How Much Does Culinary School Cost?

Going to culinary school is a common method of preparing for a career as a chef. If you see yourself preparing and concocting the most delectable recipes in the world’s best restaurants then getting a degree in the culinary arts is going to be your passport towards attaining your dream job. As in any college degree, the cost of enrolling in culinary school is going to be one of your major concerns—and it is only right that it should. Going to culinary school is not cheap. In addition to preparing for tuition and other fees, you also need to take into consideration the cost of housing, food, books and supplies as well as your other personal expenses while you are working to get your culinary arts degree.

How much you pay will also depend on whether you go to a public or private culinary school and the kind of degree you plan to earn. Private schools are usually more expensive than public schools. If you wish to go to a public school, it would be better to go to one in your state of residence because you’ll get to enjoy the in-state discounts on tuition which can substantially lower your fees.

The cost of culinary school ranges from about $7,000 to about $40,000 each year. Getting an associate’s degree will be cheaper because it only takes two years to complete but as more employers prefer chefs that have more extensive training, it might be worthwhile to invest in a bachelor’s degree even if it is more expensive in the long run.

For a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Nicholls State University in Louisiana offers one of the more affordable programs. The yearly cost for tuition and fees, room and board and books and supplies is $16,060 for in-state students and $25,551 for out-of-state students. At the Pennsylvania College of Technology, the yearly cost for in-state students is $26,853 and $33,093 for out-of-state students. Private culinary schools charge the same fee to obtain a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts to all students regardless of their state of residence.

The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College costs $35,020 a year while at Johnson & Wales University Providence, the annual cost for a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts is $39,396. One of the more expensive programs is at Drexel University which has an annual cost of $53,920.

For two-year associate’s degree in culinary arts, the annual cost of tuition and fees, room and board and books and supplies in North Georgia Technical College is $7,300 for in-state students and $9,340 for out-of-state students. Private culinary schools offer popular associate degree programs. At Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Austin, the yearly cost for in-state students is $19,080. The cost is about the same at other Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts branches in various parts of the country. Meanwhile, the annual cost of an associate’s degree at the Culinary Institute of America is $37,950 while at Johnson & Wales University Charlotte, it is $40,413.

Many students are eligible for financial aid which can greatly lower their college expenses. Do ask your school’s financial aid advisor if you qualify for scholarships and grants. You may also want to take out student loans if you need to fund your college education. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for these when you start to work. You might also want to look at part-time work opportunities in the restaurant industry to help you pay for your college expenses.

Career Spotlight: Chef

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