• Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
  • Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

    You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

    We understand that, as a parent, you want to make sure your child is receiving the best possible college education in an environment that supports their professional growth and emotional well-being. The CIA is happy to answer any questions you have. If we haven’t provided the information you’re looking for below, feel free to contact us at 1-800-CULINARY or admissions@culinary.edu.

    What does my child need to do before attending the CIA?

    Before coming to campus, students should:

  • Academics

  • All campuses: Students will be assigned Academic Advisors once they are accepted to the CIA and will work with that advisor throughout their time at the CIA.
    All campuses: Students should review their academic schedule to see what classes they are registered for and then visit www.ciabooks.com to determine what books are required for each of their classes. Once they determine what books are required, they may choose to purchase them from other online vendors. Please visit the Accepted Student Portal Checklist for more information on when to order textbooks.
    All campuses: To support your student’s development, the CIA provides a wide range of student services to promote individual well-being, help students thrive in the CIA kitchens, classrooms and restaurants, and build the skills needed to be successful in their career. Student Services include Library Learning Commons, The Center for Career and Academic Advising, Safety and Security, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and Health Services. Please view our website for specific services offered at each CIA campus.
  • Finances

  • All campuses: First semester bills are due 30 days prior to your student’s entry date. Visit the Accepted Student Portal for the tuition bill and options for payment.
    All campuses: Yes, The CIA offers eligible students the opportunity to apply for Federal Work-Study positions and work up to 20 hours a week, earning a paycheck biweekly. The dollar amount of the award, however, is only an estimate of their expected earnings and is not deducted from your bill. CIA Work-Study jobs are listed on the CIA Main Menu. While preference for on-campus employment is given to Work-Study-approved students, jobs are based on availability and are not guaranteed. There are also opportunities to work off campus in community service positions.

    Yes, please send any scholarship payments and/or documentation to the following address:

    The Culinary Institute of America
    Attn: Student Financial and Registration Services (SFRS)
    1946 Campus Drive
    Hyde Park, NY 12538

    Scholarships are divided between your first and second semester tuition unless otherwise specified in the requirements of the scholarship.

  • Transportation

  • New York: The Culinary Institute of America is located in Hyde Park, NY on the east bank of the Hudson River, three miles north of Poughkeepsie. It’s midway between New York City and Albany on U.S. Route 9. The campus is easily reached by plane, train, or car. For detailed information please visit our directions page.

    California: The CIA at Greystone is approximately 1/4 mile north of the town of St. Helena, CA, 1 1/2–2 hours north of San Francisco in the heart of the Napa Valley. For detailed information please visit our directions page.

    Texas: The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio is conveniently located less than 10 miles from the San Antonio International Airport. For detailed information please visit our directions page.

    New York: Like on many college campuses, parking is always a challenge. At the New York Campus, we don’t encourage students to bring a car to campus during their first year. The CIA in New York provides two main transportation options for students who do not have a car on campus—Weekend Bus Service and zipcar (see below for more details.)

    California: Students are allowed a car on campus. However, they do not need a car as downtown St. Helena is a mile away. If a student is interested in working off campus a car is recommended. The Vine Transit has a bus stop 3/4 of a mile from the campus.

    Texas: Students are allowed a car on campus. They have to register their vehicles and will be issued a permit in order to park in either of the two designated parking areas. Students will be issued a permit within the first week of classes. There are several public transportation bus stops near the San Antonio campus. More details on bus routes found here.

    New York: Every Saturday during the school year, the college provides a bus that travels along the main thoroughfare (Route 9). It picks up students at the college and makes stops at various shopping plazas before making its way back to the college. Students can ride this bus for $1 each time or they can purchase a semester-long pass for $5 at the Student Recreation Center in the Student Commons, which is good for unlimited use of the bus on the weekends.

    California: Yes, The Vine Transit has a bus stop 3/4 miles from the campus.

    Texas: There are several public transportation bus stops near the San Antonio campus. More details on bus routes found here.

  • Meal Plans

  • New York: The Culinary Institute of America offers an exciting selection of meal plans for our students. These plans use a points system. Points are loaded onto a student’s ID card to use as determined by each specific plan. For more details on CIA meal plans at our NY campus please visit our Meal Plans section of the website.

    California: Students are provided two meals per instructional day.

    Texas: Students will receive one meal per day on campus. Meals are prepared for students from various culinary classes on campus. Additionally, the Texas campus is situated in an area with many food and restaurant options for our students to choose from at their own expense.

  • Campus Life

  • There are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus. All CIA campuses have clubs, organizations, and events for students to connect with their classmates, have fun, and share their passion for food.
    New York: Yes, the CIA fields intercollegiate teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, volleyball and tennis. The Steels are a part of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. There are also many intramural teams available.
  • Living in New York

  • New York weather consists of four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall. During the fall and winter months it is recommended that students bring coats, gloves, scarves, boots, and winter hats. The weather in New York during the winter months can reach freezing temperatures. So be prepared!

