Scholarship FAQs

What types of scholarships do you offer?

Please see our scholarships page for a full list of our programs. We offer both application-based and competition-based scholarships. Currently, we offer awards for all levels of the Court of Master Sommeliers, America’s exams (and the Advanced Course), The Master of Wine Exam, various online courses, webinar-based competitions as well as scholarships to support general education.

Who can apply for your scholarships?

SommFoundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Our mission is to benefit the public. All beverage professionals are welcome to apply, provided you meet the specific scholarship criteria.

How can I apply?

All applications are posted on our website HERE. We also post opportunities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure to follow us there @sommfoundation. You will also see our opportunities posted on

Do I need to have a certification or be a member of a wine organization (such as GuildSomm, WSET, Court of Master Sommeliers, Society of Wine Educators, etc.) to apply?

No. SommFoundation opportunities are open to the public. All professionals are welcome to apply, provided you meet the specific scholarship criteria.

I live outside the United States. Am I eligible to apply?

Each scholarship has a specific set of geographic requirements. Please see the individual application to determine your eligibility.

What are the criteria for scholarship awards?

Our application-based scholarships are awarded based on need and merit. The one criteria that is always present is the desire to learn and in turn, carry that knowledge forward. Our competition scholarships are based on performance only.

Who chooses the scholarship recipients?

Our Director of Scholarships, Ashley Hausman, MW, oversees the scholarship selection process.

May I apply for more than one scholarship?

SommFoundation encourages you to apply for all scholarships that you are eligible for.

What happens if I submit multiple applications for the same scholarship?

SommFoundation will consider the most recently submitted application.

I have already received a scholarship and/or enrichment trip through SommFoundation. Does this exclude me from consideration?

SommFoundation gives priority to applicants who have not received a scholarship in the last 24 months. However, this is a guideline and not a rule and we have made exceptions. Attendance on a trip in the last 3 years does not make you ineligible.

After I have applied for a scholarship, when will I be notified of my standing?

The SommFoundation Director of Scholarships goes through a thorough blind vetting process which typically takes 2-4 weeks.

If I have been awarded a scholarship, how will I be notified?

Once you have been selected, SommFoundation will notify you via email or a phone call.

Will I be notified if I was not selected?

All applicants will be notified of their standing. Check the website for the current status of the notification process.

Are there restrictions on how I can use my scholarship funds?

SommFoundation awards are to be used to offset the costs of your professional studies and exams.

If I have been awarded a scholarship, how will I receive the funds?

Once you have been selected as a recipient, you will receive an email or call from SommFoundation confirming your contact information. Scholarship funds will be sent to you via mail (for domestic) and by wire for international recipients. The Rudd Scholarship is awarded at the event.