning on giving out $1 million in scholarships and grants this year to individuals in need.

From now until March 15, 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).

So what to you need to do to apply? Read below for tips on how to easily submit your application for NRAEF scholarships.

Step 1 – check your eligibility.

NRAEF scholarships are open to people from all backgrounds pursuing a secondary school education or industry training.

But before you get started on the application, make sure you meet the criteria for the scholarships.

To apply for NRAEF scholarships, you must be:
• Enrolled or accepted as a full time or part time undergraduate student at a post-secondary institution for the upcoming academic year
• Majoring in an undergraduate level restaurant, foodservice or hospitality related program
• Plan to be enrolled for at least two consecutive undergraduate terms or on track to complete an undergraduate degree within one term
• Unrelated to any employees or family members of the National Restaurant Association, NRAEF, or a state restaurant association

You can check out the full eligibility information here on our website.

Step 2 – Get familiar with the application

Once you check the eligibility criteria, head on over to the scholarship application here.

Carefully read the instructions on the page for how to set up your account, or how to log in if you’re a returning applicant.

Once you’re logged in, click on the scholarship named:
“2021 NRAEF Undergraduate Scholarships” which will bring you to your scholarship dashboard.  Follow the prompts to complete the application.

Step 3 – Write your essays and pick your references

Filling out the essay portions of the application can be the hardest and most time-consuming part. Make sure you set aside enough time to put some thought and effort into your responses. Have someone review and proofread your essays to help find any grammatical or spelling errors before you submit your application.

For references, choose someone who knows you well. A guidance counselor, your culinary class instructor, or your boss at work are all people who will be excited to write you a scholarship recommendation. Don’t forget to give your prospective recommender a heads up that you’ll be adding them in for a recommendation for scholarship. Follow-up with them often if you don’t see that they have submitted a recommendation in the system.

Step 4 – Submit!

Before hitting the “submit” button take time to review your work and your application. Make sure all required application sections read 100% – you won’t be able to submit your application otherwise. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and make sure all required fields are properly filled out.

Once you’ve checked your work, hit the submit button found in the upper right corner of your scholarship dashboard, and look out for your confirmation email that your application has been submitted.

You did it!

Congrats! You’re now one step closer to receiving an NRAEF scholarship. Keep an eye out for an email communication from the NRAEF in June about the status of your application (and check out our full scholarship timeline here).

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. Individuals at various education levels are encouraged to apply. If you have any questions about applying for a scholarship, feel free to reach out to our team at

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