The cost of most secondary educations rivals the cost of a modest home. So one the greatest investments you can make in a Culinary Schools education is the investment of time to find sources to help pay for it.
Grants are one of the most financially rewarding supplemental funding sources. Finding the right fit, the right grants, and filling out the often formidable applications takes time but is worth it—students awarded grants never have to repay the money. If you are motivated to do the legwork, find granting resources, and make the effort to apply, it can be possible to fund your entire education. Some grantees may even receive more money than is required to pay for their education.
Two of the most common grant sources for secondary and post-secondary education are the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Both offer money to students who demonstrate significant financial need to help them achieve their educational goals. The amount of money awarded is determined by need, enrollment, the length of time required at the school, and the number of students applying for these grants.
On the state level, culinary students can investigate the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP). Grants are awarded based on need combined with community service, so a culinary student who volunteers in a local soup kitchen or food bank might be eligible to receive financial rewards from this program.
Another great source of grant opportunities is the culinary school itself. Most Culinary Schools have financial resource centers and/or counselors offering guidance for finding appropriate granting organizations. Remember, these schools are dependent on enrollment; it is in the school’s best interest to help you find financing so you can attend!
You might also want to browse DonorsForum.org, one of the most comprehensive libraries of grant information from a wide range of philanthropic organizations throughout the world.
The most important thing to do is follow the grant directions exactly as stated and make sure to submit on deadline. Competition for funding is fierce. Granting organizations receive hundreds or thousands of applications each year. Again, one of the quickest ways to be denied funding is to not supply all the components requested for the grant application in the time allowed.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013