How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost
Your ultimate guide: the secrets to reducing beauty school cost.

How much is cosmetology school? While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer, this guide is designed to answer your questions about cosmetology school tuition. Additionally, it includes insider tips on how to make beauty school affordable.

Rest assured – getting your beauty license is possible, and there are ways to make it work. Even if you’re struggling financially!

How Much Does Beauty School Cost: Menu

  • First, Look at These Amazing Job Employment Growth Rates!

    Haircut School Cost
    Click for Free 9-page preview!
  • Average Cosmetology School Price
    How much is nail tech school?
    How much does make up artist school cost?
    What is the average barber school cost?
    How much does it cost to become an esthetician?
  • Financial Aid & Grants for Cosmetology School
  • Scholarships to Reduce Cosmetology School Price
  • Insider Tips to Getting a Free or Reduced Cosmetology School Tuition
    And Perhaps Even Go to Cosmetology School for Free!
  • List of Cheapest Cosmetology Schools
  • The Truth About Free Online Makeup Classes

You’ll Love These Employment Outlook Statistics!

One of the benefits of attending a trade school is cost. In contrast to traditional colleges, it is far more affordable!

Furthermore, the employment outlook is incredible. Another benefit of beauty schools is that they emphasize successful job placement. Because of this, they often partner with hiring companies and provide classes to help you improve your resume and interview skills.

In other words, you can expect to find employment quickly and pay back your loans with relative ease. When you understand this job security, it makes cosmetology school tuition expenses easier to stomach!

In order to see just how good it is, take a glance at these statistics:

  • First, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for cosmetologists, hair stylists, and barbers will grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026. In other words, that’s 87,600 new jobs! Comparatively, this is a much faster growth rate than that of other professions.
  • Another beauty specialty with a good job outlook is esthetics. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new esthetician jobs should grow by 14% between 2016 and 2026. In other words, that’s 8,500 new jobs! This includes electrologists.
  • Just like the growth rate for cosmetologists, hair stylists, and barbers, the employment rate for manicurists is a projected 13% between 2016 and 2026.
  • Now, consider this growth rate: the projected job growth rate for massage therapists is 26% between 2016 and 2026.

How Much Does Beauty School Cost?

Generally speaking, cosmetology school tuition can range from $3,000 to $25,000. Of course, this depends on which school you attend and what type of beauty license you want. For example, New York Cosmetology Schools are much more expensive than cosmetology schools in Michigan. But that’s simply because everything is more expensive in states like New York!

Another factor is state specific cosmetology requirements. Some states charge steep fees for licensure and state board exam registration, while others have comparatively low costs.

Additionally, here are some “hidden” expenses to prepare for:

Cheap Cosmetology School
These investments really are worth the investment when exam time rolls around. Click for positive reviews!

These are indeed “hidden” costs because you might not think of them right away. But the money you invest, especially in study guides and practice tests, will only help you succeed.

Might as well strive to be the best version of yourself, right?

See “Your New Best Friend: Insider Tips to Help You Pass the Cosmetology State Board Exam” Now

Less Expensive Beauty School Prices via Alternative Programs

Since the terms “cosmetology school” and “cosmetology license” are rather broad, let’s narrow it down. Basically, a cosmetology program covers everything: hair, skin, and nails. But there are alternatives. While esthetician and cosmetology schools are the most expensive, they are also the longest. In comparison, most states offer licenses for beauty specialties with a narrower focus. Since these specialties are focused on a smaller, more specific areas, the programs tend to be shorter. Obviously, the price of beauty school is typically cheaper if it’s a significantly shorter program!

In order to explore cheaper beauty licenses, consider these options:

  • If you become a manicurist, then you can expect a shorter and less expensive tuition. The nail tech school cost in the United States, on average, ranges from $1,000 to $3,500. (Of course, there are high-end schools that charge much more. But it isn’t important to go to an expensive nail school in order to find a good job. Remember, there will be plenty of manicurist jobs awaiting you after graduation, due to the ever-growing job growth rate!)
  • Another option is getting your barber license. In general, barbering schools cost between $2,000 and $11,500.
  • Yet another shorter beauty school program is makeup artistry. In most states, this specialty falls under the same requirements as either Esthetics or Cosmetology. In that case, the school is just as long, and so is the tuition.However, in some states, less time and money is necessary. For example, Nevada and Louisiana are currently the only two states with separate makeup artistry licenses. But it gets a little more complicated than that, so there are additional states where the beauty school cost is lower for makeup artistry programs.

Financial Aid for Cosmetology School Tuition Assistance

Overall, financial aid for cosmetology school is widespread. This is because a school with accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences will have Pell cosmetology grants as well as federal financial aid assistance. Additionally, Stafford Loans are an option for qualified students.

In order to receive Federal Financial Aid, you need to be attending an accredited institution. Even though you usually have to repay Student Federal Loans, they usually ask for small, manageable payments. And, depending on your income level, they may even pardon you for a period of time until you have a well-established foundation.

Video: Overview of the Financial Aid Process

Your Ultimate Guide to Free Scholarships + Grants
for Cosmetology School

Many people wonder how to go to cosmetology school for free. Alas, that would be nice. However, that’s not going to happen for everyone. But. You can dramatically reduce your beauty school tuition by applying for free grants for cosmetology school cost. Check out the list below!