    During the spring and summer months, temperatures can reach upwards of 90 degrees (F). Reminder: During the summer months students are still required to follow dress code. For more information, please see the CIA student dress code.

    Our campus is located on Route 9, in Hyde Park and there are many stores within a close proximity by car.
    Yes, students can ship packages no earlier than one month before their entry date. Packages should include the student’s name, entry date and student ID. Our mailroom is open Monday-Saturday. Please note new student arrival days often fall on a Sunday, so please plan to retrieve your packages accordingly.
  • Residence Hall Life

  • New York: Our New York campus maintains four residence halls, six lodges and three townhouses. All housing options are furnished and include free laundry, free wireless Internet, and a working kitchen. All new and returning students must complete an online housing application through the CIA student portal. Students will receive an e-mail notification of their room assignment prior to starting at CIA.

    California: Our California campus maintains three residence halls. All housing options are furnished, card operated laundry and free wireless internet. All new and returning students must complete an online housing application through their CIA student portal. Students will receive an email notification of their room assignment prior to starting at CIA.

    Texas: There are no on-campus housing options for students. However, there are various options available in the area. Please visit our off-campus housing page for additional information on off campus housing options.

    In accordance with State Fire Safety Regulations and our own school policies which are designed to make our residence halls as safe as possible, we do not allow any furniture to be brought in to the residence halls from the outside. Your son/daughter will have the following pieces of furniture in their room:

    • An extra-long (XL) twin bed
    • A student desk with chair and built-in bookcase
    • A dresser
    • A built-in closet or a stand-alone wardrobe

    For more information, please follow this link.

    Yes, private storage companies are located near each campus where students can rent storage units of various sizes.

    New York: Yes, students will receive a mailbox assignment during orientation.

    California: Yes, each class has their own box where mail is delivered. Students do not have individual mailboxes on campus.

    Texas: There are no mailboxes available for students at the Texas campus.

    The residence halls close down two times each year:

    • Summer break (first three weeks of August)
    • Winter break (starting the weekend before Christmas and ending after Jan. 1).

    For more information, please see the Academic Calendar.

    When the college is closed during the winter and summer breaks, your child must leave campus, but they do not have to remove their personal belongings from the dorm room. The only time when your child needs to move belongings out of the dorm is when he or she leaves for an externship and when they graduate from the associate or bachelor’s degree programs.

    Within each residence hall the Office of Residence Life employs resident assistants (RAs) and residence directors (RDs). RAs are student leaders who serve as valuable resources for all students. They are full-time students so they can answer a lot of questions about the various classes and instructors on campus. RDs are full-time professionals with college degrees who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the residence hall and can help students connect with all of the proper resources on campus.

    Having a roommate is a new experience for many students but one that can often lead to a lifelong friendship. Challenges, however, do occasionally happen. While we believe it is important for students to learn how to resolve issues on their own, the CIA staff is always available to provide solutions to any issues or concerns. If your child tells you that he or she is having problems with a roommate, we suggest you:

    • Ask if your child has tried talking to the roommate.
    • Suggest your child speaks with the local resident assistant (RA) or residence director (RD). Most of the time, concerns can be resolved through a conversation between roommates. Our Residence Life staff is trained to help facilitate those conversations and help students resolve their issues.
    • If attempts to resolve the situation do not seem to be working, your child may request a room change by going to the RA/RD office, located within their residence hall, and speaking with the RD responsible for their building. Please note that a room change can take up to six weeks to process and is based on room availability.
  • Health and Wellness

  • Counseling & Psychological Services
    A student should feel free to reach out to the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) for emotional support and guidance. Please view our website for specific services offered at each CIA campus.

    Medical services
    We know that sending your child to college can be challenging and stressful. Rest assured that the CIA is committed to ensuring the physical and emotional wellbeing of your child. For medical information specific to your child’s campus, please visit our New York, California, or Texas pages.

  • International Students

  • All students follow the same CIA admission procedures, with two additional requirements for international students. These requirements can be found at the following link.
    Please do not make final travel plans until you have your visa approved. You are responsible for being familiar with immigration and visa laws. CIA staff will provide assistance and advisement where possible, but ultimately, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the laws of the United States, your home country, and the laws of the countries to which you travel while you are a CIA student. This includes non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visa regulations. Additional information about student visas can be found in our international student guide (PDF).
    Yes, an international student has the opportunity to work on campus, for a maximum of 20 hours per week, if they have been registered through the Student Employment Office and the International Student Affairs Office.
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