Financial Aid | 32 Week Program

Stratford Chefs School is a not-for-profit career college focused on the innovative, hands-on training of high quality, aspiring chefs and culinary entrepreneurs, and also a registered Canadian charity.

Several financial support opportunities are available to help students pay for the cost of going to School full-time. 

Canadian students enrolled in our 32 Week Apprenticeship Program as registered Apprentices are eligible to apply for Government Loans, Grants, and other Benefits for Apprentices. Review the list of options on the page below.

In addition, the School offers a range of Scholarships, Awards and Bursary opportunities to help support our students. The School actively fundraises to help keep tuition fees reasonable, and maintain the exceptional quality of the program.

Over more than 40 years, we’ve built strong bonds with local businesses, organizations, and individuals, whose contributions have helped keep the School and the richness of the program a reality for nearly 900 graduates.

Financial Aid for Apprentices

NEWApprentice Development Benefit (ADB)

If you are attending full-time apprenticeship in-class training, you may be eligible for funding through the Apprentice Development Benefit (ADB). Funding is tailored based on your situation, to help with various costs such as a basic living allowance. For example, If you do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) or if your EI rate is below $500 per week, you may be eligible for a basic living allowance of up to $500 per week, 

Have questions? Contact the Employment Ontario Contact Centre at 1-800-387-5656 or visit

Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL)

The Canada Apprentice Loan is an initiative of the Government of Canada to help you complete your apprenticeship in a designated Red Seal trade. You can get up to $4,000 in interest-free loans per period of training.

To be eligible for CAL, you must meet all of these criteria:

  • be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person;
  • be registered in a Red Seal Trade apprenticeship program that is designated by the province or territory where you are registered as an apprentice;
  • be enrolled in block release technical training or the equivalent full-time technical training with an approved technical training provider; and
  • pass a credit check (required if you are applying for the first time).

You are not eligible if you:

  • are receiving a Canada Student Loan (OSAP) for the same technical training;
  • have been told that you are restricted from receiving a Canada Apprentice Loan or a Canada Student Loan;
  • have already received funding for 5 periods of technical training; or
  • have already received 6 years of interest-free status.


Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG)

A taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year or level, for a lifetime maximum amount of $2,000 per person.


Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG)

A one-time taxable cash grant lifetime amount of $2,000 per person for registered apprentices who complete their apprenticeship training and obtain their Red Seal certification.


Apprenticeship Employment Insurance (EI)

Apprentices may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance (E.I.) benefits while attending School. Your EI benefit application must be submitted online through the Service Canada website. We will provide you with further details regarding the EI application process during School Orientation Week.


Loans, Grants & Other Financial Aid

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify. Please click here to learn about OSAP Loan Default Rates and Repayment Plan Assistance Usage Rates (2021).


Student Line of Credit

Most financial institutions offer a Student Line of Credit. Contact your bank to learn their eligibility criteria, interest rates and repayment terms.

Stratford Chefs School Financial Aid


One successful Canadian applicant entering Level One of the 32 week Professional Program will be awarded their full tuition cost for the 32 week Program. The Scholarship is funded by Jennifer Birmingham, owner of The Bruce Hotel, Stratford and will be awarded to one incoming Level One student per year.

2024 Applications Due: TBA


ALUMNI Referral Scholarship

One successful applicant will receive $500 towards Level 2 tuition based on a referral from a Stratford Chefs School Alumni.

Requirements: Minimum six-month working relationship with SCS Alumni, who must submit a reference letter on behalf of the applicant to

Applications by Reference Letter Due: September 30, 2024


Bursary funding is available to students who demonstrate financial need.

Requirements: Applicant must download and complete the Student Financial Plan Form 2023 and submit with all required supporting documentation to

Applications Due: September 30, 2024


A variety of monetary Awards & Scholarships are given out to selected students from both Level 1 and Level 2 at Graduation in June.


Get help finding and applying for Scholarships you qualify for at SCHOLARTREE.CA

Students in the Stratford Chefs School 32 Week Program are registered Cook Apprentices.

Apprentices at Stratford Chefs School are eligible to apply for financial incentives to help them pay for their education.

Student Chef Dinners

Student Chef Apprentices rotate through the roles of front-of-house service and the back-of-house kitchen team, learning by doing.

Apprentices who complete our 32 Week Program are eligible to write their Red Seal certification.

The School actively raises funds to support Students through events like the 2023 End of Year Gala and Auction

The School actively raises funds to support Students through events like the End of Year Gala and Auction.

The Bruce Hotel Stratford

The Bruce Hotel in Stratford offers a Scholarship for Emerging BIPOC Chefs attending Stratford Chefs School.

Stratford Chefs School Alumni Ashley Stock

Stratford Chefs School Alumni Ashley Stock (Class of 2020) and Carl Heinrich (Class of 2005) at the Season Opener Celebration.

The Canadian Guest Chef Team from Restaurant Pearl Morissette

Canadian Guest Chefs from Restaurant Pearl Morissette include SCS Alumni Eric Robertson (Class of 2011 - second from left) and Julian Rey (Class of 2020 - third from left).

Table Reservation