Looking to pursue a career in cosmetology? Being accepted to beauty school is the first step and then comes figuring out how to pay for it. The old adage says that “beauty is fleeting,” but paying for cosmetology school could leave you saddled with debt that isn’t so fleeting. Unless you can earn one of the scholarships or grants set up for aspiring beauticians.
Five legitimate beauty school scholarships and grants include:
- Great Clips Scholarship Program
- Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation
- Federal Pell Grants
- Beauty and Wellness Professionals Scholarship
- Beauty Changes Lives
Not all financial aid is alike and some come with strings attached. Read on to find out about 5 legit beauty school scholarships and grants that could help you reach your dream.
How Much Does Beauty School Typically Cost?
Attending an accredited beauty school will cost you from $5000 to $15,000 per year in tuition alone while enrolling at one of the top schools could run between $10,000 and $20,000 annually.
When you look at overall costs, remember to add in expenses for supplies, books and room and board.
- Room and Board: From $5000 to $20,000 per year depending on location
- Textbooks and supplies: Usually run between $2000 and $3000 per year
Is a Grant the Same as a Scholarship?
In a word, no. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, there are definite and important differences between them. According to the College Board, the main difference is the basis for receiving one of these types of financial aid.
Scholarships are awarded based on merit. That is, students who fit the criteria of the awarding institution may apply for and be given a scholarship. For example, academic or athletic abilities are two of the most common criteria. Other common merits include race, ethnicity, gender, or field of study.
Grants are primarily awarded based on need. Students who otherwise would not be able to afford higher learning may receive a grant based on their financial situation.
Neither grants or scholarships typically have to be paid back as long the recipient fulfills all the requirements and obligations that came with the aid.
Does Ulta Give Scholarships?
Ulta Beauty is an award-winning and respected beauty company devoted to using beauty to unleash the possibilities in each person. Ulta offers an annual scholarship up to $1000 for qualified current or prospective students at The Salon Professional Academy in cosmetology or esthetics programs.
Ulta awards up to $5000 in scholarships each year. You can apply online at Unigo.
What are the Main Sources of Grants and Scholarships?
Plenty of grants and scholarships are available if you know where to look. At College Scholarships online, you’ll find lots of information about good sources for grants and scholarships.
Grants typically come from one of three main categories:
- Federal and state governments
- Colleges, universities, and trade schools
- Private and professional organization
Scholarships originate from a variety of places including private foundations and charities, clubs and organizations, individuals, businesses, corporations, and colleges and universities.
5 Legit Beauty School Grants and Scholarships
As you look for beauty schools as well as grants and scholarships, it’s important to keep in mind that many financial aid opportunities require you to attend an accredited cosmetology program. Without that accreditation, you may not be eligible for some grants, particularly those sourced by federal, state and local governments.
1. The Great Clips Scholarship Program
Every year, Great Clips, a national hair salon chain with over 4400 locations, offers over $100,000 in scholarships to beauty school students. To be considered, students must be at least 16 years old, a resident of the United States or Canada, and already enrolled in beauty school.
Beginning in 2021, the Great Clips program was restructured so that it now awards up to 22 scholarships valued at $5000 each – a total of $110,000 annually. Scholarship applications usually open in January and awards are given on a rolling basis throughout the year.
2. Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation
Joe Francis was a leader in the haircare industry and was always looking for ways to help others take advantage of opportunities. His wife established the Joe Francis Haircare scholarship Foundation in 1994 as a way to remember and honor his memory.
You can apply January through June of each year. Through the years, over 450 scholarships have been awarded to deserving cosmetology students and hair color specialists students. Recent recipients each received $3000 that was applied directly toward their tuition costs.
3. Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant provides financial assistance to lower income students who meet certain income requirements. The amount of actual awards is based on financial need, the full cost of college attendance, and whether you are a full- or part-time student. The most you can receive from a federal Pell Grant is $6895 for the 2022-2023 school year. (Amounts change yearly.)
The first step in applying for a Federal Pell Grant is to complete the FAFSA online. This Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used to determine if and how much aid you will receive.
4. Beauty and Wellness Professionals Scholarship
Sponsored by Beauty School Directory, the Beauty and Wellness Professionals Scholarship is a $2500 scholarship awarded twice a year that can be put toward the tuition and education expenses of beauty school.
Applicants must be currently enrolled or applying to an accredited cosmetology or esthetician school. There is no minimum age but students under 18 must have parental consent. Part-time students are also eligible.
5. Beauty Changes Lives
More than just one scholarship opportunity, Beauty Changes Lives is a one-stop resource for quite a few scholarship offerings. Anywhere from 5 to 10 awards are listed for any given semester.
Amounts can range from $1000 up to $15,000 and application dates vary by scholarship. Many of these opportunities require you to submit a video as part of the application process. Other criteria can include identifying as a person of color or being a member of certain professional organizations.
Beauty school may not be as pricey as other traditional degree programs, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap either. One way to ease the hit on your pocketbook is to take advantage of the grants and scholarships that are available to cosmetology students.
We’ve given you a good starting point but plenty of other opportunities are out there as well. Take some time to search for the financial aid that’s right for you. Many hair color specialists’ skills are useful to any event or special ocassion.