NECI Degrees are Rock Solid

Types of degrees I can get at NECI Build foundational skills by attending NECI

When looking to build a rock-solid foundation of knowledge, skill, and expertise by attending the New England Culinary Institute, you’re not only going to want to focus on the essentials that all culinary professionals need to know – but also lock in on specific areas of study that will help you become a desirable professional in your chosen corner of the culinary industry.

With so many different courses available at the New England Culinary Institute, you will have ample opportunity to pursue your culinary art school degree in a variety of focuses.

Work towards your future with specialized coursework from NECI

Regardless of how you see your culinary career unfolding in the future, the beginning of your education at the New England Culinary Institute will focus solely on the skills, knowledge, and experience that all culinary professionals are required to have.

So whether or not you desire to become a professional chef responsible for your own high-end kitchen, a celebrity chef that brings cooking skills, fun, and excitement to the masses, or someone that wants to focus specifically on the business side of the culinary world, by the time you leave the New England Culinary Institute you will be able to handle nearly any task thrown at you (in the kitchen or outside of it).

This is the biggest difference between other culinary schools and NECI, and why so many people continue to choose the New England Culinary Institute over other programs to build their foundation. Even the famed educator, Alton Brown, chose NECI when he decided to switch gears and enter the culinary world.

Once you build that base knowledge, you’ll want to look into pursuing other more specialized types of degrees available at NECI.

Food and Beverage Business Management

If you have a love for cooking, preparing meals, and always have dreamed of running your own restaurant, you’ll want to make sure that you focus on achieving a culinary art school degree that involves the Food and Beverage Business Management specialty.

Not only will you have a rock solid foundation as far as your culinary skills are concerned, but you’ll also be able to understand the business, finance, and human resources side of the industry as well. This knowledge can make the difference between a successful or failed business.

Baking and Pastry Arts

One of the more difficult specialties to master in the entirety of the culinary world, pursuing a degree in the Baking and Pastry arts from the New England Culinary Institute is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do.

Baking and Pastry is the most scientific of the culinary arts, and while most people think it’s just a piece of cake…after graduating from NECI, it is. You will learn how to create fundamental pastries and desserts, but you’ll also learn the more advanced “in’s and out’s” of baking – maybe the most focused aspect of everything to do with culinary arts.

Bachelor Arts Specializations

Offering three specific “bachelor of arts specializations,” you can pursue this culinary arts schools degree from the New England Culinary Institute in:

  • Sustainability specializations
  • Wine and beverage specialization
  • or the Baking and Pastry specializations

Bachelor degree programs are longer than an associates degree programs at the New England Culinary Institute, but at the end of the program you will have the upper hand when it comes to this very competitive field.

NECI offers almost unlimited culinary arts degrees and certificates

At the end of the day, when you choose to move forward with the New England Culinary Institute, you are not only deciding to place your culinary future in the hands of professional, competent, and renowned culinary experts on the staff – but you are also electing to choose a culinary focus with unlimited potential as well.

If you have more detailed questions for us here at NECI, request more information here.


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Scholarship $cams

How to recognize a scholarship scam

Believe it or not, there are an incredible amount of financial aid and scholarship scams out there, specifically designed to take advantage of students looking to better their lives without having to “break the bank”.

Obviously, the allure of “free money” has always invited scammers, hucksters, and modern-day snake oil salesman to try and come up with ways to con innocent people out of their hard-earned money – you never want to find yourself on the are wrong end of one of the scams.

There are a couple of different things you can do to learn how to recognize financial aid scams from a mile away. These tips and tricks will help you figure out how to tell if a scholarship is a scam or if it is the “real deal”.

Hopefully by the time you’re done with this quick guide you’ll have a better understanding of how to not be scammed when applying for financial aid or specific scholarship programs – just by applying the advice provided below.

Let’s get started!

Be on the lookout for financial aid scams

Before you can figure out how to recognize financial aid scams or scholarship cons, you need to understand that these kind of criminal enterprises exist – and are likely to be far more common than anyone would have imagined.

The first step to protecting yourself from these attacks is to know that they are out there, and that there are predatory services looking to take advantage of you and cash in on your desperation for getting a bit of extra financial help when it comes time to go to school.

One of the biggest “red flags” that you should be on the lookout for is if a scholarship service seems like they are more interested in you taking advantage of their free money than you are interested in working with them. Hot pursuit is definitely the sign of a scammer, as there aren’t too terribly many people out there (even the most benevolent of the bunch) excited at the prospect of throwing money at people that may not be acting as though they want it.

