How Hospitality Students Can Find Scholarships & Housing Aid

Pursuing a career in hospitality is both rewarding and challenging. You are presented with several opportunities, including managing hotels and resorts and planning events. This is truly an exciting endeavor for anyone. However, the cost of education can damper your potential career path in the hospitality industry. Fortunately, financial aid and housing scholarships are available to students who need it most. This article will explore housing scholarships and financial aid for hospitality students. 

Housing Scholarships

The first section we want to look at is housing scholarships and how you can find them. There are scholarships across most areas of learning, including hospitality.  

What Does the University Offer?

Say you are looking for UW student housing, on or off campus. The first step in this process is to reach out to your university to understand what the housing scholarships entail. Many, if not all, universities have a dedicated financial aid office equipped with staff who can better assist you and offer advice on what scholarship you qualify for. Here, you can check if specific scholarships are reserved for hospitality students. 

Research The Industry and Its Associations

The remarkable thing about the hospitality industry is that several organizations offer scholarships. All it takes is some research. Here is what you can do for students pursuing a career in this field. Look for hospitality and travel associations such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the National Restaurant Association. Next, check their requirements for eligibility. Requirements include academic achievement, leadership skills, and involvement in the industry. Lastly, you apply.

Look at Scholarship Databases

The digital age is a fantastic time since you can find many things online, including scholarship databases. What’s more, you can find a database explicitly catering to the area of study or industry you are interested in. Look at databases such as Fastweb,, and Cappex. You should create a profile detailing your information on these databases as accurately as possible. This will allow the systems only to share scholarship information that is relevant to you. 

What Does Your State or Country Offer?

Some American states offer scholarships for studies at institutions of higher learning. We advise contacting your local state office to see whether they offer scholarships. And also to explore any other financial aid opportunities they might have. You can also speak to local businesses and philanthropic organizations. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in many forms, including scholarships, grants, loans, and even work-study programs. For hospitality students, here are some examples. 


If you need to learn how a scholarship works, let us unpack it for you. It is a financial award that does not require the recipient to repay it. The criterion for awarding includes merit-based, need-based, and specific achievements or affiliations. For example, let us say you are the star quarterback in your high school football team. You excel so well on the field and are scouted by a few universities. These universities will then offer you a scholarship based on your football performance. For hospitality students, it works the same — consider interning or job-shadowing at a hotel to gain foundational experience and perhaps even pre-college recognition.   


Grants are financial aid options solely awarded to students who need it. In other words, it is only awarded to underprivileged students. Grants also do not require repayment. However, some form of performance is required from the students, like maintaining a certain subject percentage. One of the more common need-based grants is the Federal Pell Grant. It is usually awarded to undergraduate students who need financial assistance to earn a bachelor’s degree.  

Work-Study Programs

This is a wonderful and popular option for many reasons. Most importantly, it allows you to study and work simultaneously. While the work may be part-time, it considers that you are a full-time student and would need to prioritize your studies. Additionally, you are gaining valuable work experience. This is particularly important for hospitality students. Find a work-study program that allows you to work in the industry. This has proven effective and beneficial for students. In many cases, they even assist students in their actual learning.

How To Maximize Your Chances to Obtain a Scholarship

There will always be fierce competition for scholarships. But there are a few key ways to maximize your chances to stand out. 

  • Maintain a strong academic record: Academia is relatively straightforward; pay attention, work smart, get good grades, and be rewarded. Check the minimum GPA requirements for the scholarships you wish to pursue. Ensure your grades are above the minimum requirements for a better chance.
  • Apply for internships in the industry: Intern in the industry you wish to pursue shows that you are willing to do the work. This only enhances your profile for potential scholarships. 
  • Craft compelling essays: Express yourself, your goals, and why this scholarship will help you to get there. Highlight your passion so that when the decision maker has finished reading your essay, they know you are the intelligent choice. 

Pursuing a career in hospitality is an exciting journey that can lead to a rewarding career. And while tuition fees continue to rise, do know that financial assistance is available for tuition fees and housing. Do your research, maintain excellent grades, and find an internship in the industry, and if you do, we hope you receive the scholarship to help you on this journey. Good luck.