Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Culinary & Hospitality Management Scholarship (IRAEF)

Scholarship & Organization Description:
Since its inception, the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) has awarded almost $2.5 million to deserving students pursuing Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management in college. Applicants must be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited culinary school, college or university, and major in a culinary, restaurant management or food service related program.

Website: Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
Application: Create an Account & Apply

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Graduating senior (class of 2020)
  • Permanent resident of the state of Illinois
  • Be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited culinary school, college or university
  • Must major in culinary arts, restaurant management or food service related program

Open to DREAMers: Yes
Questions? Please contact Kari Kramer by email at or call 312-380-4117

Graduating High School Seniors: All high school graduating seniors going to an accredited college/university and majoring in a culinary, hospitality management or related field.


  1. Pull together everything you need to complete the application. ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS (certificates, college acceptance letter, pay stubs, etc. )
  2. Go to:
  3. LOGIN: write down your password (if you lose this start another application)
  4. READ the INSTRUCTIONS before you start:
    a. There is an ICON for each section of the application (i.e. Personal Information). The application calls the ICON page the DASHBOARD
    b. As you complete each section of the application, click SAVE & Return to Dashboard before moving on to the next section
    c. You may SAVE an incomplete application and return to complete the application later
    d. If you don’t work on the application for 20 minutes you will be logged out. The system will NOT automatically save your application.
  5. Get 2 Recommendations: Ask your Teacher and Employer (or 2 teachers). You MUST also ask for the recommenders email address. In REQUESTS you will send an email to request the recommender.
  6. DEADLINE: 4/14/2020 at 10:00 pm Chicago Time. You should be able to complete the application in 20 minutes.


  1. Personal Information: Make sure your email, phone number and all contact information is correct
  2. Current School: Under type of student select ‘High School Graduating Senior’, and indicate that you are a ProStart Student. Complete all other questions. Have your high school address handy.
  3. Future School: You will need the college address and a copy (pdf) of your college acceptance letter. You have until 4/10 to upload the letter.
  4. Activities Honors & Achievements: Include extracurricular activities and honors. Include ProStart experiences (Job Shadow Day, working industry events, etc.)
  5. Work Experience: report any work experience and most recent paystub.
  6. IF you do not have pay stubs for current/previous jobs. Enter the employer information in the spreadsheet
  7. Essay: An essay can be copied & pasted into the application or typed. It must be a minimum of 250 words.
  8. Financial Aid: Complete this section only if you have financial need and want to be considered for the Charlie Trotter Scholarship.
  9. Conclusion and Signature: electronic signature
  10. Requests (Teacher Recommendation & Transcripts):
    To request a Recommendation, click on teacher or employer recommendation. You’ll be taken to another screen where you email the teacher or employer. They will get an email with a link and access code to complete the recommendation form. You will get an email when the recommendation is complete. The email will come from our online provider (
    Transcripts: Transcripts can also be requested and submitted electronically. Request the office email. You may mail the transcript to the IRA Educational Foundation (33 W. Monroe, Suite 250, Chicago 60603). It has to be an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope.

$500 - $6,500