Is your scholarship legit?

Another tip that you are going to want to put in your back pocket when trying to figure out how to not be scammed when applying for financial aid is to verify the legitimacy of any and all scholarships you are looking to take advantage of.

Usually nothing more than a quick Google search is required to determine whether or not a program is the real deal and on the “up and up” or if they should be avoided at all costs. This is only going to take 10 or 15 minutes at most, but those 10 or 15 minutes could be absolutely everything you need to avoid a disastrous decision that could cripple you financially and set you off your path.

How to make sure that you are never scammed by financial aid or scholarship dupes

Lastly, the easiest way to know whether or not a specific financial aid or scholarship program is legitimate is if they ask you for some type of fee to apply for the aid you’re requesting.

Obviously, there are some (not many at all, but certainly some) legitimate scholarship programs out there that will request you make a small or nominal application fee to weed out those that won’t take this process seriously – but any time you come across a significant see you should turn tail and run just as quickly as you can.

There is little to no reason whatsoever to ask money from people that are looking for financial aid in the first place unless you are looking to scam them and fleece them from their hard-earned money. Avoid these situations or you’ll find yourself in some hot water in a hurry.

Below are a few legitimate sources to get you started

  • FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • Educational Opportunity Centers: This program provides advice and information on college admissions. It also provides financial and economic knowledge of people looking to continue their education.
  • TRIO: This Federal outreach and student services programs identifies and provides services for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is composed of eight programs that serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities.
  • Our Financial Aid Office: We’ve got dedicated professionals that are here to help you find the money you need to pursue a culinary career. Go ahead, drop us a line at

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The Financial Aid Checklist

Checklist for Financial Aid Senior Year of High School

If you’ve decided to pursue a degree in the culinary arts – or have a long come to the conclusion that you need to be involved in the culinary industry in some way, shape, or form – you’ve likely been searching for different educational opportunities to pursue after graduating high school.

However, like most high school seniors, you’ve probably also discovered that a higher education and degree program usually costs much more than anticipated – and you may not have access to the funding required to attend your chosen culinary program.

At the same time, if you decide to pursue an education in the culinary arts at a school like the New England Culinary Institute, you should have absolutely no trouble taking advantage of our financial aid programs and connecting with our financial aid department which will help you to find money for culinary school with ease. We’ve also frozen tuition for 2014 & 2015 to make it a little easier on the wallet.

Here are a few things you’ll want to focus on when looking to figure out how to get financial aid for culinary school – whether you elect to go to the New England Culinary Institute or not!

How much financial aid will you need to attend culinary school?

The first thing that you are going to want to determine (well in advance of applying for admissions at the New England Culinary Institute) is how much money you actually have access to and can put towards your education – and how much financial aid you’ll need to “bridge the gap”.

This number is going to be different for each and every individual student, and you’re going to want to do absolutely everything you can to come to a concrete number as early in the process as possible. You have to know that it can be quite easy to figure out how to get money for culinary school if you know exactly how much you need in the first place. These are a few costs to consider:

-          Tuition

-          Room & Board

-          Materials (books, chefs whites, etc)

-          Dorm stuff

-          Transportation

-          Social life (you need one of these)

-          Printing/Copying

-          Daily living expenses

-          Health insurance

Finding the money for culinary school

The second thing that you are going to want to do (hopefully before you even graduate high school) apply for as many different scholarship programs (local as well as national) that may be available to you.

Believe it or not, there are likely multiple scholarship offers available in your local community for students that are hoping to pursue a degree in the culinary arts – scholarship programs that aren’t exactly “mainstream” or publicized as much as others. Don’t be afraid to call the mayor’s office, fire department, or other local entities.

By asking around at high-end restaurants, speaking to professional chefs, or taking advantage of everything Google can offer, you should have no real trouble whatsoever finding money for culinary school that comes directly from the scholarship programs.

Here’s how to get financial aid for culinary school!

You’ll want to apply for federal financial aid (also known as FAFSA), any and all student loans that you can manage after graduation. We urge you to speak directly to the New England Culinary Institutes financial aid department and take advantage of any and all help or assistance that we can provide.

Remember, our financial aid team specializes in helping students just like yourself figure out how to get financial aid for culinary school – and they are always more than happy to help a new student out. Don’t be afraid of contacting this financial aid department even before you have been accepted to ask questions and see if there are any specific strategies you can use to figure out how to get money for culinary school when you need it most!


