I can imagine there have been many threads on the subject, but I have to ask...what options do I have/ what have you done to pay for schooling? so far I've applied for James beard and AHLEF, as well as AAC and NRAEF scholarship programs. I have applied for FAFSA, and got next to nothing, leaving me $20,000 short and without anyone to depend on for loans and contributions. Is there anything I haven't seen yet? and major source of help out there? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Paying for culinary school?
I actually applied for FAFSA myself a few years back, but since I don't make anywhere near minimum wage they'd give me nothing...at all. Have you picked a school? Are you IN school? Talk their financial aid officer, they can point you in the right direction and tell you your options. Beyond that, Federal loans suck...but they're an option.
I was accepted to JWU Charlotte several months ago. It's my dream college and also why I'm struggling to pay so badly. I plan to talk to my adviser today but I wanted to know what other options I hadn't picked up on. Loans are a problem too...bad credit and a few government debts in my family means none of my parents can take out a loan that big...I might end up taking out several loans with different co-signers failing all else...I don't want to wait until I get money from those scholarships though, as the money is due in full just days after several of them announce recipients.
You can get subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans (yourself, as long as you're 18), regardless of your parents' history. The money will get there on time. You'll have to look them up however, as the unsubsidized loans (I believe) start to accrue interest as soon as they're issued, whereas the subsidized only begins to accrue after you've finished school. Seriously, talk to the FA officer and ask about them. He/she will have more info about it (and more accurately inform you) than I do.
Sorry to sound harsh but your FA will tell you whatever you want to hear because that is how they make money. Anyone with bad credit who is trying to take out a significant amount of money in loans is really setting themselves up for things like no car, no house and no money (because it all goes to payments).
As far as federal loans I WILL have to do more research, but so far they've given me 5,500 worth of stafford loans. Also, my credit is unestablished, as I'm only 18 and haven't borrowed money yet, though I will be able to pay off the loans judging from how my parents and I broke down the cost. Also, 20,00 probably won't be my end cost, as I should have several scholarships coming in AFTER I have to take out the loan.
Have you applied for a Pell grant? It will never make up the disparity but every bit helps. Federal loans should do just fine for you and I'd certainly tip my hat to you for trying so hard to cover your expenses. That's a good bit more motivation than I see from a lot of potential students right from the start. Part of me wants to say never give up on your dream. You only loose when you quit. Any one that reads my posts will know I am all in favor of the major culinary schools as long as you are getting a degree.
However it's always wise to be realistic about finances. Don't over look the cost of living while going to school. There's nothing wrong with Community College if that's where you need to start to make your finances work. There's no reason you can't go to another school to further your education in the future after you bank some coin. Most culinary schools do suck about transferring credit though.
IIR Charlie Trotter used to have a scholarship foundation so you may want to look into that as well as the culinary trust, state restaurant associations, The National restaurant association and even the ACF. Your financial counselor should be able to help you with any program available.
Best of luck!