How Will Student Loan Forgiveness Affect Restaurant Workers?

For those who went to culinary school, debt relief varies

The hands of a restaurant worker plating dishes in the kitchen
Will culinary school graduates be able to take advantage of student loan forgiveness?
Fabrizio Magoni/Unsplash

You’ve probably heard about the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, one which could reduce individuals’ student loan debt by $10,000; $20,000 if they were recipients of Pell Grants. The plan could affect different people in wildly different ways, and there are a host of variations on how it might affect students’ specific debt.

There’s also the question of how the debt relief initiative might impact people working in specific fields. In a recent article for Eater, Amy McCarthy explored the ways in which debt relief might — or might not — benefit graduates of culinary schools.

The cost of culinary schools is something that Eater has addressed before, and the question of whether or not culinary school is worth the cost is one that comes up with some frequency. As for whether someone working in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant might suddenly have less student loan debt, there isn’t one clear answer.

In some cases, McCarthy notes, the type of institution plays a part; for example, attendees of a culinary school not accredited by the Department of Education wouldn’t be eligible for federal student aid programs.

For other institutions, it’s a different story. “[I]f you attended a public university’s culinary arts program, like Cincinnati State University’s Midwest Culinary Institute, your student loans may be forgivable,” McCarthy writes. This debt forgiveness plan might not wipe out all the debt of culinary school alumni, but it should give some a bit more breathing room.


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