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Veterans at NECI: Frank Hill

Frank Hill, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, is currently attending NECI as an AOS culinary students through his GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits and was recently featured in an article written by Alexa McMahon for The Boston Globe:. Alexa McMahon can be reached at

Frank Hill prepares meals for veterans at the Montpelier American Legion

Christopher “Frank” Hill discovered a refuge and career in his garden, where he found solace after returning from Iraq. A visit from his mother sparked a greater interest. As he tells the story, she told him, “You are actually happy. I haven’t seen you like this in years,” and Hill took it to heart.

“It got me thinking, you know what, you are probably on to something,” he says. “[Gardening] made me realize maybe I can help other people.”

In 2013, the Ludlow, Mass., native enrolled at New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., to study culinary arts in the two-year associates program. Hill, 28, hopes to expand his education to agriculture with the goal of opening a restaurant on a farm with other veterans.

After serving in the US Army on active duty from 2007 to 2011, the veteran is eligible for the Post 9-11 GI Bill. The original GI Bill, created by the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, celebrated its 70th anniversary in June. The bill and its subsequent expansions, which offer funds for training and education, are a key resource for veterans transitioning to civilian work.

NECI’s annual tuition and fees are around $24,000 per academic year and the GI Bill covers about $20,000 of that. The Federal Pell Grant and the school’s Yellow Ribbon program cover his outstanding balance. He took out Federal Stafford loans to buy a car.

In addition, the GI Bill gives the vet a monthly $1,600 to $1,800 housing allowance. For cheap rent, he lives in a small cabin in the Worcester, Vt., woods. While he’s a fulltime student, it’s difficult to work another job. “The most expensive thing is food. [The allowance] leaves me right above the poverty line, which is not too fun,” says Hill.

But he has overcome other obstacles. After dropping out of Ludlow High School and subsequently earning a GED in 2004, he tried to enlist in the Army three times but was denied because of a visible tattoo on his neck (not allowed at the time). He held several short order cook positions, but at establishments that didn’t handle food properly or give employees good working conditions.

His grandfather’s World War II stories motivated him to persist in his Army application, and in 2007, he received a waiver and joined 1-21 Infantry Battalion out of Schofield Barracks in Honolulu. That year, the unit deployed to Iraq, where they were stationed at a base in farmland outside of Baghdad. They worked closely with local sheiks and other respected members of the Iraqi communities who helped US forces with redevelopment efforts. Once his unit moved and operated in Abu Ghraib, Hill felt they were making less of a positive impact. “It seemed like more and more money was being spent and not much was being done with it.

“They told us the reason for going over was to ensure freedom and the American way of life,” says Hill. “I never understood why we had to go to Iraq to secure the American way of life.”

Returning to Schofield Barracks in 2009, Hill held cookouts for fellow soldiers and their families. After 15 months of combat, he was happy to offer his comrades a place to relax and eat good food. He spent Fridays and Saturdays cooking, spending as much as $250 of his own money. He even invited soldiers over so he could prepare their favorite meals, and learned diverse specialties from around the country.

Recently at a Montpelier American Legion, he volunteered to cook at the NECI event “Vets Serving Vets.” “To share food with people who are excited and they like it makes everything worth it,” says Hill.

“Vets Serving Vets” NECI event. Spinach lasagna and salad were offered at “Vets Serving Vets.” 


“Vets Serving Vets” NECI event.

Spinach lasagna and salad were offered at “Vets Serving Vets.”

Hill found the transition to civilian life difficult at times. He faced insensitive questions from friends and strangers. At first he responded aggressively but decided it was more effective to answer with a question. “Their whole idea of what the military is like is based off of video games and movies, and a little bit of what they see on the news,” says Hill. “I try to flip it around and make them realize that it’s no video game. Think about what you are asking me and try to put it in my perspective.”

The Boston Marathon bombings was an unsettling time. “I only prayed a few times while I was in the Army. One of the prayers that I said was what happened over there would never come over here,” says Hill. “For me seeing that was devastating.”

He admits to still wrestling with the transition, but culinary school has given him the opportunity to work in an industry he is passionate about. When it’s time to do an internship next year, he wants to work in a fine restaurant where care and thought go into the menu.

NECI allows Hill to apply the high standards he uses in the garden to the kitchen. Some day he’ll get to combine the two.

The original story can be found here.

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Vermont: The Perfect Place to Start Your Culinary Career

Why Vermont is the perfect place to learn the culinary arts

For those that have been trying to figure out where to pursue their culinary arts education, few would probably think of Vermont first. Not because there are so few culinary opportunities in Vermont (the New England Culinary Institute is why the regarded as one of America’s best culinary schools), but because there are so many other more heavily marketed schools in much more recognizable locales.

