About Schools

Do you want to know why you should consider beauty school programs? Click here if you want to know the difference between cosmetology programs and more traditional degree paths. This is where you can start to understand what to expect in beauty school courses, as well as the differences between programs. We also dive into what you can expect to pay, common eligibility requirements, and other useful introductory information. This is also where you can quickly learn about bilingual beauty schools and if students typically having housing or dorm options.

 

About Schools

01. Why Beauty School
Is Beauty School Right for Me?

Trying to find out if beauty school is right for you?

Whether you are fresh out of high school, or considering a job change later in life, choosing your career path is an important and life-changing decision. If you have been considering beauty school, we have compiled lots of information to help you decide whether it’s the right fit for you. If you decide that cosmetology is for you, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right to find schools near you and learn more.

Questions to Ask Yourself

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether beauty school is the right choice for you. Answer the questions on this list honestly to find out if beauty school is a good fit for your future.

  • Do I enjoy working one-on-one with people? Am I comfortable touching people?
  • Do I like working with my hands? Am I okay with working on my feet?
  • Am I a social person who enjoys meeting people and friendly conversation?
  • Am I comfortable giving honest opinions and tactful but critical feedback?
  • Am I a creative person who enjoys keeping up with the latest beauty and/or fashion trends?
  • Am I a motivated self-starter who sets goals and works hard to achieve them?
  • Can I balance beauty school with my current job or family responsibilities?
  • Can I learn well with a combination of in-class lecture, textbook reading, homework assignments, and hands-on practice on both mannequins and real people?

If you answered “Yes” to most or all of the questions, beauty school just might be for you. Click the “Find a School” button below to search for schools near you to compare.

5 Signs Beauty Schools is Right for You Video

Is beauty school easier than a four-year college or university?

They say that if you are truly passionate about something then studying it comes more naturally and "easier" than something else less interesting and relevant would. But cosmetology school is not a cakewalk to be taken lightly, either! The cosmetology, esthetics and beauty trades call for dedicated, motivated and ambitious individuals who enjoy hands-on work, helping clients and being creative. If that is you, then cosmetology school might be right for you.

Cosmetology school may come easy to you because you are passionate about learning all things beauty. You will be expected to learn theory and best practices from the in-class lecture of your cosmetology instructors, read your cosmetology textbooks, study the things you learn in class, get hands-on practice and experience in a student salon, and take written exams. There is so much to learn about the cosmetology trade - but fortunately, the best cosmetology schools are well-equipped with the most professional and educated cosmetology teachers to start you on your career path.

Beauty school is not just about hair and makeup, either. You will likely learn tons of valuable skills about infection control and decontamination, anatomy and body systems, chemistry basics, professional image and business practices, and many more of what they call the "soft skills" that aren't directly related to cutting hair, doing makeup, doing nails, and so on. Cosmetology is a professional career where lifelong learning through cosmetology continuing education is essential. One of the best things you can do is to learn from and network with other beauty professionals, students and teachers.

Beauty School Difficulty Video

What is the difference between programs?

What is the difference between beauty school and cosmetology school?

There really is not much of a difference between beauty school and cosmetology school - they are basically synonymous. Sometimes the term “beauty school” is used to encompass any school that offers any beauty program regardless of whether it’s comprehensive or niche, whereas “cosmetology school” may refer specifically to schools that offer the full-length program that includes hair, makeup, nails and some skin care. (Basically, a cosmetology school is always a beauty school, but a beauty school is not always a cosmetology school.) You'll find that regardless of which term an institution uses to label itself, the courses and programs they offer are similar. Both types of campus may offer an assortment of beauty programs ranging from a comprehensive cosmetology curriculum, to more specific programs like nail technology, esthetics and skincare, makeup artistry, hairstyling, and so on.

What is the difference between make-up artist school and beauty school?

There are many schools that focus exclusively on makeup artistry training, and they specialize only in cosmetics and their application. However, there are also many cosmetology schools that offer comprehensive beauty programs that include makeup classes. To be sure you’re getting the training you want to become a professional makeup artist, make sure to ask the schools you are considering what makeup courses they offer as a part of their beauty program. Some states do not offer makeup artist licenses, or include it in a full cosmetology license – so be sure to ask about that, as well. Those who decide to attend a makeup-specific program can learn how to apply cosmetics for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to day-to-day makeup looks, portrait photography or modeling, broadcast and film, weddings, costume and theater, and more. The career options after this type of training range very widely, and some consider this to be one of the most creative of the beauty specialties.

