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Community College vs. Private

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am looking to go to a culinary school and I have narrowed it down to the local community college and Robert Morris College out here in Chicago. They both have the same credentials and the only difference I can see is that RMC is outrageously priced. I can go to the community college for almost a 1/4 of the cost. What is the deal with the private education cost and does it really matter if I put a private school's name on my resume as opposed to a commuity college?
post #2 of 10
check out the thread titled $0.02 which was a discussion about schools in chicagoland area

and there are a couple more in which gabby29 has posted a bunch of responses

if you don't mind, which is the community college that you have shortlisted your option to?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I should have said its two community colleges. I am really considering Moraine Valley Community College and Joliet Junior College. I haven't really heard too much about Moraine Valley but everything I hear about JJC is very good. I read your .02 cents thread and read all the school rankings.

Now, I do not know anything about quality of schools or if they prep you well enough for the real culinary world. Dealing with CHIC was the worst thing I ever did. They were like an ex-girlfriend that would not go away. The Art Institute nagged a little and Kendall I haven't dealt too much with. RMC I liked first because it is literally right down the street from me.

After reading the difficulties of working in the restaurant world I cannot see spending the 10's of thousands of dollars anymore.
post #4 of 10
I know how persuasive they can get
I am staging at a catering place over weekends

I would suggest start your education at a cheaper alternative place (if RMC is too expensive) BUT and a big BUT - start a part time / full time work somewhere in a restaurant. Its one thing to work in a controlled environment and its totally different experience when the when the oil splatter is coming directly on the portion of the hand that was burnt earlier ....

no, not trying to scare you but everyone here was right - when things go haywire is when you would find yourself truly asking and ANSWERING the question that Do you want to be in this field???

I m enjoying it and got one of the first compliments from the chef and who entrusted me (under supervision) to prepare a soup

however its a long hard way to go and the valuable experience you would gain will help you lauch your career further

hope this helps
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah, thanks your input helps a lot and its comforting to know that I am not the only one with the same thoughts and concerns.
post #6 of 10
to be honest it depends on a few things. the level of debt you wish to assume, your aspirations in the field, and the background and work experiences that you have at present.

in relation to your question about private school costs you are literally paying for the reputation, instructors, additional programs, resources, alumni, and a host of other benefits the school supposedly will make available to you should you decide to enroll.

but as we know all schools are not created equal. when you determine your needs and requirements you'll be able to make the decision that's best suited for your situation. additional things have to be considered like your present employment (if applicable) debt to income ratio, familial obligations, and so on. these will play a huge part on where you choose to attend and where you may decide to work as well.

some want stability, others want more creative control, and some want more exposure. we can only tell you what works for us, but hopefully this will provide some inspiration for the discovery of what works for you.

i have opted to go away for school. based on my previous academic performance and eligibility for most grants and scholarships, this is the most feasible choice for me. to be honest the only program i remotely checked out in chicago was the french pastry school through the city colleges. it is a wonderful program, but alas you must foot the bill.

one word of advice. don't be so quick to rule out more expensive programs. there are many instances where these are much more reasonable than they're supposed less expensive siblings. my out of pocket expenses at the above named school will greatly outweigh what i'll spend to go to the cia program at greystone. and that includes room, board, and meals. do your homework and keep us posted on your progress.

best of luck to you!

"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
post #7 of 10
I graduated from Kendall and would be happy to answer any questions about the school you might have.
post #8 of 10
I, too, am looking at culinary schools (also in Chicago -- hmnn... why so many people from Chicago around here? ^_^ ). The best piece of advice that I can offer is a question my sister asked me - what program will get you where you need to be the fastest? Do you have specific goals about where you want to be in the food industry? A chef at a white tablecloth restaurant like Everest? Or somewhere more low-key like Lula's, in Logan Square? Would you rather be working in a hotel setting? Maybe on a cruise ship? Where do graduates from RMC end up? What about JJC? Is that where you want to work, too?

Which isn't to say that you can't make the most out of any program you choose. If you have the drive and passion and work ethic to succeed, you will, regardless of what name is on your degree. However, the more connections you can make, the more options you will have when you graduate.

Also, I second Gabby's point that the out-of-pocket expenses for the more expensive schools may not be so high. There are financial aid options. You should apply, at the very least, and see what their financial aid package looks like. Currently, Kendall doesn't even charge an application fee (though maybe it's just a computer glitch), so it won't even cost you anything to apply.

post #9 of 10
Go to JCC or ECC. Find a job at a good hotel downtown.

Don't womanize (or man-ize), don't smoke, don't drink too much. Work as many positions as possible and always try your best even if the grill guy is screwing up.

Attend the NRA show every year and watch the cooking competitions and demos.
post #10 of 10
*winks @ dan* its a conspiracy. *g*

another thing for you to consider is if you realize after your education that this isn't what you want to. what other options will be available to you based upon the training you've received? this is when the placement office can really come in handy. particularly is the counselors and other parties involved have a vested interest in making certain that their graduates do find their niche in the industry. don't pigeonhole yourself into one specific path. try to be flexible and look at programs the provide a variety of experiences that will be of benefit down the road. *s*

"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
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