However, if you’re serious about finding a school in one of the best places to study (really one of the top places to study), you’re going to want to look closely at Vermont before deciding on your final destination.

Vermont is incredibly “student friendly”

Certain states throughout America have very specific “personalities”, and if you had to hang a personality on Vermont it would be one that was very open, very friendly, very educated, very honest, and very helpful towards young people and those pursuing their education.

One of the best reasons to study in Vermont is that it focuses so much on assisting students (of the culinary arts or otherwise) as best it possibly can, not only funneling resources to different educational opportunities but also doing everything they can – at a local as well as state level – to make sure that education is a priority.

At NECI, we are committed to assisting potential students as much as possible:

  • We have frozen tuition rates for the years of 2014-2015.
  • We have a financial aid department dedicated to helping you get the money you need
  • Our low student to teacher ratio means that when you’re enrolled you get the personal attention you need and deserve
  • Our students “learn by living it” in our working restaurant kitchens
  • We set up students with internships to help them gain experience

Metro areas are surrounded by rural areas (and Canada is close by)

On top of that, Vermont has a few metropolitan areas throughout the state that are very modern, very urban, and very developed – but the rural areas that most people relate to Vermont to are just a few minutes ride outside of the city.

This guarantees that you’ll be able to enjoy the kind of college or university lifestyle you had always hoped to, without having so many distractions that you aren’t able to focus completely on your studies. This is just another reason that makes Vermont one of the best places to study, and why so many serious culinary arts students focus on the New England Culinary Institute over so many other fine options.

It would also be impossible to ignore the close proximity to Canada and especially Montréal, one of the leading capitals of entertainment, culture, and food in North America. Just a few short hours drive from the southernmost place in Vermont (and just a few moments from the more northern places in Vermont) will have you inside of Canada.

The ability to focus on farm to table culinary approaches

One of the most important reasons that makes Vermont one of the top places to study the culinary arts has to be the focus that the local community has on supporting the culinary world.

You’ll have access to farms and other organizations and services that will produce the freshest ingredients you’ve ever handled, helping you to completely understand why so many are really building up the “farm to table” culinary approach all over America. This is a major benefit is that other locales will never be able to truly enjoy, and one of the best reasons to study in Vermont.

Culinary Students Need to Have Fun

It’s not all about cooking, and Vermont has lots to offer. We are known for world class skiing, gorgeous state parks, hiking and much more.

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Life After the Serving in the Military

What to do after the military?

If you have spent the last few years of your life serving our nation as a member of its armed services, you have not only earned the respect of hundreds and hundreds of millions of United States citizens but also the right to further your career and pursue the kind of life after the military and that you have always dreamed of.

That being said, here are a few things you’ll want to focus on to help you discover things to do after the military.

Choose a career path that leverages the skills and abilities you learned in the military

You will have a number of very special advantages that you can leverage as a veteran that other people will never have the ability to enjoy – and we don’t just mean the G.I. Bill here (though that is important). You will have developed incredibly marketable skills, personality traits, and a leadership quality that employers are searching for today. With a little help, this should help you make the transition to life after the military much, much easier.

When you’re trying to figure out what can you do after the military, look into careers that:

  • Support the feelings of teamwork that establish in the military
  • Allow you to create things with your hands in a tangible way
  • Give you responsibility and the possibility to earn a leadership position
  • Leverage the assets and training you learned and developed in the military


May we suggest a culinary career?


The culinary field is usually based on team collaboration and in creating things on a daily basis. Discipline is a valued skill in the culinary field as is physical prowess. At NECI, we are committed to giving as much help as possible to the service men and women of our nation when it comes to acquiring the skills necessary to enter this field.

Use the G.I. Bill to further your education

As part of your contract with a specific branch of the United States military, you are entitled to a number of financial benefits in the form of the G.I. Bill.

Not only will these resources allow you to pursue other kind of secondary education you had always hoped to, but they will also alleviate the stress and pressure that doing so may have placed on your everyday life. With this financial burden removed, you should be able to pursue all of the things to do after the military that you had hoped without worrying about the cost associated with each of them.

What to do if you need more money for your education?

If you’re planning on attending NECI, contact our admissions department. Our admissions counselors will help you to connect with our VA Certifying Officer so that you can take advantage of all possible benefits, including those offered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon program, and other benefit programs.

If you have any other questions, contact or call (877) 223-6324 – we’re here to help.


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