What is the difference between barber school and beauty school?

It depends. Some beauty schools may include specific programs dedicated to teaching you how to become a barber, along with other programs. Other schools are specifically barber schools that are independent, separate entities from beauty or cosmetology programs. A barber school focuses specifically on short hair and shaving services for male clientele. The main difference that sets barber schools apart is that the vast majority of their clients are male, so some courses will be tailored to services specifically for men, such as facial shaving like traditional straight razor shaves and modern safety razor shaves. Many states do not allow cosmetologists to perform these services, only barbers.

What is the difference between hair school and beauty school?

It depends. Hair schools and beauty schools may be identical if you are referring to a cosmetology college that teaches hairstyling skills along with a variety of other spa beauty services. However, there are many schools that offer only a hair design program that covers skills such as cutting, coloring and styling hair. These schools may also teach how to do scalp analysis, shampooing and conditioning, hair sculpting and styling, hair relaxing, curling and more. Basically, all hair all the time! These schools may train someone specifically to become a hairdresser, but not to do other services like makeup and nails. This hairdresser training may only be available in states that offer a hairstylist license separate from the standard cosmetologist license. These are sometimes referred to as hair design schools. Regardless of how a school labels itself, you should make sure to ask the beauty school or hair school which programs and beauty classes they offer.

02. Courses | Course Length
What Are Advanced Beauty Courses?

Does it matter if my cosmetology school offers them?

"Advanced beauty courses" refers to a class that offers a very-in-depth and focused curriculum about a particular topic. Before taking an "advanced class" students will likely be required to have taken basic classes in the same beauty program, or to be already licensed.

Sometimes “advanced beauty classes” is actually referring to continuing education hours that you must take to keep your license active in your state.

Advanced beauty courses can be found in the following areas:

  • At local beauty schools
  • Salons and spas may offer them
  • Workshops sponsored by product companies or salons
  • Tradeshows may offer quick training sessions on new skills or trends

If you already know you want to pursue a career in a specific field of beauty such as custom hair coloring, acrylic nails or something else, it is a good idea to find a beauty school to attend that offers advanced beauty classes in your niche or specific area of interest. More education in your beauty trade is essential to becoming a true, trusted expert in your field and advanced beauty courses are the perfect way to continue that education.

Want to connect with beauty schools that offer programs near you?

If you’re ready to pursue a career in cosmetology, consider these options for next steps:

  • Enter your zip code, or choose your preferred program and state in the search box to view your local schools
  • Continue reading about your state’s license requirements, which can impact your enrollment decision
  • Check out these valuable FAQ’s to continue researching your options
  • You HAVE to look at our awesome scholarship for beauty students. Why not?

Good luck finding the training you need to start a beautiful career in cosmetology!

How long is cosmetology school and when will I complete a beauty program?

The answer to how long cosmetology school is depends on three factors: which beauty program you enroll in, your state's required hours for that program, and whether you enroll in cosmetology school on a part-time or full-time basis.

A full cosmetology curriculum is the most comprehensive and requires the most training hours; the national average is 1500 to 2100 training hours. The average training hours required for the other beauty programs are as follows: 300 to 600 hours for nail technology and makeup artist programs, 500 for electrology, and 300 to 1500 training hours for esthetics and skin care depending on the state.

In most cases the individual state's required beauty training hours are determined by the state licensing board. For example, a full cosmetology program in Montana requires 2,000 hours, while the same program in New York State only requires 1,000 hours. Overall, how long cosmetology school is varies by each state's training hour requirements.

Regardless of which beauty program you take, exactly how long it will take to complete the required training hours will depend on whether you are enrolled full time or part time. Many full cosmetology programs can be competed in less than two years while some programs in nail technology and esthetics can often be completed within six months. Contact schools near you for more information on how long their programs take to complete.

What cosmetology training programs do beauty schools offer?

Beauty schools may offer the following training cosmetology programs, or combination of training programs: cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, electrolysis and laser hair removal, nail technology, makeup, beauty school instructor training. Also, massage therapy and fashion design are becoming increasingly popular programs offered at beauty and cosmetology schools. We are also seeing a rise in demand for permanent makeup training, hair braiding, natural hairstyling, salon management and more.

