Scholarships for Beauty School

As you've gone through school, you've probably heard all about scholarships for traditional college degree programs. But did you know scholarships are available for beauty school as well? When you're figuring out how to pay for your beauty program, you should look for scholarship opportunities in addition to loans and grants.

After all, what's better than free money?

Understanding Beauty School Scholarships

Scholarships provide money for education that doesn't need to be paid back. However, unlike grants, scholarships are often based on merit, not financial need.

Beauty schools, colleges, and vocational schools are common sources for cosmetology scholarships. Scholarships are also awarded by corporations and businesses closely linked to the beauty industry.

Scholarships can be one-time payments or renewable or paid out in installments—for example, half of an award may be paid out at the beginning of your beauty program, and half later on contingent on still being a student in good standing.

Scholarships may help new or currently enrolled students pay for cosmetology school, but some are also available for already licensed cosmetologists. Licensed professionals can return to school for continuing education, including topics like esthetics programs, laser hair removal, tattoo removal, and microneedling.

Where to Find Scholarships for Beauty Programs

When looking for scholarships for beauty programs, you have a few options:

  1. Use our list below, which only includes scholarships available to beauty students nationwide. We even have our Beauty Schools Directory $2,500 Beauty & Wellness Professionals Scholarship, and we'd love to read your application!
  2. Talk to your chosen beauty school about their in-house scholarship opportunities.
  3. If you're in high school, talk to your school counselor about options.
  4. Search the internet for scholarships for your chosen beauty program in your area. Some are only available to students in particular states.

How to Win Beauty Scholarships

Although the application process for cosmetology scholarships can feel a bit overwhelming, the most important thing you can do is to keep calm and get organized.

Scholarship application requirements really vary. However, a standard scholarship application may require at least some of the following:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Citizenship or legal residency evidence
  • Financial information (tax returns, for instance)
  • School transcripts
  • A list of activities, memberships, and skills
  • An essay or video about yourself
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Willingness to have your information and image used in advertising or media
  • The ability to participate in an interview (phone, video, or in-person)

When you begin your applications, collect all the necessary paperwork and keep it in one place like a folder or notebook. As you fill out a scholarship application, you need to make sure you have all information handy, be very careful to follow all instructions, and ensure you're using correct grammar and spelling. Many scholarships have a ton of applicants, and when all else is equal, something as simple as an accidentally skipped question or even a typo could result in you losing out.

Apart from following the rules of what’s posted in the scholarship application instructions, scholarship committees want to know that you have a strong reason to pursue your program of choice.

If there is a personal statement or essay component, take the time to craft a compelling narrative to explain your desired beauty program and what you plan to do in the future after you’ve gone to beauty school. This is where you can let your personality shine. Write your essay in a natural way and include your own ideas. Each application will have its own writing prompt, but here are some questions to get you thinking about your future beauty career:

  • Why do you want to be a beauty professional?
  • Why do you think it is a valuable career?
  • Which beauty school did you choose and why?
  • Why are you the right student to receive a scholarship?
  • What are your plans after beauty school?

Once you've written your essay, check for some common mistakes:

Exaggerating your skills.
Personal statements are an opportunity to highlight your accomplishments, but be honest. Don’t be modest, but do not exaggerate.

Not following directions.
If there is a word limit, make sure you stick to it. If they ask specific questions, answer them. Not following directions to the letter can ruin your chances.

Not proofreading thoroughly.
Proofread your writing several times before you turn it in. Ask someone else to review it. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a big no-no.

Since cosmetology requires people skills and artistic talent, scholarships in the field may have additional application requirements you might not see with other types of scholarships. Here are a few ways you can prepare:

Get to know people in the industry.
Some grant and scholarship applications may ask you to interview a salon manager or owner to learn more about the industry. Developing these relationships ahead of time can make it easier to find a person to interview and can give you valuable insights into the industry.

Take photos of your work.
If you're already enrolled in a cosmetology program or have been honing your skills on your own, make sure to take ongoing photos of your work. Some scholarship applications want to see your skills, so don't wait to take photos until you're in a time crunch or stressed out about your application.

