How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost?
Though the cost of cosmetology school varies, most programs cost less than $20,000 to complete. You may find financial aid options for beauty school through state or federal government, beauty schools themselves, or professional or private organizations. However, federal student aid is only available to students if the school is accredited. Grants and scholarships are available as well.
The cost and requirements for cosmetology school are based on multiple factors, such as where you live, if the school has a particular specialization, the school's brand, and your state’s requirements for the number of hours you need to train before becoming licensed.
Cosmetology School Tuition
Aside from living accommodation (which we’ll discuss below), tuition will likely be the highest cost of attending cosmetology school. Tuition can depend on many factors, including:
To give you an idea of the range of costs at different types of schools across the country, check out the following table.
|Cosmetology School (Metro Area)||2019-2020 Tuition Cost|
|Aveda Institute (Los Angeles, California)||$24,474|
|Paul Mitchell (San Diego, California)||$21,867|
|Arkansas Beauty School (Little Rock, Arkansas)||$19,805|
|Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy (Dallas, Texas)||$17,600|
|New England School of Hair Design (Lebanon, New Hampshire)||$17,301|
|Denham Springs Beauty School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)||$14,500|
|UCAS University of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (San Antonio, Texas)||$14,025|
|French Academy of Cosmetology (Spring Lake, Michigan)||$12,370|
|Sierra Beauty College (Merced, California)||$9,600|
|Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center (Scranton, Pennsylvania)||$8,625|
|Technical College of the Rockies (Delta, Colorado)||$7,421|
|Warrensburg Area Career Center (Kansas City, Missouri)||$5,940|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Nashville, Tennessee)||$4,887|
Tuition data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2021.
In general, private schools affiliated with a hairdressing or cosmetics brand (such as Paul Mitchell or Aveda) are among the most expensive, especially when they’re in a major city.
On the other end of the scale, community colleges in more rural areas are among the most affordable. But there’s still a wide range within these broad parameters and being located outside a major city isn’t always an indication of lower-than-average tuition.
Fortunately, financial aid may be available at some schools, depending on your situation. As you check out schools, ask if they are Title IV programs with access to federal financial aid and if they offer any scholarships to incoming students.
Additional Cost Considerations
Remember that program tuition is only one component of cosmetology school costs, as you may also need to pay for housing, supplies, and books.
Cost of Cosmetology Student Kits, Books, and Other Course Materials
Cosmetology school students will also need to pay for a range of other supplies, including course books, tablets, and beauty equipment and tools of the trade. Here are some average costs from higher-cost, average, and lower-cost cosmetology schools:
|School||Annual Tuition||Average Books and Supplies Cost|
|Aveda Institute (Los Angeles, California)||$24,474||$2,990|
|Denham Springs Beauty School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)||$14,500||$950|
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Nashville, Tennessee)||$4,887||$1,256|
The cost of a student kit for beauty school depends on its size and what’s included but is typically between $1,200 and $2,500.
A cosmetology student kit contains all the things you’ll need to practice your cosmetology specialty. For example:
Incidental Expenses for Beginning Beauty Professionals
Tuition, accommodation, and course supplies aren’t the only costs associated with studying at beauty school. You’ll also encounter several other associated costs that should be budgeted for.
Incidental expenses for beauty school can include:
Parking costs or public transport: Parking passes and bus or subway tickets in larger cities can be costly. Check whether the campus you attend has free or subsidized parking/transport for students or whether you can find accommodation within walking distance of the school to save on this cost.
Student kit upgrade: Some student kits can be quite generic and don’t necessarily provide the best equipment for your specialization. If your focus is on haircutting rather than makeup artistry, for instance, you may choose to invest in a kit with better-quality scissors than makeup brushes.
Licensing fees: Once you’ve completed cosmetology school, you will need to sit for licensing exams before you’re allowed to work in the field. These fees vary from state to state.
We have created a sample monthly beauty school student budget on Google Sheets for you to use! Create a copy of this with a free Google account and adapt to your own situation. The numbers in this spreadsheet are representative only.