Beauty school students can elect to take comprehensive cosmetology programs, or they may choose to narrow their focuses to something more specific, like esthetics, nail tech, makeup, or hair only. How long cosmetology school is, the cost of tuition, and the licensing requirements may vary by program and state. Check out our Choosing Between Programs article and How to Choose a Beauty School article to get more help deciding which program is right for you.

VIDEO: Cosmetology Programs - What's the difference?

 

03. Cost
What Is The Average Cost Of Beauty School - 2017?

Every cosmetology student needs to ask this one question before enrolling in any program—“How much is cosmetology school going to cost me?” That’s one of the first pieces of advice we would give any students weighing the decision to go to cosmetology school. Once you learn how much it costs, you can start planning.

Here are a few tips for handling your financial responsibilities:

  • Talk to beauty school advisors to create a plan for funding.
  • Look for schools with Federal, private, and scholarship options.
  • Check out 3-5 schools before making a decision.
  • Remember tuition costs and fees can vary greatly between beauty schools.

When applying for beauty school, you might realize that cosmetology programs can be significantly more affordable than a traditional four-year university program. They can also be completed on more efficient timelines than other degree programs in many cases. Yes, you can find Associate’s programs in cosmetology that take 18-24 months, but there are many diploma and certificate programs that can be finished in about 12 months, that get you the same skills.

So, the length of the program and type of degree or certificate awarded can affect the cost. Here are some other factors that can impact your cost of tuition and fees:

Location. Location. Location.

Cosmetology schools inside or close to major metropolitan cities like New York or Boston will likely endure higher costs for the whole program, whereas smaller, more rural areas or suburbs usually have a smaller price tag.

Our survey of 55 cosmetology schools says that the cost of cosmetology school in a large city averages between $10,000 and $20,000.

The same comprehensive cosmetology program in a rural area could cost closer to $6,500.

Reducing Costs Through Specialized Cosmetology Programs

One of the great things about cosmetology is number of specialized programs, opportunities for training, and continuing education available. Students who just want to focus on makeup, for example, can find programs that just develop those skills. These can be great ways to enhance your current credentials; especially if you have a cosmetology or esthetician license.

Additional specialty program areas in cosmetology include:

  • Makeup artistry
  • Laser training
  • Permanent makeup
  • Hair design
  • Massage therapy
  • Salon management
  • Teacher training
  • And more!

And did you know… If you choose a more specific program, like esthetics, nail technology or makeup artistry, the cost of beauty school could be much less! These programs often cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the beauty program and location of the cosmetology school.

That’s because cosmetology programs offer a full scope of skills, including:

  • Hair design
  • Nail technology
  • Makeup artistry
  • Esthetics

You won’t get quite the focused education in esthetics or makeup artistry in a traditional cosmetology program, but you will learn the skills necessary to perform most salon and spa work. Specialized programs teach you those advanced skills in a specific area that can help you stand out.

For instance, if you want to become a makeup artist, you might take a collection of workshops and classes to develop the abilities to work in these areas:

  • Bridal
  • Theatrical, Film and television
  • Runway modeling
  • Special event
  • Advertising

Individuals that want to work in special effects in Hollywood will need to seek a completely different set of classes than someone who want to work in bridal makeup. This is one way to get a focused education without paying for the full costs of a cosmetology program. Of course, the real issue is how to get the career training you need at the price that you can afford!

Want to know what cosmetology graduates have to say?

Check out our beauty school survey…

You only have to take a quick look at the survey below to realize the estimated costs of beauty school can be all over the board. The survey respondents were from different states all across America, and had taken different programs - some took the full cosmetology or barbering programs, whereas some took much shorter, more specific programs like nail technology or esthetics and skin care. As we mentioned above, all these factors and more can affect the cost of your tuition.

How Much is the Average Cost of Beauty School... After You Factor in Supplies?

When you contact schools and discuss your financial obligations, don’t let the conversation end with tuition. Every beauty school has some forms of fees for supplies, use of equipment, and other learning materials you may need. Be sure you ask what the final cost will be for attending school – from start to finish.