Hone your on-camera skills.
Many cosmetology scholarships require short videos with your application to show off your technique and personality. Practice with a friend to make sure you're showing your personality and cosmetology techniques in the best light when the camera is turned on.

Finally, be confident. There is a wide range of options available to help make your cosmetology training affordable. Be persistent and you'll likely find the support you need to start your career.

Beauty School Scholarships – Updated for 2021

Below, you can find a list of scholarships you may be eligible for. Some are specific to cosmetology-related fields, while others are open to people of a variety of career focuses.

A couple of notes:

Some of these scholarships require you to use the funds for a degree-granting program. Associate degrees in cosmetology exist, largely through community colleges and not independent beauty schools.

Others mandate that your institution be accredited—however, they often don't specify if that's a Department of Education accreditation or if other accrediting bodies are allowed. Reach out to them directly to ask if you're eligible.

Expand All
Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship
Any Beauty Field $5,000

This scholarship is for people with learning disabilities and ADHD.

This is for learners with learning disabilities or ADHD who are graduating from high school and plan to attend a vocational/technical program, two year college, or specialized program for those with ADHD or disabilities the fall after they graduate.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by National Center for Learning Disabilities

Application Deadline: April
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

These scholarships are for American Indian or Alaska Native students.

These scholarships are open to American Indian and Alaska Native students who can prove tribal enrollment (themselves or a parent) and are enrolled/will enroll in an accredited school—including technical school—full time. Winners could receive up to $2,000 per school year if they keep up a GPA of 2.0.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Indian Education Fund

Application Deadline: April
Awards Available: 200+
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans, active military, children or grandchildren of veterans, military spouses, and high school senior JROTC members.

This is a set of scholarships with winners chosen based on both need and merit. Though the JROTC scholarship is only open to those pursuing bachelor's degrees, the ones for other eligible groups are generally open to those pursuing trade certifications from accredited programs.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Veterans (AMVETS)

Application Deadline: April
Awards Available: Varies by scholarship
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: Varies by scholarship

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is for high school seniors who are the child or grandchild of a member of the American Postal Workers Union and plan to attending a vocational program in a field like cosmetology, massage therapy, etc.

This scholarship is available to high school seniors who are the child or grandchild of an APWU member. You'll write an essay based on a mail or union topic. One winner is chosen from each of the five postal regions, and you'll need to submit grades or an evaluation from an instructor if you don't use all your winnings within the first year of study.

In addition to the normal scholarships worth up to $3,000, APWU chooses a "Best Essay" winner to receive a one-time $2,000 award.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Postal Workers Union

Application Deadline: May
Awards Available: 5
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: B average/pass/instructor or counselor evaluation

This scholarship is renewable only if the full award is not used in the first year.

This scholarship is for women who were/are in the army and their direct descendants.

This scholarship is open to women soldiers (current or former) and their lineal descendants. It's divided into four categories, including certificate and community college options, which are valued at a max of $1,000. Schools must be accredited. Winners are chosen based on merit, potential, essay quality, history of community service, recommendation letters, and need.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Army Women's Foundation (AWF)

Application Deadline: January
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.5 for HS seniors, 3.0 those applying for the graduate scholarship

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for anyone.

This scholarships is open to applicants of any education level, type of school, or field of study. You need to create a profile on their site, and they choose a winner based on who has the "boldest" profile—though preference is given to those who create one earlier.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Bold.org

Application Deadline: January
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for anyone enrolled in or planning to enroll in a beauty-related program.

This scholarship is open to any students who are enrolled in cosmetology, esthetics, or other beauty and wellness programs, whether full or part time. You'll respond to three short answer questions, and the winner is determined based on the quality of your responses, reasons for entering the field, and the impact you plan to have.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Schools Directory

Application Deadline: March
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for anyone 14+ years old.

