Get Paid to Become a Chef

If you want to become a chef, you don't necessarily have to pay for your chef school expenses out of pocket. You may be able to fund a portion of your culinary arts education through grants and scholarships. Neither has to be repaid. Sound too good to be true? It's not. Here's where to look for chef school money.

Grants and scholarships are competitive, yes, but the rules of the competition differ from one to the next. Some grants are need based. Some scholarships are achievement based. Some money awards are specifically for underrepresented groups in the profession, such as women and minorities.

Government Grants Give Chef Careers a Head Start

The king of grants, the government's Pell Grant, provides federal money for chef school. Recent changes in the law make Pell Grant funds available for online study, whether you're seeking a culinary arts degree or you're in a chef training certificate program.

States and State Organizations Give Money to Chefs-to-Be

Though states differ widely in their willingness to fund students who want to enroll in career training and vocational education, each state does offer some money to its students. Check your state's department of education to find the grants and scholarships for which you're eligible. Check your state restaurant association, too. You'll find a clickable map at the link below.

Scholarships from Professional Organizations Pay Chef School Fees

Organizations like the American Culinary Federation provide a variety of scholarships for future and current chefs. C-CAP, the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, has been applauded by the cities it serves for its willingness to fund career re-education, especially for low-income students.

If you're already a culinary professional, or you're near graduation, you may also be able to find grant money to fund your culinary arts career growth. Books like Peterson's Culinary Schools or the Culinary Career School Starter provide funding information and helpful tips about paying for chef school.