Le Cordon Bleu is considered one of the premier culinary arts institutions in the world. But how much does it actually cost to attend their famous cooking schools?
This article provides a detailed breakdown of Le Cordon Bleu tuition, fees, and other expenses to help you determine if this prestigious culinary education is financially feasible.
- Total costs range from $10,000 to $60,000+ depending on program level and duration
- Certificate programs are the most affordable at $10k to $15k total
- Degree programs cost the most, ranging from $30k to $50k+ in tuition alone
- Account for other expenses like living costs, supplies, and books
- Merit and need-based financial aid can reduce costs significantly
- The tuition investment yields long-term career rewards for graduates
How Much Does Le Cordon Bleu College Cost?
The tuition cost for Le Cordon Bleu varies based on the program and location you choose. The Le Cordon Bleu College certificate, diploma, and degree programs range from $10,000 to over $50,000 in total tuition.
Certificate programs at Le Cordon Bleu have a tuition cost of around $10,000 to $15,000. These short-term programs take 3 to 12 months to complete and focus on a specific type of cuisine or baking/pastry skill set.
Diploma programs cost approximately $15,000 to $30,000 in tuition fees. Diplomas take 12 to 24 months and provide comprehensive training in culinary or pastry arts.
The Associate and Bachelor’s degree options at Le Cordon Bleu have the highest tuition rates, ranging from $30,000 to $50,000+. These intensive 2- to 4-year culinary programs result in an accredited degree qualification.
On top of the tuition fees, most Le Cordon Bleu campuses charge an enrollment fee of $50 to $150. Some locations also require students to purchase a professional-grade culinary equipment kit, which can cost $1,000 to $1,500.
The total cost for a Le Cordon Bleu education ranges from around $12,000 for a basic certificate program up to over $60,000 for a Bachelor’s degree, depending on the location and specific fees.
The reported costs for Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Chicago range from $16,575 to $20,269 per year, with variations based on in-state/out-of-state and on/off-campus living.
At Le Cordon Bleu Paris, the tuition fees for various programs, such as the Boulangerie Diploma, range from €9,600 to €29,660.
At Le Cordon Bleu Madrid, the validation prices for different diplomas, such as the Grand Diplôme, are listed as €29,660.
Le Cordon Bleu Program Offerings and Duration
In addition to cost, the length of each program is an important factor to consider. Le Cordon Bleu offers:
- Certificate programs in culinary arts, pâtisserie and baking, cuisine, and wine and beverages. These intensive short courses take 3 to 12 months to complete.
- Diploma programs that take 12 to 24 months and provide comprehensive training in culinary techniques, baking, gastronomy, and restaurant management.
- Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in culinary arts, bakery and pastry, and hospitality management. Degree programs take 2 to 4 years to complete.
The shorter certificate options allow students to develop specialized skills quickly. But the more extensive diploma and degree programs provide greater depth of knowledge and opportunities for industry internships.
Additional Costs of Attending Le Cordon Bleu
Besides tuition, students need to budget for:
- Housing/living expenses – Rent, transportation, food, and other daily costs, which can be especially high if studying abroad. Living costs are estimated at $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
- Kitchen supplies and ingredients – Expect to spend around $500 on your professional culinary kit. Ongoing costs for food supplies average $100 to $200 monthly.
- Books and uniforms – Books average $200 per course. Uniforms and shoes cost around $200 to $500.
- Travel costs – Those attending campuses abroad need to account for flights, visas, and other travel expenses.
Budget several thousand dollars for these additional expenses, beyond the direct tuition fees.
Scholarships and Financial Aid from Le Cordon Bleu
Le Cordon Bleu offers several options to help alleviate the cost through scholarships and financial aid:
- Merit-based scholarships – Awarded based on academic achievement, portfolio, and admissions essay. Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000.
- Need-based grants – For students who demonstrate financial need and eligibility. Amounts vary.
- Private educational loans – Le Cordon Bleu partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to international students.
- Military benefits – US Army and Navy culinary programs partner with Le Cordon Bleu for discounted tuition rates.
- Payment plans – Interest-free monthly payment options to spread out tuition payments.
Applying early and completing the FAFSA is key to accessing the available financial aid. Scholarships and grants can cover 10% to 50%+ of total tuition.
The Value of a Le Cordon Bleu Education
The high cost of Le Cordon Bleu reflects the school’s reputation and elite status in the culinary world. Key benefits of the education include:
- Renowned chef instructors – Le Cordon Bleu schools have instructors who are award-winning chefs and pastry chefs.
- Curriculum perfected over generations – Programs are based on Le Cordon Bleu’s 120+ years of culinary education experience.
- Strong industry connections – The school partners with 5-star hotels and restaurants for highly-coveted internships.
- Global alumni network – Graduates join an alumni network 20,000+ strong, which leads to career opportunities.
For dedicated aspiring chefs, the education and training from Le Cordon Bleu offers long-term career investment. Alumni have become executive chefs, pastry chefs, restaurant owners, food writers, and more.
Tips for Budgeting and Financial Planning
The investment in a Le Cordon Bleu diploma or degree yields valuable returns over time in the form of higher earning potential. But managing the costs requires careful budgeting and financial planning.
- Apply for scholarships and financial aid early and throughout enrollment
- Consider lower-cost certificate courses first to minimize risk
- Create a realistic budget for all direct and indirect expenses
- Minimize living costs by getting a part-time job and finding affordable housing
- Consider loan options and make payments on interest while in school
- Weigh total costs against future earning power after graduation
With smart planning, hard work, and some sacrifice, an education from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school can be an achievable goal.
The Le Cordon Bleu Application Process
To apply for a Le Cordon Bleu program, students need to submit:
- Application form and fees ($50 to $100)
- Proof of high school completion
- Essay or statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
- Transcripts from any prior colleges
No prior experience is required. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis year-round. Students should apply as early as possible for the best financial aid packages.
Le Cordon Bleu offers the gold standard in culinary arts education. But like any elite institution, attending requires budgeting and financial planning to make the costs manageable.
With some sacrifices, financial assistance, and hard work, investing in a Le Cordon Bleu culinary education can pay valuable dividends over the course of a graduate’s career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Le Cordon Bleu expensive?
Yes, Le Cordon Bleu is quite expensive compared to other culinary schools. Total costs range from $10,000 for short certificate programs up to over $60,000 for an intensive Bachelor’s degree program.
The tuition alone can be $15,000 to $50,000+ depending on the level and length of the culinary program. These high costs reflect Le Cordon Bleu’s reputation as one of the premier culinary arts institutions in the world.
However, scholarships, financial aid, and budgeting can help make the tuition more affordable for dedicated students.
How do you pay for Le Cordon Bleu?
There are several options to pay for a Le Cordon Bleu culinary education:
- Scholarships and grants offered by the school based on merit or financial need
- Federal student aid like low-interest loans and payment plans
- Private educational loans from partnerships with lending institutions
- Military benefits for eligible U.S. veterans and families
- Budgeting and minimizing living costs while in school
- Part-time work while attending classes
- Savings from prior education or career
- Family assistance or inheritance
- Culinary-focused crowdfunding
With proper financial planning, budgeting, and supplementary income, an aspiring chef can make investing in a culinary education at Le Cordon Bleu a feasible goal.
Is Le Cordon Bleu London worth it?
Yes, Le Cordon Bleu London is considered one of the top culinary schools globally, so the high costs associated with attending can definitely be worth it.
Graduates gain access to an elite global alumni network, esteemed chef instructors, coveted internships and career opportunities, and worldwide name brand recognition in the culinary industry.
The school’s reputation and connections provide graduates a significant competitive edge. While the tuition and living costs in London may be higher than other locations, many feel the education, experiences, and job prospects after graduating make the investment well worth it in the long run.
However, each prospective student will need to weigh the total costs against future earning potential to decide if Le Cordon Bleu London fits their budget and career goals. With proper financial planning, the prestige of a Le Cordon Bleu London education can be an achievable and valuable investment.