This scholarship is open to anyone age 14 or older who plans to attend any kind of accredited postsecondary school in the next five years. You simply write an essay about what your one "do-over" would be, and the winner is chosen based on essay quality.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Unigo

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The Full Circle scholarship is open to registered tribal members or descendants of parents/grandparents who are. The applicants must be planning to attend an accredited private, public, or tribal college or university, and those working toward certificates are eligible.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by The American Indian College Fund

Application Deadline: May
Awards Available: Unpublished
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for low income women age 35 or older.

This scholarship is low-income women ages 35 and over. They must plan to attend a vocational/technical program or a two- or four-year degree program at a nonprofit accredited school.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Jeannette Rankin Foundation

Application Deadline: February
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is for MOPH member Purple Heart recipients, spouses, or children/grandchildren.

If you're a Purple Heart recipient, married to one, or the child or grandchild of one, you may apply for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Scholarship to cover a full-time education at an accredited program.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by The Military Order Purple Heart (MOPH)

Application Deadline: January
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 2.75

This scholarship is not renewable, but you can reapply.

This scholarship is for high school seniors with hemophilia.

This scholarship program is for high school seniors with hemophilia A or B who plan to attend a vocational or higher program. Awards are granted based on a essay quality, recommendations, and academic history.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Hemophilia Village by Pfizer

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: 10
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for all beauty students and professionals.

This essay-based scholarship is open to those taking advanced beauty programs or courses. You need to prove you're registered in one of those options and describe your dreams for your future in the beauty industry.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Kathy Jager & Associates

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for high school seniors and current postsecondary students.

This scholarship is women attending or planning to attend any type of postsecondary educational institution, and one college and two high school students are chosen each cycle. The college students are eligible for $1,000, high school students can get $500 scholarships, and both could win a care package of organic products in addition to their prize money. This is an essay-based scholarship focused on healthy lifestyles.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Skincare Ox

Application Deadline: January, March, June, September
Awards Available: 1 College Award, 2 High School Awards
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for those with epilepsy or who serve as caregiver for someone with epilepsy.

This scholarship is open to those enrolling in a trade school program or higher who have epilepsy or care for someone who does. Awards are given to those who show a history of extracurricular activities, academic and personal achievement, and role model behavior. Applicants must also provide a medical history form for themselves or the person they care for as well as a recommendation from a medical professional. If you're not close with a healthcare worker, you may find an alternate person, though this should be a last resort.

Thirty scholarships worth up to $5,000 and three worth up to $10,000 are available.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by UCB, Inc.

Application Deadline: February
Awards Available: 33
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

These scholarships are for female marines and their siblings, spouses, and direct descendants or those who were involved in the Marine Corps JROTC program.

This set of scholarships is for active duty or veteran women in the Marines and their spouses, siblings, or direct descendants. The number of available awards and their amounts vary based on by the number of applicants.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Women Marines Association

Application Deadline: February
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable, but you can reapply.

This scholarship is for new and current cosmetology students.

You must submit three photos of your work that best display your creative skills. Instead of a standard essay, you'll create a three to five minute video answering typical essay questions.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Changes Lives

Application Deadline: February, August
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for new and current beauty school students.

To win this award, you need to submit three photos of your artistic hairdressing ability and a three to five minute video answering standard essay questions.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Changes Lives

Application Deadline: February, August
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for those enrolled in cosmetology programs by the time the award is given.

This scholarship is awarded based on essay quality, and winners are chosen by Great Clips salon owners. All applicants will receive emails from the Great Clips Talent Community, which will include educational tips and trend and industry news.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Great Clips

Application Deadline: March, September
Awards Available: 11
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for current or future cosmetology or barbering students who won't graduate from their programs between January 1 and August 31 of the year they win the award.

This need-based scholarship is for future cosmetologists and barbers; estheticians and nail technicians are not eligible. You must not be graduating from your cosmetology or barber program on or before August 31 of the year you're awarded the money.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Joe Francis Scholarship Foundation

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for barber and cosmetology students.

For this, you'll create a short YouTube video showing off what makes you unique.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Keller

Application Deadline: September
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for those who have completed at least half of their cosmetology or barber programs.

