Angry, debt-ridden culinary school grads have been making noise in the news for a while, but it just got real: according to the Huffington Post, several for-profit culinary schools are being sued by graduates who say they were misled about what they could expect post-graduation (you and every other college graduate, Chef!)
Now they can’t make enough money to pay back their loans, and SOMEONE’S GOING TO ANSWER FOR THIS!
(Sorry, just had a flashback to my restaurant kitchen days. Moving along…)
“It’s a business predicated on volume, not quality. How many students can you get to sign on the dotted line?” said Jose Cruz, the group’s vice president for higher education policy. “It’s a debt that takes over their financial life.”
One specific example:
“The school’s (California Culinary Academy) website says 48 to 100 percent of graduates find work in their field of study or a related field, depending on the program or methodology.
“Critics say many of those jobs don’t pay much more than minimum wage and don’t require formal culinary education.
“‘It is a ridiculous business decision to attend one of these schools,’ said attorney Ray Gallo, who represents plaintiffs suing the California Culinary Academy. ‘The whole thing doesn’t make economic sense. They know it and they don’t tell you.’”
So if for-profit culinary schools leave wanna-be Top Chefs with debt they can’t repay working on the line, what’s the alternative? One suggestion, tweeted by East Village restaurant Northern Spy: “86 private culinary schools, replace with formal apprenticeships.”
Well, at least these students learned one important thing about being a chef: how to make other people suffer if you’re suffering!
(Sorry, every good chef I’ve worked for. But even if you aren’t that chef, you know you’ve worked with that chef…)