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How Much Does Beauty School Cost?

If your chosen career is to become a beautician, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. One of the biggest and most immediate considerations is the cost of beauty school. In most areas, you must have a beautician's license from an approved and accredited school in order to work. This means that you absolutely must attend beauty school and find a way to pay for it.

The Cost of Beauty School

The actual cost of going to a beauty school varies widely. This is because the schools themselves vary widely. A school that is part of a community college may cost as little as $2,000, while a world-renowned school like the Aveda Institute can cost up to $17,000. Most schools will fall somewhere in between.

The problem with gauging which school is best for you is that the decision should not be all about cost. While the Aveda Institute might be out of your budget, that does not necessarily mean that you should automatically take the cheapest class.

As with all things in life, you have to read the fine print. While a small school may cost a few thousand dollars, it may not include everything you want. For example, let's say you wish to become a nail technician. The school that costs just $2,000 may have no nail technician classes, instead focusing on makeup or hair. In contrast, a school that costs $3,000 may have nail classes, which is what you need. In this case, the extra thousand dollars is more than worth the investment, because you will be learning what you really love and want to do as a career.

The Cost of Beautician Equipment

Another reason to read the fine print before signing up for a beautician school is that some schools only include the cost of the courses and not materials or equipment. Think about college, where items like books and lab equipment are not included in the cost of tuition. In the same way, beauty schools often do not include the cost of beautician equipment in their tuition.

The less expensive a school is, the more likely you are to have to buy your own supplies. This could include cosmetic cases, hair cutting scissors, blow dryers and more. The cost of these really adds up, which is why you should take these costs into consideration. Another school may cost two or even three times as much, but if some or all supplies are included they may be the same price or even cheaper in the end.

Funding Beauty School

The cost of beauty school may be prohibitive for some without outside help. There are funds available to students if you know where to look.

Scholarships are available from a variety of sources. The school itself may offer them or beauty companies may also have some to help defray the cost of your education.

Loans and grants from the government may also be available. You will have to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and wait to hear a reply. Grants are also available from the American Association of Cosmetology (ACE). Loans must be paid back while grants and scholarships do not.

Work study may also be available by applying for it through FAFSA. Work study gives you the ability to work part-time while studying in order to help fund your schooling. Work study funds do not have to be paid back, which makes it particularly attractive if you don't want to have a lot of debt upon graduation.

Keep in mind when deciding on a school that if you take out a loan, you will have to be able to earn enough to pay the loan back along with all of your living expenses. If you decide to go to a high-end school like the Aveda Institute, you may have to take out a substantial amount of loans. However, having such a prestigious school on your resume will increase your chance of being hired at a high-end salon where you will earn more than a smaller salon.

Conversely, going to a less expensive school means that you may have to take out little to no loans. However, a less prestigious school may mean having to start at a salon where the pay may not be as great. Decide what type of salon you wish to start working at upon graduation and what your long-term goals are. Do you one day want to run or own your own salon? More expensive school may include classes to help you with these goals.

No matter what choice you make, there are lots of things to weigh and consider. The cost of education vs. potential earnings and the cost of beautician equipment are two of the most important, though so to be sure to choose wisely.