Labor of Love

Culinary school is a juggling act.

In class, we're constantly multi-tasking - listening to a chef's instruction, deconstructing a rack of lamb and ensuring our fumet (fish stock) isn't boiling. But when it comes to financing your education, it's a different sort of task.

One question I'm often asked when I tell people I attend the French Culinary Institute is: how do you afford it?

It's not easy. And in New York, it can be even tougher.

I opted to enroll in the nine -month night program because it allowed me to work during the day (rent is exorbitant) and generate some income.I have classes three nights a week but it still keeps me busy.

A frantic week can look like this: 35 hours at my day job (which isn't culinary-related), arriving at school around 5 p.m. and not leaving until nearly 11 p.m. three times a week, taking the subway home and not stepping into my apartment until 11:30 or midnight, volunteering at a food event, doing some freelance writing to earn extra money and finding enough hours to fit in enough rest.

I'm not the exception.

Chefs work long hours. One chef told me that when he attended the Culinary Institute of America he also held a job to help pay his tuition. On the weekends he would take the train into New York City to work at respected restaurants - for free. He figured he never got more than five hours of sleep on most nights during that time.

Most of my classmates also hold day jobs while attending school. They realize that coming out of school it may be tough, especially in this economic recession.

When it comes down to it, though, all the juggling we do is a labor of love.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Recognized on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year from 2010-2014
            • Day and evening classes are available for flexible scheduling.
            • Offers bachelor’s, associate, and diploma programs in business, culinary arts, criminal justice, cosmetology, and more.
            • Takes a unique “Focused Learning” approach, where students typically take only one class per month to concentrate on one subject with one faculty member at a time.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid