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News & Press: Education News

Culinary schools struggle with enrollment decline

Friday, February 10, 2017  
Posted by: Taylor Salvato
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Culinary schools struggle with enrollment decline
By: Susan Allen

With enrollment in culinary institutes in decline and programs across the country closing their doors, schools such as the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., which graduated celebrity chef Alton Brown, and the Culinary Institute of Charleston, S.C., are committed to staying relevant and in demand.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways and opportunities to grow our school,” said Michael Carmel, head of culinary arts in Charleston. “It’s not necessarily a numbers game, but a quality game. We need to stay current with trends and have to be able to offer our students opportunities.”

The reasons for the challenges facing the industry are varied, Carmel and others said. Tuitions can be relatively expensive, while federal financial aid for these “career colleges” has tightened since 2014. Graduates with a high debt load often move into low-paying restaurant jobs.


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