Grants can be an excellent source of funding for paying beauty school tuition and fees. To be eligible for federal grants from the U.S. government, you must be attending an accredited beauty school on at least a half-time basis. Your program must award a certificate or associate degree, and you must not have already received a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Grants Versus Scholarships
Many people mistakenly associate grants with scholarships. Although both forms of financial aid do not need to be repaid, there are some important differences you should be aware of as you’re investigating ways to pay for your beauty school education.
- Grants are awarded by the federal government, while scholarships are usually from a private organization or the school you wish to attend.
- Grants are given based on financial need, while scholarships may consider factors such as academic merit, obstacles overcome, professional goals, or specific demographic criteria.
- You can apply for grants by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You apply for scholarships by completing applications specific to each award, although scholarships that use financial need as a criterion in determining recipients may also require completion of the FAFSA as part of the application process.
Applying for Grants
When applying for grants to pay for your beauty school tuition, it’s important to make sure you understand the difference between being classified as a dependent student and an independent student. The U.S. government says that students are considered to be financially dependent upon their parents until they reach the age of twenty-four, marry, or have a child. Orphans, wards of the state, and military veterans are automatically considered independent students, however.
Unless you meet the criteria for being an independent student, you will need to provide both your personal tax return and your parents’ tax return with your completed financial aid application. It does not matter whether you live with your parents, if they are still claiming you as a dependent on their tax return, or if they are actually planning to help you with your educational expenses. If your parents are divorced, you will need to provide information for the custodial parent only.
There are two major types of federal grants that beauty school students may receive: Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
The Pell Grant program is the largest source of financial aid for low income students. The amount of your Pell Grant will be based on your financial need, the cost of attendance at the beauty school you have selected, and the other forms of financial aid you have been awarded. Maximum Pell Grant amounts change each year, according to the federal budget. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the maximum Pell Grant award was $5,550.
The neediest students may be eligible to receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Grants range from $100 to $4,000 depending upon financial need, your qualified educational expenses, and the availability of federal funding. This money is awarded in addition to your Pell Grant.