Ask to see a supply list, which will usually include:

  • Cosmetology kits
  • Frocks and aprons
  • Textbooks
  • Computers (may be necessary for programs with online courses)

Some schools have specific vendors they recommend purchasing supplies and kits through, that matches up with their specific curriculum. Other cosmetology schools simply include the cost of supplies right into the total cost of tuition.

What’s the Net Price Calculator for Cosmetology School?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education began requiring all Title IV post-secondary institutions that enroll full-time students to feature a Net Price Calculator tool on their website. This net price calculator helps students estimate the total price they and their families can expect to pay for beauty school, including the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, other expenses, and room and board (if applicable), as well as the contribution of any grant aid or other financial aid. 

Additionally, you need to map out your work/life/school balance on a calendar, so you can get a clear picture of what your life will be like. Be sure you include time for studying and practicing your core skills. It takes dedication and passion to become an awesome cosmetologist, no matter which career path you choose.

Having a sound plan for paying for beauty school is half the equation. Make sure you understand what your repayment terms you will be responsible for. There can be a big difference between the interest rate for a federal loan versus a private loan. You might also have scholarship and grant opportunities to apply for as well.

Okay, let’s recap these steps – and write them down, so you don’t forget:

  • Use the Net Price Calculator for each school you consider.
  • Create a calendar that outlines what your schedule could be while you train.
  • Work with school advisors to develop a plan.
  • Remember your goal is to borrow the least amount of money possible, at the lowest possible interest rate

Do you see why it’s so important to speak with several schools to understand all your cosmetology school options, and costs for training?

Is beauty school expensive?

The average cost of a traditional four-year university is just under $24,000 per year according to the National Center for Education Statistics and has been rising steadily.

Cosmetology school, on the other hand, typically costs less than $20,000 on average.

This includes costs for an entire cosmetology program at most schools, and costs are often much less than that. So comparatively, beauty school programs are both shorter and cost much less than a traditional four-year school. But of course, whether a beauty school is "expensive" is completely relative to your financial situation. That’s why financial aid is essential…no matter how much you plan to spend on school.

Our survey of beauty school students and graduates showed that more than 70% of them were either "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" that they would be unable to pay for beauty school. However, when they learned the total cost, about 57% said they thought the cost was either "surprisingly cheap" or "affordable."  Only about 43% found it to be "expensive" or "impossibly expensive."

We never recommend choosing a beauty school based only on cost, though we do include that very important piece on our How to Choose a Beauty School checklist.

Be sure to request information from a handful of the top beauty schools near you to accurately compare your options and determine how much the total cost of your beauty school tuition and supplies will be. This is essential so you can plan accordingly.

What is the cost of cosmetology school?

Concerned About The Cost Of Cosmetology School?

One of the very first concerns beauty school students have is how much it's going to cost, and how they're going to pay for it. We’ve conducted surveys of both beauty schools and beauty school graduates to answer the most common questions about the cost of becoming a cosmetologist. Here, you’ll find answers from beauty schools about the specific training programs, as well as the ways students choose to pay for school. From tuition costs to financial aid options, we have all the information right here to help you make your decision about paying for cosmetology school.

You might be wondering…Why are we your best resource for figuring out the cost of cosmetology training? Here’s why:

  • We have over 40 years of combined experience helping students discover their beauty school options.
  • We give you free access to thousands of pages of information about licensing, programs, and countless FAQ’s to answer your top questions.
  • We offer a simple way for you to narrow your beauty school options by state and program – so you can move towards a career as quickly as possible!
  • We are real people who will do whatever it takes to answer your questions.
  • We also offer a beauty school scholarship opportunity four time a year to help students like you pay for school!

Are you excited to start contacting cosmetology schools?

Excellent! It’s essential to discuss your dream of going to cosmetology school with the people who can help make it happen! If you want to work in a creative career where you can apply your flair in hair, makeup, and many other areas, you’ve chosen well!

To get going, just use our simple search functions to filter by:

  • State
  • Type of beauty program
  • Zip code

Ready to get your beauty school questions answered?

Jump to Your Question:

    What Is The Average Cost Of Beauty School - 2017?

    Every cosmetology student needs to ask this one question before enrolling in any program—“How much is cosmetology school going to cost me?” That’s one of the first pieces of advice we would give any students weighing the decision to go to cosmetology school. Once you learn how much it costs, you can start planning.

