Deciding to go to culinary school can be an exciting time. But since it’s not a traditional college, you may wonder how to pay for your culinary program.
If you need to borrow student loans to pay for your culinary education, how does that work?
First of all, before borrow on penny, be sure to exhaust all other resources first. These include scholarships, grants, work colleges and employer tuition assistance. If you need to use student loans, borrow responsibly by keeping costs as low as possible.
Student loans are used to pay for a college education and, once you graduate or leave school, you start making payments on what you borrowed, plus interest.
If you are looking for a student loan for culinary school at a non-degree-granting school or program, there are options.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are borrowed through the U.S. federal government, not a bank as with private student loans. This means that federal student loans come with benefits that private student loans don’t. Some of these perks include:
- an option to have loans forgiven
- payments based on your income
- options to pause payments during unemployment and economic hardship
- possibility for subsidized student loans
In order to get federal student loans for culinary school, your school must be accredited and have signed a program participation agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
You can use the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database to check if your school is accredited. You can also check the Savingforcollege.com database of schools that are eligible for Title IV federal student aid. If you’re still unsure, call your school to find out if they are eligible.
After that, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA. The FAFSA helps you secure grants (money you don’t need to pay back) and work study opportunities as well as these federal student loans.
Private Student Loans
If you need to take out private student loans, you’ll need to work with a lender that offers loans for trade school and culinary school.
Sallie Mae, for example, offers career and trade student loans up to 100% of all school-certified expenses. This includes tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, travel, and a computer. You’ll need to pay for this loan while you are in school, unlike many times when an in-school deferment is available.
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