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The Costs of Cosmetology School

It's a popular question, and it's an important one: How much is this going to cost me? Cosmetology is a fun, fast-growing career, but launching that career requires an investment of your time and, yes, your money.

How Much Will I Pay for Cosmetology School?
Cosmetology school costs anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 (with some schools as high as $20,000) for a full program. But don't panic -- tuition costs vary depending on the cosmetology program and the location of the cosmetology school you choose. Full-time programs in cosmetology schools usually last about nine months and may lead to an associate degree. To find the cosmetology school that's best for your budget and your career, conduct a search at a cosmetology school-specific portal. Find out what type of courses are offered, how long the program lasts, how you'll earn a license in your field, tuition costs, and the level of financial assistance available.

What Kind of Financial Assistance is Available for Cosmetology School?
Accredited cosmetology schools are the way to go, because these are eligible for federal financial assistance. Accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education include the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. Be sure to look into ACE Grants as well, which are offered via the American Association of Cosmetology Schools.

How Can I Get Licensed for Cosmetology School?
All states require cosmetologists to be licensed, though qualifications for licensure vary by state. Generally, you must complete a state-approved cosmetology training program and pass written and practical state licensing exams. Most states require about 1,500 hours of cosmetology training, but New York and Massachusetts only require 1,000 hours, while Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota mandate 2,100 hours for cosmetology licensure. Check with the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology to find your state licensing board and its specific cosmetology licensing requirements:

What Can I Earn With a Career in Cosmetology?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2007, median wage and salary hourly earnings of cosmetologists were $12.38, which translates into annual earnings of $22,210. The highest 10 percent of cosmetologists earned more than $19.85 per hour, or $41,290 per year. Earnings may be low at the entry level, but cosmetologists with more experience can command considerably higher wages.

Cosmetology school is an investment in your future. Make it a beautiful one!

Disclaimer: This site is not connected with any government agency or the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office. If you would like to find more information about government funding please visit: