The Cost of Cosmetology School

When it comes to attending cosmetology school, have you decided how to pay for your training? The estimated cost of cosmetology school programs can be $10,000 in larger cities and around $6,000 in smaller towns. The cost will vary depending on which area of cosmetology you choose to study as well. For example, if you decide that you want to become a nail technician or a licensed esthetician, the cost of training can be less, on average about $3,000. The tuition and fees may also vary by individual school. When making the decision to pursue a career in cosmetology, it is important to give equal consideration to all factors that determine the cost of cosmetology school, which include the program, location and specific school.

Select a Program


Find Schools

Paying for Cosmetology School
There is good news: Many cosmetology schools offer financial aid and loans to help with the burden of paying for school. The best way to help ensure qualifying for financial aid is to make sure that the cosmetology school you are applying to is accredited. The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the governing accreditation body of beauty and cosmetology schools. Accredited cosmetology schools are able to grant federal financial aid to their students. In addition, these schools can also grant specific loans or scholarships to their students.

The Basics of Cosmetology School Financial Aid
There are several options available to nontraditional students for financial aid and loans. No longer is it the rule that you must be enrolled in a university. There are student financial aid programs for technical, vocational and trade training schools. The school does need the accreditation for students to have access to these loans. Here is the list of grants and aid that could be available to students:

Federal Pell Grant: This grant is awarded to students who are enrolled in an undergraduate program. For 2006-2007, students were granted $400 to $4,050 per year. Pell Grants are rewarded based on cost of attendance, family contribution and enrollment status. Pell grants are not repaid

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): This grant is awarded to students who need additional or exceptional financial aid - those with the lowest family contribution. Students can receive $100 to $4,000 annually for beauty school. FSEOG is awarded based on when you apply, your financial need, the amount of other aid you're receiving, your beauty school's funding level, and the policies of your beauty school's financial aid office. These grants are not repaid.

Federal Work-Study: This grant is a work-study program. The student works part-time to earn money for education while enrolled in beauty school. The amount awarded depends on when you apply, your financial need and the school's funding level.

Federal Perkins Loan: These loans are granted through the student's beauty school of enrollment. Undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students can participate in this loan. Undergraduates can borrow up to $4,000 annually ($20,000 total). The amount that is awarded depends on when the student applies, financial need, the amount of other aid received, and availability of school funds. This loan must be paid off in 10 years.

You can find additional information on financial aid on FAFSA's web site. Paying for cosmetology school shouldn't keep you from accomplishing your personal and professional goal to become a cosmetologist or beauty professional. Find out more about cosmetology school scholarships that are available. offers you the ability to search for beauty schools in your area to find a quality cosmetology school that fits your needs. Upon completing your program, you can obtain your state cosmetology license and begin a rewarding beauty career.