    Here are a few tips for handling your financial responsibilities:

    • Talk to beauty school advisors to create a plan for funding.
    • Look for schools with Federal, private, and scholarship options.
    • Check out 3-5 schools before making a decision.
    • Remember tuition costs and fees can vary greatly between beauty schools.

    When applying for beauty school, you might realize that cosmetology programs can be significantly more affordable than a traditional four-year university program. They can also be completed on more efficient timelines than other degree programs in many cases. Yes, you can find Associate’s programs in cosmetology that take 18-24 months, but there are many diploma and certificate programs that can be finished in about 12 months, that get you the same skills.

    So, the length of the program and type of degree or certificate awarded can affect the cost. Here are some other factors that can impact your cost of tuition and fees:

    Location. Location. Location.

    Cosmetology schools inside or close to major metropolitan cities like New York or Boston will likely endure higher costs for the whole program, whereas smaller, more rural areas or suburbs usually have a smaller price tag.

    Our survey of 55 cosmetology schools says that the cost of cosmetology school in a large city averages between $10,000 and $20,000.

    The same comprehensive cosmetology program in a rural area could cost closer to $6,500.

    Reducing Costs Through Specialized Cosmetology Programs

    One of the great things about cosmetology is number of specialized programs, opportunities for training, and continuing education available. Students who just want to focus on makeup, for example, can find programs that just develop those skills. These can be great ways to enhance your current credentials; especially if you have a cosmetology or esthetician license.

    Additional specialty program areas in cosmetology include:

    • Makeup artistry
    • Laser training
    • Permanent makeup
    • Hair design
    • Massage therapy
    • Salon management
    • Teacher training
    • And more!

    And did you know… If you choose a more specific program, like esthetics, nail technology or makeup artistry, the cost of beauty school could be much less! These programs often cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the beauty program and location of the cosmetology school.

    That’s because cosmetology programs offer a full scope of skills, including:

    • Hair design
    • Nail technology
    • Makeup artistry
    • Esthetics

    You won’t get quite the focused education in esthetics or makeup artistry in a traditional cosmetology program, but you will learn the skills necessary to perform most salon and spa work. Specialized programs teach you those advanced skills in a specific area that can help you stand out.

    For instance, if you want to become a makeup artist, you might take a collection of workshops and classes to develop the abilities to work in these areas:

    • Bridal
    • Theatrical, Film and television
    • Runway modeling
    • Special event
    • Advertising

    Individuals that want to work in special effects in Hollywood will need to seek a completely different set of classes than someone who want to work in bridal makeup. This is one way to get a focused education without paying for the full costs of a cosmetology program. Of course, the real issue is how to get the career training you need at the price that you can afford!

    Want to know what cosmetology graduates have to say?

    Check out our beauty school survey…

    You only have to take a quick look at the survey below to realize the estimated costs of beauty school can be all over the board. The survey respondents were from different states all across America, and had taken different programs - some took the full cosmetology or barbering programs, whereas some took much shorter, more specific programs like nail technology or esthetics and skin care. As we mentioned above, all these factors and more can affect the cost of your tuition.

    How Much Is The Average Cost Of Beauty School…

    … After You Factor In Supplies?

    When you contact schools and discuss your financial obligations, don’t let the conversation end with tuition. Every beauty school has some forms of fees for supplies, use of equipment, and other learning materials you may need. Be sure you ask what the final cost will be for attending school – from start to finish.

    Ask to see a supply list, which will usually include:

    • Cosmetology kits
    • Frocks and aprons
    • Textbooks
    • Computers (may be necessary for programs with online courses)

    Some schools have specific vendors they recommend purchasing supplies and kits through, that matches up with their specific curriculum. Other cosmetology schools simply include the cost of supplies right into the total cost of tuition.

    What’s the Net Price Calculator for Cosmetology School?

    In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education began requiring all Title IV post-secondary institutions that enroll full-time students to feature a Net Price Calculator tool on their website. This net price calculator helps students estimate the total price they and their families can expect to pay for beauty school, including the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, other expenses, and room and board (if applicable), as well as the contribution of any grant aid or other financial aid. 

    Additionally, you need to map out your work/life/school balance on a calendar, so you can get a clear picture of what your life will be like. Be sure you include time for studying and practicing your core skills. It takes dedication and passion to become an awesome cosmetologist, no matter which career path you choose.

