If there’s one thing that could be named as the biggest obstacle for most people to go to cosmetology school, it’s probably cost. Beauty school tuition isn’t free or cheap – and if you find one that is, fantastic ... but you might want check their credentials to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. Odds are, though, that beauty school is going to cost at least a few thousand dollars, and odds are you don’t have that lying around in between the couch cushions.
There are three basic ways of covering the costs of cosmetology school besides paying out-of-pocket: loans, grants and scholarships. It can be tempting to just fill out the FAFSA, see what you qualify for with the government and call it a day – you’re busy, right? – but don’t short-change yourself by not taking some time to look for cosmetology school scholarships.
It can be intimidating, trying to hunt down the cosmetology scholarships and grants that are out there to help you pay for cosmetology school. You have to find them first, and then there is usually an application process, and you might not even get one of the awards. But they’re worth a little effort for one fabulous reason: Cosmetology scholarships and grants don’t need to be repaid. You can get money for cosmetology school without worrying about it being a big financial burden in the future.
That is HUGE.
So where do you start? Well, you can start here – we list a collection of scholarships that we’ve discovered below, including the Beauty Schools Marketing Group's $2,500 beauty school scholarship, which is one of the largest cosmetology scholarship grants currently around. Look at the schools you want to apply to as well. Some accredited cosmetology schools offer cosmetology scholarships. Do Internet searches for beauty school scholarship, cosmetology school scholarships, cosmetology grants, etc., and see what else you can dig up. Don’t be afraid to get out there and apply, apply, apply! It’s for your education and your future, so it’s worth a little time investment.
Am I eligible for cosmetology scholarships?
Quick-n-dirty answer? Probably yes, but it depends. Specific, right?
Cosmetology scholarships for students have different requirements – some which may apply to you and some which may not. Some of the cosmetology scholarships are only open to students who have already completed a certain number of training hours. There are also some grants for beauty school available to high school students who are planning to go into cosmetology. Some other requirements might include grade point average in high school or in your current cosmetology training courses, or it might be attendance standards.
The point is that there is always a chance that you could be eligible for cosmetology scholarships, so don't be afraid to apply for one.
How much are beauty school and cosmetology scholarships?
Just because your searches are pulling up cosmetology scholarships and grants that won’t cover the whole amount of beauty school tuition doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from them. Several smaller scholarships can add up to be just as helpful as a bigger award. You can also use the money to help pay for tools, books or extra fees that gohand-in-hand with beauty training. Some cosmetology scholarships are offered in one sum, while others are given out in increments, parceling $250 to $500 in payments up to $5,000 total for your training. The amounts vary, but mostly, the cosmetology grants are worth $500 to $1,000.
Different cosmetology scholarships
There are several different scholarships for cosmetology school, and some with special emphases. There are cosmetology, massage therapy and esthetician scholarships. If you already enrolled in cosmetology school, you should check with admissions to see if they offer any scholarships or grants for beauty school. If you haven't chosen a school yet, that could become one of the factors in deciding where to attend your training.
Here are some scholarship resources that are offered through accredited institutions and associations:
- Beauty Schools Marketing Group Scholarship: Beauty Schools Marketing Group offers a $2,500 scholarship to help you pay for cosmetology school.
- ACE Grant: The American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) offers grants specifically to cosmetology students.
- Sports Clip Scholarship: Multiple $1,000 scholarships are given to 10 to 12 cosmetology students who attend an AACS member school.
- National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations Esthetician Scholarship (NCEA): Multiple eligible students can receive $1,000 esthetician scholarships.
- OPI Scholarships: OPI is a nail polish manufacturing company that awards 30 $500 scholarships to nail technician or cosmetology students who attend an OPI Preferred School.
- Massage Magazine Scholarship Program: $1,000 scholarships are given out to five students who are pursuing a massage therapy license.
- Farouk Systems USA/AACS Cosmetology Scholarship: Six students attending AACS member schools will be awarded $1,000 scholarships.
- NIC Aurie J. Gosnell Scholarship: The National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology offer a $1,250 scholarship for study and training in cosmetology.
- Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship: In honor of the late Joe Francis, the committee select deserving students to receive $1,000 scholarships. The number of recipients varies.
- PBA/NCA Sally Beauty Scholarships: Offering a total of $10,000 in scholarships yearly, Sally Beauty and the PBA/NCA vary on the number of recipients and how the money is divided.
- AHBAI Fred Luster Sr. Education Foundation Scholarships: The Fred Luster Foundation provides 20 beauty students with $250 scholarships to use toward school.
- Pari Beauty Makeup Artist Scholarship Program: Specifically for makeup artists, six $1,000 scholarships are presented to qualified students.
- Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: Not specifically cosmetology-related, the Rankin Foundation gives scholarship money to low-income women trying to go back to school for a new career.
- Chair Massage Ambassador Scholarship: This program offers one $500 scholarship for massage therapy students.
Paying for your cosmetology school can be as easy as applying for a scholarship. The amounts and requirements vary by school.
offers you the ability to search for a beauty school in your area to find a quality cosmetology institution that fits your needs. Upon completing your program, you can obtain your state cosmetology license and begin a rewarding beauty career.