Make no mistake: cooking school is not cheap. It is comparable in cost to any other higher education program, which is to say, very pricey. And when you graduate, you will not be making as much as some college graduates in other fields.
On the other hand, financial aid is widely available to help pay for cooking school. The ideal way to pay for cooking school is through grants and scholarships that do not need to be repaid. So much better than taking out loans! Talk to your high school counselor about scholarship opportunities. Scour the Internet looking for them. Ask your local librarian to help you in your quest.
- Grants are available on the federal, state, and sometimes local levels of government. These sources of funding are based solely on need. The less money you or your family has, the greater your chance of qualifying for grants. Some grants are probably also available from the college or cooking school to which you are applying. Be sure to set up an appointment with a financial aid counselor so you can learn how to apply.
- When you have exhausted potential free sources of money, consider student loans . There are two basic sources of loans: government and private lenders. Government loans do not need to be paid back until after you have graduated (there is even a grace period for you to find a job and get settled). Payments on private loans, however, must begin even before you graduate. Keep in mind that student loans cannot be discharged, even in bankruptcy. Any money you borrow will have to be repaid, even if you decide you don’t like your chosen career or you cannot find satisfying work. For this reason, you should borrow as little as possible.
Paying for Cooking School
Of course, it is not easy, but some people work throughout their college years, either part-time or full-time. This can be physically draining and may detract from your focus, but if you can do it, you will finish cooking school with less debt and more experience than many of your peers. You may even talk your employer into helping you pay for some of your class work!