    Having a sound plan for paying for beauty school is half the equation. Make sure you understand what your repayment terms you will be responsible for. There can be a big difference between the interest rate for a federal loan versus a private loan. You might also have scholarship and grant opportunities to apply for as well.

    Okay, let’s recap these steps – and write them down, so you don’t forget:

    • Use the Net Price Calculator for each school you consider.
    • Create a calendar that outlines what your schedule could be while you train.
    • Work with school advisors to develop a plan.
    • Remember your goal is to borrow the least amount of money possible, at the lowest possible interest rate

    Do you see why it’s so important to speak with several schools to understand all your cosmetology school options, and costs for training?

    Is Beauty School Expensive?

    The average cost of a traditional four-year university is just under $24,000 per year according to the National Center for Education Statistics and has been rising steadily.

    Cosmetology school, on the other hand, typically costs less than $20,000 on average.

    This includes costs for an entire cosmetology program at most schools, and costs are often much less than that. So comparatively, beauty school programs are both shorter and cost much less than a traditional four-year school. But of course, whether a beauty school is "expensive" is completely relative to your financial situation. That’s why financial aid is essential…no matter how much you plan to spend on school.

    Our survey of beauty school students and graduates showed that more than 70% of them were either "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" that they would be unable to pay for beauty school. However, when they learned the total cost, about 57% said they thought the cost was either "surprisingly cheap" or "affordable."  Only about 43% found it to be "expensive" or "impossibly expensive."

    We never recommend choosing a beauty school based only on cost, though we do include that very important piece on our How to Choose a Beauty School checklist.

    Be sure to request information from a handful of the top beauty schools near you to accurately compare your options and determine how much the total cost of your beauty school tuition and supplies will be. This is essential so you can plan accordingly.

     

    Do Beauty Schools Offer Financial Aid For Tuition?

    In short: Yes! Mostly…

    We can’t say for certain that every single beauty school offers financial aid options that you would consider suitable. So, here’s the deal…

     You can typically find three types of financial aid:

    • Federal loan and grant program
    • Private loan providers
    • Scholarship and grants

    Many accredited cosmetology schools offer a mix of all three of those types of financial aid. This is suitable for most students, when it comes to paying for the cost of cosmetology school. In very low cost schools that offer certificates or workshops, financing options might be available, since federal loans may not cover them. This can be true even in programs that aren’t accredited or mandatory.

    Some of those non-accredited cosmetology schools also offer private grants and scholarships to qualified students for their cosmetology school costs. In addition to speaking with school advisors, we recommend performing your own research for scholarship opportunities as well. You never know what you’ll stumble upon.

    Popular Cosmetology School Financial Aid Options

    Some financial aid options to cover cosmetology school costs for your beauty school may include:

    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
    • Federal Work-Study
    • Federal Perkins Loan

    There are also numerous scholarships for cosmetology school you can apply for, though it was shocking to discover in our survey that only 22% of beauty school students bothered to apply for the scholarships available to them. 

    Don’t be one of the students that overlooks these opportunities!

    Scholarships do not have to be paid back, as long as you meet the terms and obligations outlined. This means…apply for all the scholarships you can find, as they are essentially free money for your education! You can check out our full list of scholarships and check back often, as we will continue to update the list. 

    Some of the cosmetology scholarships you could apply for include: 

    • NCEA Esthetician Scholarships
    • Cinta Aveda scholarships
    • ACE Grant
    • Sports Clip Scholarship
    • OPI scholarships
    • Massage Magazine Scholarship Program

    And of course… Beauty Schools Marketing Group offers our own $2,500 scholarship to help you pay for beauty school!  Be sure to apply!!!

    Do Cosmetology Schools Offer Scholarships?

    Why, yes! Many cosmetology schools like Empire Beauty Schools offer a full list of scholarships and financial aid as well. Don't let the price of tuition be the one obstacle that keeps you from pursuing your dreams of attending cosmetology school. In addition to planning and saving, make sure you are exhausting all your options for scholarships, grants, financing, payment plans and loans to ensure that you can pursue your dreams of becoming a licensed beauty professional.

    Want to discuss your options for cosmetology training?

    To learn more about the cost of beauty school average for programs near you, and what financial aid options you have, use our search tools to get started. And don’t forget to check out our scholarship opportunity for cosmetology students quarterly!

