The cost of attending beauty school varies according to several different factors:
- Program prestige: Community college beauty school programs are usually more affordable than private programs, but many of the private programs are considered to be more prestigious. For example, graduates of Paul Mitchell Schools or the Aveda Institute will find that their training is highly regarded in the cosmetology profession.
- Course offerings: The more classes a beauty school offers, the more you will be expected to pay for your tuition. General cosmetology programs can be between $6,000 and $10,000, but a program specializing in an area such as esthetics or nail technology is likely to be between $3,000 and $5,000.
- Location: Beauty schools in high cost of living states are likely to be the most expensive. On a similar note, schools located in urban areas will be more expensive than beauty schools in more rural locations.
- Financial aid: An accredited beauty school will be cheaper for you to attend because you’ll have more financial aid options available. If the school has been properly accredited, you can apply for grants and student loans from the U.S. government by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Decreasing the Cost of Beauty School
Applying for beauty school scholarships is always a smart move. Many aspiring cosmetologists make the mistake of thinking scholarships are only for top students or those with extremely unique talents. However, there are plenty of scholarships awarded based on criteria such as financial need, obstacles overcome, professional goals, and potential for future success. There are also smaller scholarship programs that receive relatively few applicants, as well as scholarships that limit eligibility by criteria such as age, ethnic background, or city of residence. Since scholarship money never needs to be repaid, the time you spend applying for awards is often well worth the effort.
If you’re having trouble deciding which beauty school is right for you, remember that you’ll need to allow for living expenses during your education. Choosing a school that will allow you to still live at home can cut your costs considerably. If you must move to attend school, try to choose an area where you’ll be able to live with a friend or family member.
Another way to decrease the cost of beauty school is to go full time. While many people think it makes more sense to be a part-time student and allow time for working at a traditional job, many beauty school programs have administrative fees that you’ll pay every semester regardless of the number of classes you take. In addition, transportation costs for beauty school will be the same regardless of whether you’re completing a part-time or full-time course load while you’re on campus.