SCI vs. ACI
I don't know if you're familiar with ACI, (Arizona Culinary Institute). Without going into too much detail, ACI was started by an original partner of SCI, who took a lot of the best chefs with him when he left that were fed up with having 40 students in a class. (My ACI class had 13, FYI). ACI is also less than half the money and you're done in 9 months, partially because you're not standing around waiting for your turn to do a procedure. SCI has to pay Cordon Bleu about $4,000 per student for the privilege of calling it a Cordon Bleu program and ACI uses the same texts and has some really passionate instructors, Glenn Humphrey in particular was a huge inspiration to me.
Downside- not a degreed program if you're looking for that, but its reputation in the business is really good as far as getting hired after school. Probably 1/4 of the students at ACI are SCI dropouts that hated going there.
I had a great experience there and recommend it highly.
Hope this helps,
The Pragmatic Chefhttp://thepragmaticchef.com