    04. Eligibility
    Is it too late to change my career by going to cosmetology school?

    Most certainly not! It is never too late for a mid-life career change to switch to cosmetology, esthetics or another beauty-related field. If you have a passion for beauty and you know it is time for a change, then a cosmetology career may be for you. In fact, many of your existing skills might even be well-suited to use in your cosmetology career.

    Some issues you may need to consider in order to make the switch to a cosmetology career include making the time to balance your current career responsibilities with your new cosmetology school schedule, your family's expectations and reactions, and most importantly, getting over your fear of the big mid-life career change. A job in cosmetology, esthetics or beauty can certainly be within your reach, but make sure you are really committed to this life change. Focus on getting the highest quality education possible from a trusted, reputable cosmetology school in your area. It is never too early to network with beauty students, teachers and professionals, to post a cosmetology portfolio of your work online, and to start building up your clientele.

    Am I too old for cosmetology schools?

    As author C.S. Lewis once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." You are absolutely not "too old" for cosmetology school, at any age. In fact, we find that nearly 75% of our applicants are not fresh out of high school. Many of us decide on cosmetology after trying a career that wasn't right for us, or after taking time away from the working world to raise a family. If your passion is beauty, cosmetology or esthetics, then there is no time like the present to enroll in cosmetology school and begin a new career in beauty. Cosmetology is known for commonly having jobs that have flexible scheduling and room for growth. You are definitely not "too old," and if anything, you are at the prime age to enroll in beauty school. It's not unheard of for individuals in their 80s and 90s to graduate cosmetology school.

    So if you think a career change is in order for you, take all that life experience you have earned and apply it to getting your cosmetology license and a brand new career in beauty. Cosmetology has the potential to change your life, and allow you to have a "career" when perhaps before you were only working a "job." You are never too old for beauty school.

    Requirements for Cosmetology School Video

    05. First Steps
    What is the difference between hair school and beauty school?

    It depends. Hair schools and beauty schools may be identical if you are referring to a cosmetology college that teaches hairstyling skills along with a variety of other spa beauty services. However, there are many schools that offer only a hair design program that covers skills such as cutting, coloring and styling hair. These schools may also teach how to do scalp analysis, shampooing and conditioning, hair sculpting and styling, hair relaxing, curling and more. Basically, all hair all the time! These schools may train someone specifically to become a hairdresser, but not to do other services like makeup and nails. This hairdresser training may only be available in states that offer a hairstylist license separate from the standard cosmetologist license. These are sometimes referred to as hair design schools. Regardless of how a school labels itself, you should make sure to ask the beauty school or hair school which programs and beauty classes they offer

    What is the difference between hair school and beauty school?

    It depends. Hair schools and beauty schools may be identical if you are referring to a cosmetology college that teaches hairstyling skills along with a variety of other spa beauty services. However, there are many schools that offer only a hair design program that covers skills such as cutting, coloring and styling hair. These schools may also teach how to do scalp analysis, shampooing and conditioning, hair sculpting and styling, hair relaxing, curling and more. Basically, all hair all the time! These schools may train someone specifically to become a hairdresser, but not to do other services like makeup and nails. This hairdresser training may only be available in states that offer a hairstylist license separate from the standard cosmetologist license. These are sometimes referred to as hair design schools. Regardless of how a school labels itself, you should make sure to ask the beauty school or hair school which programs and beauty classes they offer

    06. Languages
    Will taking bilingual classes impact my ability to get a job?

    While at least a working knowledge of the English language is generally required to be successful at job hunting in the U.S., having a bilingual cosmetology education might actually make you a more attractive potential employee for some salons, especially ones that have a largely Spanish-speaking customer base. In 10 years, some experts predict that over 50 percent of the country will be speaking Spanish. Being able to translate between the English and Spanish languages is beneficial in a salon that takes on clients who speak either Spanish or English. Areas like Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Houston will be experiencing a high demand for professionals who can speak Spanish

    If I take my classes in English and Spanich, what about my board exams?

    Some states even offer the opportunity to take the written and/or practical portions of the cosmetology exam in the Spanish language, or with the help of a word-to-word dictionary or professional translator. Below is a list of some of the states that allow students to take parts or all of the cosmetology license exams in Spanish:

    • Alabama
    • California
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Illinois
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Washington, D.C.

