Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Get Scholarships for Culinary Art Degrees

Once the decision has been made to pursue a culinary degree and the school has been chosen, cost is one of the most important issues to consider. The cost of a good education can be considerable. Investing in a career and future is probably one of the most important financial decisions that can be made. There are grants and scholarships available. Some are based on need and others are based on talent and ability. Fortunately most schools will have a financial aid department that will be able to guide the student through the process. It is best if the student has knowledge of the process and is able to navigate through the system also. It is important to be aware of submission dates and to have the proper financial and educational documents available.

The first step is to search for grants and scholarships. It would be helpful to talk to the school. Information about grants can also be found through the high school guidance counselor, bank or government agency. There are also local associations and clubs that award scholarships. A professional culinary organization may also be a good place to inquire. Searching online can reap much information. A student database can also help. Grants and scholarships are a good option because they do not have to be paid back. A Pell grant is one such grant. Pell grants are awarded by the government. These grants are determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid). The amount of the grant is determined by the financial information on this form.

It is important to start thinking about how you will pay for your education many years in advance. Good planning and saving can go a long way toward paying for school. Scholarships and grants should begin to be considered as early as high school. Academic performance and standardized test scores will be a determining factor. It is important to participate in activities that could affect being offered a scholarship. Public service and volunteer activities could also help. Letters of reference and recommendation from reliable sources such as teachers or employers can also help.

 Deadlines are crucial for application. Financial documents such as tax returns should have already been completed. Transcripts should be requested as early as possible. This process can cause delays if not done early. It is best to contact the financial aid office to determine proper submission dates. It is also good to include a personal letter discussing career goals and other information that the student would like the scholarship selection committee to consider. With some good planning and research finding a scholarship is possible.

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