Sports Clips Scholarship is open to students who have completed at least 50% of a barber or cosmetology program. At the time of applying, students must have an attendance record and grade average of at least 80%. The scholarship is need-based, and the scholarship will be paid directly to the school. Rather than an essay, the committee requires applicants upload a video discussing their financial needs, why they want to pursue a career as a cosmetologist or barber, and what they hope to achieve in their careers.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by SportsClips

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: Up to 15
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for cosmetics, makeup, or esthetics students.

If you're attending or accepted to a MUD Partner School and skilled in makeup artistry, you can apply for this scholarship. They require a two to four minute YouTube video answering relevant questions and for you to provide three photos of your makeup applications.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Changes Lives and MUD

Application Deadline: Fall, Spring
Awards Available: 5 per award period
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for hairstyling and cosmetology students.

This award is available to hairstyling and cosmetology students who complete an essay showing their commitment to Buy-Rite's core beliefs of hard work, trust, and honesty. The essay needs to have correct grammar and spelling, thematic consistency, and be compelling.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Buy-Rite Beauty

Application Deadline: November
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for estheticians, cosmetologists, nail technicians, and nurses and nursing assistants transitioning to electrology.

This scholarship is for students who live in states that specifically license in electrology or, on a limited basis, are able to travel to those states for training. Need is taken into account, including things like credit card debt that are often left out of most need-based scholarship applications. They look for applicants who have prior experience and skills that ready them for self-employment, related licenses in other fields, and other postsecondary education. Finalists will need to go through an interview via the phone and possibly in person.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Institute of Education

Application Deadline: Unpublished
Awards Available: Unpublished
Essay Required: Short answer responses
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for new and current esthetics students.

The Aesthetic Education Award is for $500, with a $500 bonus is you're attending an Aesthetic Partner School. You must enroll within one year of winning and be willing to have your image and essay/video shared publicly.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by DermaMed Solutions

Application Deadline: January, July
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Written or video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for current esthetics students.

For this scholarship, you need to be enrolled in an accredited esthetics program and have completed at least one semester or grading period, with a minimum of 80% attendance and GPA. You'll need to create a YouTube video instead of an essay. The winner gets $1,000 toward school costs and a $500 Lexli Professional Introduction Kit.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Lexli

Application Deadline: May
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: 80%

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for new and current esthetics students.

You need to turn in two before-and-after photos of esthetics treatments and one of a makeup application, plus a three to five minute video answering traditional essay questions.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Changes Lives

Application Deadline: February, August
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for esthetics, makeup, special effects makeup, and massage therapy students.

This scholarship is open to students in esthetics, makeup or special effects makeup, or massage therapy. You need to upload a three to five minute video of you performing an esthetics or massage treatment or makeup application and describing why you chose this career path.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Beauty Changes Lives

Application Deadline: April, October
Awards Available: 8 in April, 9 in October
Essay Required: Video
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for new and current massage students.

This is a sweepstakes competition for massage therapy students. A new winner is drawn each month, though you may only enter once per year. Enter early to give yourself more chances.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

Application Deadline: December
Awards Available: 12
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for new and current massage students.

This scholarship is for those attending an entry-level massage program lasting at least 500 hours. Rather than a full essay, they ask for a few sentences on why you chose this career.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Massage Therapy Association

Application Deadline: March
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for massage students.

This unique scholarship contest invites message therapy students to conduct research using one client, discussing treatment plans and outcomes, and write up their study and results. There are three tiers of awards, ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, plus additional money if the work is published and, for the first place winner, a stipend to attend the AMTA National Convention.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Massage Therapy Association

Application Deadline: June
Awards Available: 3
Essay Required: Case report
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for massage students.

Eligible applicants are enrolled in an approved entry-level massage program and will be able to apply for a state massage license when done with training. Passing all classes is a must.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by MBLExGuide

Application Deadline: May
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: Passing all classes

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for massage students and recent graduates.

This program is open to current massage students and recent graduates and winners are chosen based on essay quality. Winners receive $1,000, and their schools get $500 grants and $500 product packages.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Successful Hands Grant Program

Application Deadline: October
Awards Available: 8
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

NonCommercial_Linkbuilding