    You can also check with your state of interest to see whether it offers cosmetology exams in Spanish. Simply review the information that is available for your state board of cosmetology. We have also compiled a chart of allowed board exam languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, French, Chinese and Arabic.

    Another, more complicated option is to take the exam in another state that does administer the exam in Spanish and then try to achieve reciprocity with another state. Some states, such as New York, have reciprocity with a great number of other states. This means that you could gain credentials as a licensed cosmetologist in a state without having to take the cosmetologist exam in English. However, this is not recommended.

    Do I need to learn English to be successful in the beauty business?

    We always recommend that licensed beauty professionals in the U.S. have at least a working knowledge of the English language, if not fluency. Regardless of whether your state of interest offers bilingual classes or exams that are translated into Spanish, then you may want to consider English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. It can be greatly beneficial to your education and career in the beauty business.

    Are there bilingual cosmetology schools that teach classes in Spanish and English?

    Do you speak Spanish?

    Overall, because of the increasing proportion of the Latino and Hispanic population in the United States, bilingual education is becoming a popular addition to cosmetology schools in the U.S. Even if a school in your particular state of interest does not offer classes in Spanish or another language, you can recommend they begin offering bilingual classes in the future. Beauty Schools Directory has compiled the information below to help make education more accessible to students who do not speak English, or speak English as a second language.

    Do any beauty schools offer bilingual class schedules?

    Many cosmetology schools all around the United States have started offering bilingual cosmetology classes. Bilingual cosmetology classes are mostly taught in Spanish and English throughout the United States. Bilingual staff members at cosmetology schools help students receive a strong education and thorough understanding of hair and nail techniques while accommodating their language needs.

    Every state in the U.S. accepts currently bilingual classes in its credit hour requirements, but not all schools will offer those bilingual classes. Bilingual course credits should transfer just as English language credits would, and that you should be able to take the cosmetology exam in any state within the U.S. with your credit hours, but take note that not all states offer cosmetology exams in Spanish. The typical bilingual cosmetology school may offer courses in Cosmetology, Nail Technology, Barbering, and Esthetics and Skin Care treatments in both English and a second language.

    07. Housing
    Do beauty schools have dorms or student housing?

    Whether you are just graduating from high school, or choosing cosmetology after a career in another field, deciding on the right school is a major decision. Depending on your living or working situation, you may be interested in finding student housing while you attend beauty school - particularly if you are relocating to attend school.

    Relocating for Beauty School

    Some students want to study out-of-town for a number of reasons. This could be due to the school's stellar reputation, trendy locale, or a desire for the college experience. There are some schools that do offer campus housing, however these are few and far between. Most cosmetology school students choose to enroll at a campus that is in close proximity to their current residence or workplace.

    But if you're looking for the full college experience with student housing, you may want to consider cosmetology programs that are majors in a larger college system. By enrolling in the overall college, and then are granted access to all student services, amenities and campus life. Once you graduate, you could have access to alumni privileges.

    Beauty School Student Housing Options

    However, a handful of beauty schools do have their own housing. These are often fully-furnished shared or private bedrooms, with lounge areas and communal kitchen and laundry facilities, and you would likely room with fellow cosmetology classmates. Auxiliary services like wireless internet and television packages may be included in your tuition, or available for nominal fees.

    Like university dorms, campus housing offers unique socialization opportunities, and students can discuss studies and courses after hours. Living on campus can also provide momentum to encourage students, and connections to be used well after graduation. Usually these schools locate their housing near public transportation and walking distance from campus. 

    Studying Locally

    But, relocating for beauty school is not the most common choice. Beauty schools are amply located in every major city so you don't need to look far for a good program. Beauty licenses are also state-specific, so you will also want to study the state you will most likely practice. Further, since cosmetology programs are usually only 18 to 24 months for the full program, and even less than that for smaller programs like esthetics/skin care or nail technology, students usually find it most efficient to study local, continuing their existing living and employment arrangements.

    Other Residential Options

    If your school does not offer housing, they sometimes offer relocation assistance. If you will be relocating, talk with your admissions representative to learn about area options. The school may refer you to reputable apartment locators, or may even have discount arrangements with area apartments. Other schools may have roommate finder programs, or may keep listings of available private housing or rooms for rent. Be sure to ask!

    Once you have your student housing all worked out, then get excited about making new friends, and beginning your new career in one of the beauty trades!

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