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Financial Aid

When you apply for Financial Assistance, more commonly known as Financial Aid, most financial advisors will suggest taking advantage of federal financing options first. Once you have secured that, if you find you need additional funds, it's fairly easy to apply for private loans. Almost all accredited cosmetology schools will guide you through the different types of federal financing that are available.

The cost of attending a cosmetology school (beauty school) is probably the most common concern for those who are thinking about the beauty industry as a career option. Many people are unaware of financial assistance and the actual cost of attending a cosmetology school can vary for a number of reasons.

  • State required hours to obtain licensing
  • The license you wish to achieve – Barber, Esthetician, Hairstylist, Cosmetologist, Nail Technician, Massage Therapy
  • Whether you will be attending full time or part time
  • The beauty school you are interested in – the more experienced and comprehensive the cosmetology school, the more expensive it will likely be.


When considering attending a school, there are a few types of financial aid, and you should look into as many of these as possible.However, if you want to attend a beauty school which is not accredited, you will most likely have to cover the complete cost yourself.

  • Loans - borrowed money that you will have to pay back; both government loans and private loans.
  • Grants - usually government issued, and does not have to be paid back.
  • Scholarships - awards based on academic performance or talent; does not need to be paid back.


The two major accrediting organizations for cosmetology schools are:

  • NACCAS - The National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences
  • COE - The Council for Occupational Education

You should ask any beauty school that you are interested in if the school is accredited. In addition, it's a good idea to double check on their web sites, at or

Federal Pell Grants for Cosmetology School     

Pell Grants provide financial assistance that doesn't have to be repaid after graduation, and may be complemented by other resources such as scholarships, government financial aid or out of pocket.

To qualify for a Pell Grant, the financial status of a student is fully reviewed.And if you are approved, the amount you can expect to receive from the grant will be based on your financial situation and other specific criteria.A specific amount of money is disbursed annually through the Pell Grantbased on a student's financial situation.

Once approved for a Federal Pell Grant, the student will receive the full amount they qualify for. Every school participating in the program receives funds every year from the Department of Education to pay the Pell Grant amounts for all of its eligible students.

Pell Grants are usually awarded only to students who do not have a bachelor's or professional degree.You can look into the requirements for a Pell Grant on the Department of Education's website.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant for Beauty School

An FSEOG does not have to be repaid after a student's graduation, and are given out based on the funds available. A set amount of funds toward schools participating in FSEOGs program are distributed by The Department of Education.

This federal funding requires eligible students to meet specific criteria in order to receive assistance. Considerations such as extreme financial need and any financial assistance that the student receives are factored into their decision.

The FSEOG Program offers help to low-income undergraduate students who desire postsecondary education. These grants are given out according to need, and those who qualify can receive these grants at any one of roughly 3,800 participating postsecondary schools around the country. Those students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions(EFCs) are given priority when awarding FSEOG's. For more information about FSEOG's click here to go to their site.


As part of the application process for an FSEOG, students desiring financial help must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA form can be completed online at

Federal Stafford Loan for Cosmetology

The Federal Stafford Loan (FSL), formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan, is a low-interest government guaranteed loan that is available to qualified students through participating lending institutions or agencies. Unlike some other grants, there are two types of Stafford Loans.

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded based on financial need, and if you are eligible for the loan, the government will pay the interest on your loan while you are attending beauty school and for the first six months after graduation.


    • Low, fixed interest rate 3.4% for 2012-2013.
    • No payments or accrued interest while the student is enrolled in school or in deferment.
    • Completely need-based with no regard to credit
    • Student must be a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • Must be enrolled at least half of the time in an accredited academic program.
    • High school graduate or equivalent like a GED.
    • Must not be in default or delinquent on any existing federal loan.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loansare federally guaranteed loans that aren't based on financial need. A fixed interest rate will accrue from the time the loan is paid to the school. The student will not have to make payments until six months after graduation if they remain a full time student. If the student drops below a half time status for a period of 6 months, then they are required to begin repayment.


    • Students can borrow up to $12,000 per year, depending on their degree status and number of years in school.
    • Fixed interest rate of 6.8%.
    • No payments required while enrolled in school.

Beauty School FPLUS

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS) loan provides supplementary funds to assist parents in paying for educational costs for dependent students.

The FPLUS loan is different than other types of financing because it allows your parents to assist you, without having to borrow against their assets or property. These loans can usually be used for tuition, school supplies, housing, and incidentals.To assist in paying for their child's education expenses,parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct FPLUS Loan,as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

You can visit for more information about FPLUS loans and the eligibility requirements.