  • OPI Scholarship (Echorouan)
  • Sally Beauty Scholarships
  • Sport Clips Scholarship
  • Dream Shears/Trade Essentials ScholarshipHow to Pay for Haircut School
  • Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts Makeup Scholarship
  • Pat Goins Memorial Scholarship
  • American Health and Beauty Aids Institute Scholarship
  • Minnesota’s Model College of Hair Design Grants
  • Oregon Student Assistance Commission Grants
  • Vernon’s Kansas School of Cosmetology Grants
  • John Pelloni Memorial Scholarship
  • Joe Francis Hair-Care Scholarship Foundation
  • Alice Madden Barton Cosmetology Scholarship Program
  • NCEA Esthetician Scholarship
  • “Education Rocks” Scholarship
  • Massage Magazine Scholarship Program

To reiterate, there are many scholarships and grants available! Beauty school cost doesn’t have to become between you and your dreams. And taking out cosmetology school loans isn’t the end of the world. It will definitely be worth it when you find that next job opportunity and  a career that allows you to live the life you love!

Insider Tips:
Crazy Easy Ways to Reduce Cosmetology School Tuition
(or even go for free!)

  • Cosmetology Classes for High School Students: There are many schools that integrate their programs with local high schools. In other words, it is possible to get free cosmetology school by attending classes through a high school program!
  • Apply to School-Specific Scholarships for Cosmetology School. One of the first things you should check when searching for the best cosmetology schools is to consult the financial aid office. Ask if they offer scholarships! For example, Paul Mitchell is an accredited institution that offers scholarships exclusively for Paul Mitchell students.
  • Apply for grant and scholarship programs in the beauty industry. The American Association of Cosmetology Schools partners with industry supporters. The reason for this is to make scholarships and/or grants available to students who qualify. They call this the ‘Beauty Changes Lives Foundation,’ and the amount of donations they gather is impressive.In order to learn more, check out Beauty Changes Lives. Another national cosmetology scholarship program is available through the Professional Beauty Association.
  • Consider Going to School Part-Time. This way, you’ll have time to work at a  part-time job to generate some income while you’re still in school. Again, this is a very doable option. There are many night-time cosmetology programs scattered across the United States… and most likely, one of them is very close to you!

In fact, why don’t you grab our free, customized list of cosmetology programs near you? That way you can stay up-to-date of the current cost

In order to receive your personalized information, simply enter your information into the toolbar below. After that, you will receive e-mails tailored to your preferences. And this is beneficial, because they will keep you up to speed on any new grants and scholarships as they become available! The best part is that Campus Explorer is a no-strings-attached service. You can unsubscribe whenever you’re done looking for the right school for you!

Cheap Beauty Schools:
A Guide to Cheap Cosmetology School Options

In reality, there are numerous cheap cosmetology school options in your home state. (If you remember that “cheap” is relative, of course!) However, in order to get your confidence going strong, here’s a quick list of a handful of the cheapest cosmetology school tuitions around:

  • Amber’s Beauty School is a cosmetology school in Indiana. Now, this is a prime example of an affordable beauty school! First of all, this beauty college partners with local high schools. Additionally, the school emphasizes accessible beauty education for everyone. As a result, most of their students receive some form of in-house scholarship or discount. Finally, the cherry on top: this beauty academy offers flexible pay-as-you-go plans. Visit to learn more!
  • Another example of a solid cheap beauty school is Aveda Cosmetology School. Their programs include Makeup Artistry, Esthetics, Cosmetology, Massage, and Barbering. In fact, some students do go to cosmetology school for free! Even at the Aveda Institute in an expensive location like NYC, financial aid is available.
  • Finally, consider Empire Beauty School as an inspiring cheap beauty school. According to, 80% of students qualify for financial aid. Another statistic is that 80% of students get the benefit of a Pell Grant.

In order to find specific prices for the cosmetology schools in your own state, consult our list of beauty schools in the United States.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

The Truth About Going to Online Makeup School for Free

According to our philosophy, makeup artistry is best learned in-person. However, taking some makeup classes online can be very beneficial for busy lifestyles. One of the most important things to realize is that online makeup school that’s free is usually not coming from accredited sources. So, while these classes are helpful for your own improvement, they aren’t going to count toward getting your own make up artist license.

In order to learn more about free online makeup classes, check out:

How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost

How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost?
Final Thoughts And Your Next Steps

Overall, there’s no way around it: the costs of cosmetology school tuition, textbooks, and kits add up. Also, it is true that the cosmetology state board exam and license fees are a necessary expense in every state.

That being said, you should embrace the fact that going to cosmetology school can and will happen! Remember these encouraging facts:

  • Federal Student Loans often give you a grace period. After that, they only require small payments based on your income.
  • Another excellent thing to remember is that you have job security. In contrast, many students racking up far more debt at 4-year colleges are pursuing careers with little to no job security!
  • And don’t forget that wonderful list of free cosmetology grants! Isn’t it great that there are so many organizations within the beauty industry that offer grants freely?
  • Finally, be efficient when searching for schools. As a result, you’ll end up with the best fit for you. In order to make this easy, automate the search process with Campus Explorer. (Remember, this is a free service and you can unsubscribe anytime!)

Without a doubt, the costs are worth it. Cosmetology is a rewarding career, and the chances are very high that you’ll find a good paying cosmetology job very soon after graduation.

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