Hospitality is one of the fastest growing career fields around the world, but as the cost of even two-year programs is quite high, many students look for hospitality management scholarships. Scholarships are essentially free money that you can use to pay for your education. You might use the cash to pay for your tuition, traveling to job or internship sites or even for your textbooks or a new computer. A number of different programs and scholarships are open to students studying hotel management and other types of management in hospitality industries.

Food and Beverage Scholarships

One area of hospitality is the management of food and beverage departments. You might work in a hotel and operate the bar and restaurant attached to that hotel, or you might work in the restaurant of a conference center that brings in millions of tourists every year. According to Matt Konrad of U.S. News and World Report, there are several scholarship programs designed for future restaurant managers including awards given by the James Beard Foundation. This prestigious organization is one of the top food foundations in the world, and winning a scholarship from the foundation will look great on your future resume.

Interactive Programs

If you like the idea of actually gaining experience and getting money for it, you might look at interactive programs. These programs combine elements of work study programs. You get paid for doing work in the hospitality field. One good example is the program operated by Disney. The program lets students work in one of its hotels or theme parks in exchange for cash, and you may also get credit from your school too. Many students also look for opportunities from local amusement parks, restaurants, hotels and event or conference centers. Depending on your location, you may find paid internships in the hospitality field.

School Sponsored Scholarships

Before you spend weeks searching for hospitality scholarships online, check with your college or university. Many schools offer scholarships that are only open to students coming into the school or those already enrolled. Most colleges that offer hospitality courses offer scholarships as well, especially those that operate their own restaurants, conference centers and hotels. Those scholarships can range in size from a few hundred dollars to a full tuition scholarship that pays for all the classes you take the following year.

Tips for Applying

Students looking at hospitality management scholarships often want to know how to apply for those funds. Each program and foundation uses a different method, but you generally need a resume that shows your past experience working in hotels and other hospitality arenas. Some programs also have an essay requirement. The foundation might give you a prompt on why you want to work in hospitality or your future career goals. You will generally have between 500 and 1,000 words to answer the question and highlight the reasons why you deserve the money. Other programs may require that you complete an interview over the phone or in person as well.

As the cost of college rises, more and more students look for ways to pay for their education without resorting to loans with high interest rates that they must pay back later. If you plan to study hospitality management, you’ll find plenty of scholarships and programs that make your classes a little more affordable.