GI Bill for Cosmetology School

Students are eligible to use their G.I. Bill toward their cosmetology education if they've spent time in the military. Specifically designed for college or vocational education,The G.I. Bill is certified by State Approving Agency for Veterans' Educational Benefits. However, these approvals are specific to the state and school, and may not apply to all schools.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay full tuition & fees directly to the school for all in-state public school students. Tuition& fees are capped at the national maximum rate for students who are attending private or foreign schools.This bill reimburses tuition and fees to the school, but makes housing and other payments directly to the student. The beauty school will receive a percentage, as determined by your length of active duty service.

Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill or MGIB is offered to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. This billincorporates both the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty and The Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve. Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 a month for a period of 12 months.Additionally, once they have completed a minimum service obligation, members are entitled to receive a monthly education benefit. For those in the reserves, they must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill.

For updates and to learn more on federal financing go to

ACE Grant for Cosmetology School

The ACE Grant is funding specifically for cosmetology students, however, in order to receive an ACE Grant you must attend a school that is participating in the program. Designed to help you begin your career in cosmetology, ACE Grants are the first industry wide effort to encourage extremely-motivated and highly-qualified individuals to become part of the cosmetology world. To apply for the ACE Grant you'll need to download the form, which can be found on the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) website.

NCEA Esthetician Scholarship for Cosmetology School

The NCEA Esthetician Scholarship is an incentive scholarship that is awarded to students that demonstrate worthy performance in school as well as a financial need. Students receive payment toward their education, but must meet certain obligations such as financial circumstances, attendance and acceptable grades.

  • Students need to write a 250-word typed essay of the applicant's financial situation, and their desire to become an esthetician.
  • Must have enrolled and begun classes in an esthetician only training program by the deadline.
  • Student must maintain at least 80% attendance.
  • Student must maintain an 80% grade average.


For more information about the NCEA Esthetician Scholarship please visit

Sport Clips Scholarship for Cosmetology School

Sport Clips Scholarship is a scholarship opportunity available through AACS.The company has hundreds of shops across the US, and is working through the Access to Cosmetology Education (ACE) Program to provide funds to deserving students.

Scholarship winners are selected by a committee comprised of Sport Clips Area Developers, Team Leaders and SCI Support Team Members.

  • No limit to the number of applicants from a member school
  • Limit of one scholarship recipient chosen from an individual school per year.

For additional information or to fill out an application, visit the AACS website.

Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship for Cosmetology School

The Joe Francis Hair Care Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships for barber and cosmetology students who meet specific requirements. This foundation was established in 1994 by his wife of 39 years, Flo Francis, and the many people whom he advised and mentored. Below are some important things to know when considering applying.

  • Complete Application
  • One Page Essay In Your Own Words Describe
    • Your financial need
    • Your ambitions, interests, and a brief family history
    • Why you want to be a cosmetologist
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Include one or two letters of recommendation.
  • $1,000.00 per recipient, paid directly to enrolled school for tuition.
  • Esthetician and Nail Tech programs do not qualify.


If you would like more information about Joe Francis, visit

OPI Scholarship for Cosmetology and Nail Technology

A leader in nail care, OPI offers scholarships for those looking to become Cosmetologists or Nail Technicians. OPI supports the growth and betterment of the beauty industry with scholarships for Nail Technology and Cosmetology students.

The Schaeffer Family Foundation selects one deserving Nail Technology student every month for a $500.00 scholarship toward participating schools. In addition, OPI also offers Cosmetology Scholarships to students in participating schools.


  • Student must reside in the United States.
  • Must be enrolled or in the process of enrolling in a Cosmetology School curriculum for licensure.
  • No other beauty industry scholarship programs are eligible. Federal Grants are acceptable.
  • Application must be submitted with a 1-2 page essay telling them:
    • Why you want to become a cosmetologist.
    • How you think nail services will play a part in your career.
    • What sets you apart from other candidates for this scholarship.
  • Applicant must provide at least one recommendation from the beauty industry such as a licensed cosmetologist, nail technician, beauty school instructor, barber, hairstylist, etc. Any licensed professional in the beauty industry will qualify.
  • Applicant must meet their state's requirements for entry in to a Cosmetology Program for licensure.
  • Applicant must be currently enrolled, or in the process of enrolling, at an O·P·I Preferred Cosmetology School.

Visit www.opi.comand click on Start Your Career for more information and participating school listings.

Alice Madden Barton Scholarship for Cosmetology School

Anyone interested in cosmetology or barbering as a career including current beauty school students, barber school students, high school students, and those who are just passionate can apply for a scholarship through this program.

  • Scholarship can be used at any cosmetology or barbering school.
  • Given out twice a year in January and July.
  • Deadlines for applications are June 30 and December 31.
  • Applicants must simply demonstrate a passion for the craft and dedication to developing their skills.


AHBAI Scholarship for Beauty School

The American Health and Beauty Aids Institute or the AHBAI Fred Luster, Sr. Education Foundation offers scholarships specifically to cosmetology students, awarded in amounts of $250, for a total of $5,000 awarded.Students are selected based on their academic achievement, school and extracurricular activities.

For additional information, please visit their website at

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