5 Ways to Get Financial Aid for Culinary School

Looking into becoming a chef? Whether you've just begun considering the possibility, or have been dreaming about it for years, the question of how to finance your culinary education has probably crossed your mind.

Read on for five ideas on how to turn your dreams into reality and get the financial aid you need.

Federal Student Financial Aid

The U.S. government offers various types of financial aid, including need based loans and scholarships. People typically think of this aid for traditional college, but many culinary schools are qualifying institutions, which is great news for you! To see if you qualify for any federal student aid, simply fill out the online form at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Industry Based Aid

The hospitality industry has many opportunities in place for would-be students as well as restaurant professionals looking to further their education. Some resources to check out include:

The American Academy of Chefs
The Culinary Trust
The International Association of Culinary Professionals
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Private Sector Grants and Scholarships

Thanks to the Internet, it's never been easier to search the vast array of financial aid available from thousands of sources. It's all at http://www.fastweb.com, a database containing over a million scholarships worth more than 3 billion dollars! Take a look and see what's there for you.

Financial Assistance From Your School of Choice

Visit the websites or call the Financial Aid office of the school or schools you are considering and see what they have to offer. Most institutions have alumni-funded grants and memorial scholarships. Chances are there's one perfect for you. Many schools also have assistance in the form of work-study jobs. If you plan to live on campus, check into the possibility of becoming a resident advisor when you're eligible. This service is usually compensated with free room and board, which can save a significant amount of money.

Family, Union and Employer Assistance

If you or a parent are a Union member, check into whether they offer scholarships - many do! The same goes for many employers. Corporations large and small often have scholarships set up specifically for the children of employees. Finally, consider the possibility that someone near and dear to you might just be willing to loan you money at a favorable rate of interest. If you explain the benefits of your education and outline a potential payment plan for the future, you may secure a loan close to home.

With some research and planning, money needn't stand between you and a great culinary education. Invest in your future and enjoy the dividends for years to come. Bon Appetit!

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