Accredited Beauty Schools

accredited-beauty-schoolsAs you research cosmetology schools, you might come across a mention of cosmetology school accreditation. But what does that mean? What can accredited beauty schools or accredited cosmetology schools offer that non-certified cosmetology schools can’t?

Essentially, a school is considered accredited when it has met certain standards of educational performance that have been set by an unaffiliated agency. For beauty and cosmetology schools, that agency is the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts and Sciences. While it’s recognized by the Department of Education, it isn’t part of the government – it’s totally independent. Schools go through an extensive process – including getting licensed, submitting an application for candidate status, attending workshops, undergoing agency visits and submitting all that paperwork to the NACCAS – and in return, if the school meets their curricula and facilities guidelines, then they’re granted accredited status.

And, it should be noted, that it only looks at schools to see if they conform to a set of minimum common standards, so just because six beauty schools are all accredited doesn’t mean that all six are going to give you the same educational quality.

The big bonus to attending accredited cosmetology schools is that you qualify for financial aid to attend beauty school – specifically of the federally funded variety. Cosmetology school accreditation means its students can be awarded Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc.

On top of that, you may find that some employers will prefer to hire cosmetologists only from accredited cosmetology schools and accredited beauty schools. They may feel that students from these institutions have attended more reputable beauty schools and, therefore, would make better employees.

How Do I Know a Beauty School is Accredited?

If you’re looking into the accreditation of beauty schools or cosmetology schools, there are a couple of places you can go to try and find it. One way is just to look for it on their website while you’re checking out their programs and services. Sometimes it will be on a page all to itself, either in the main navigation or in the dropdown navigation (usually under About Us). Other times it may be directly on the About Us page, along with information about their school history. Or it may be at the very bottom of the page in the footer.

Can’t find it? That’s a little strange – accreditation is something you probably want to broadcast – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the school isn’t accredited.

The easiest way to check a cosmetology school’s accreditation is to search for them on the NACCAS site. They have quick and simple form that allows you to search for beauty schools by name, city, state, program and status. It’s the most tried-and-true way to discover if the cosmetology schools on your list are meeting an accredited standard.

What If I Don't Attend an Accredited Cosmetology School?

Of course, just because a cosmetology school is accredited doesn’t mean it’s the gold standard in beauty education, and just because a school ISN’T accredited doesn’t mean it’s no good. You’ll have to make a decision for yourself about how important accreditation is in your beauty school search. When it comes right down to it, there really is no substitute to doing thorough research on beauty schools you are considering, including talking to students to find the best cosmetology schools for you. 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.

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