Does Financial Aid Cover Cosmetology School? | LendEDU (2024)

You can use financial aid to pay for cosmetology school. Federal financial aid is available to students who attend an accredited cosmetology program at least half-time. You may also be able to use private aid, including scholarships and loans, to cover cosmetology school costs.

While tuition can cost $10,000 to $20,000 per year, you may not need to pay out-of-pocket costs if you’re an aspiring cosmetologist.

Read on to learn more about the different types of financial aid available for cosmetology school and which is best for you.​

In this guide:

  • Federal financial aid
  • Private financial aid

Federal financial aid

Direct Subsidized Loan
Who offers?U.S. Department of Education (DoE)
EligibilityAttend an accredited school at least half-time and have a financial need.
How to applySubmit aFAFSAonline.
LimitsUp to to $5,500 per year
Best forStudents with financial needs
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Who offers?DoE
EligibilityAttend an accredited school at least half-time.
How to applySubmit aFAFSAonline.
LimitsUp to $12,500 per year
Best forStudents who can’t get a Direct Subsidized Loan or need more funding
Federal Pell Grant
Who offers?DoE
EligibilityAttend an accredited school at least half-time, and have significant financial need.
How to applySubmit aFAFSAonline.
LimitsUp to $6,895 for the 2022 – 2023 academic year
Best forStudents with significant financial needs
Federal Work-Study Jobs
Who offers?Schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program
EligibilityAttend an accredited school participating in the Federal Work-Study Program, and have a financial need.
How to applySubmit aFAFSAonline.
LimitsVary based on the job, hours worked, and wage earned.
Best forStudents with a financial need who have time to work while attending school.
State Aid– Grants
Who offers?Some states—contact your stateor school’s financial aid office.
EligibilityMeet the requirements set by the state (e.g., financial need)
How to applySubmit aFAFSAonline, or apply as directed by your state.
Best forStudents who meet the state’s criteria and apply early, as funds are limited.
Private Aid – Scholarships and Grants
Who offers?Some schools, industry associations, nonprofits, and private businesses
EligibilityMeet the requirements set by the entity offering the aid (e.g., financial need, high GPA)
How to applyApply as directed by the group offering the grant or scholarship.
Best forStudents who meet the criteria of the group offering the grant.
Private Student Loans
Who offers?Banks, credit unions, and online lenders
EligibilityMeet the lender’s credit and income requirements.
How to applyApply with your lender.
LimitsVary, often up to 100% of attendance cost
Best forStudents who’ve exhausted all other funding options and can afford the payment

Federal financial aid is a realistic way to pay for cosmetology school, but you’ll need to attend an accredited school to qualify. Hundreds of schools throughout the U.S. are accredited, so one is likely in your area.Check whether your school is accredited for federal aid.

To offer federal financial aid, accredited beauty schools must be registered with the U.S. Department of Education and report regular student loan payment statistics. If the default rate is too high, the government might impose sanctions on the school until rates improve.

As you’re comparing cosmetology schools, in addition to seeing whether it’s accredited, consider whether it’s a for-profit or nonprofit business. The main goal of many for-profit entities is to generate profits. In contrast, nonprofits often focus on filling community needs at a lower cost.

Research suggestshalf of the U.S. student loan defaults are from students at for-profit colleges, despite just 10% of students enrolling in for-profit colleges. Before enrolling, it is a good idea toresearch your school’s statisticsas reported to the federal government to see how it compares.

How to qualify

Toqualify for federal aid, cosmetology students must submit aFAFSAform online each academic year. Depending on your financial needs, you might be eligible to receive the following types of financial aid:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Student Loans
  • Federal ​Work-Study Program
  • State-Specific Government Aid

Most students can use federal student loans. They have options for almost everyone, even those without a financial need. Pell Grants are available to students with exceptional financial need. In contrast, work-study and state aid have limited availability.

When you submit your FAFSA, you might receive all these types of financial aid, depending on your financial need and the school’s cost of attendance. Since funding for some programs is limited, such as work-study and state aid, those who submit their FAFSAs early are more likely to receive funding.

You can find out more about the FAFSA and how to qualify for federal financial aid in ourFAFSA Guide.

Pell Grants

Students with the greatest financial need may receivePell Grantsfrom the federal government. Unlike federal student loans, you won’t need to repay the Pell Grant fundsin most cases. Students can receive up to $6,895 infederal Pell Grantsfor the current academic year.

When you submit your annual FAFSA, your school and the federal government may offer you a combination of Pell Grants and federal student loans if you qualify. Many students use both types of financial aid.

Federal student loans

The primary type of federal aid isfederal student loans. These include bothSubsidized and Unsubsidized student loans. The most common types of student loans areDirect Loans. The annual limits for these federal loans range from $3,500 to $12,500.

Federal student loans give you access to money upfront to cover the cost of your education. You’ll repay your federal student loans over time with interest, set at 4.99% – 6.54% at the time of writing. Most repayment periods start at 10 years but might extend to 25 years, depending on your needs.

Anyone enrolled at least half-time can qualify for an Unsubsidized federal student loan. If you have a financial need, you might also be able to get a Subsidized student loan. Subsidized student loans are a more affordable option since their goal is to help students in need go to school.

Work-study programs

Students qualifying for a work-study program do not need to repay the work-study funds. You’ll work a set number of hours each week at an assigned job in exchange for financial aid. You’ll receive funding at least equivalent to the federal minimum wage for each hour you work.

Whether you get approved for funding through a work-study program depends on what your school offers, your financial need, and when you apply for aid. Work-study funding is limited, so the earlier you submit your FAFSA, the more likely you can participate if you have a financial need.

Not all schools participate in theFederal Work-Study Program. You can contact your school’s financial aid office to see if this program is available. While work-study programs are often limited to available on-campus jobs, some schools also partner with private companies to offer off-campus jobs.

State-specific government aid

Some states offer financial aid to students attending college, including accredited cosmetology schools, within their borders. Many states use your FAFSA as your state aid application, while others might want you to submit a separate application. The types and amounts ofstate aidvary.

Learn about available state aid grant opportunities in your region by:

  • Contacting your state to learn more. The types of aid your state offers, if any, and which departments administer it will vary. The U.S. Department of Education provides alist of state contactsto make it easier to get the information.
  • Discussing the options with your financial aid office. Your financial aid office is often the best place to start for this information. It should be able to tell you whether your state offers a cosmetology-specific grant program since this is its area of focus.
  • Searching for grants online. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has astate financial aid program directoryyou can use to find a list of grants by state. Your school’s financial aid office might also use this resource.

While state financial aid might not be as generous as federal aid, it can still help cover the cost of cosmetology school. Also, grants often don’t need to be repaid unless you fail to meet the grant’s requirements (e.g., finishing school). These can make going to school much more affordable.

Private financial aid

In addition to federal aid, students should also search for any private aid available to them.

Most private aid is need-based, although merit-based programs based on an individual’s skill or ability are available. You might be able to receive private aid in the form of:

  • Specific scholarships for cosmetology school
  • Specific grants for cosmetology school
  • General scholarships and grants
  • Private student loans

Most grants and scholarships don’t need to be repaid, so look for this type of private financial aid first. Once you’ve exhausted all other federal and private financial aid options, you might consider using private student loans. Since private student loans can be expensive, consider them last.

Read on to learn more about your financial aid options for cosmetology school from private sources.

Specific scholarships for cosmetology school

Many local, network, and talent community cosmetology school scholarships are available. For example,Great Clipsgives away more than $100,000 in annual scholarships. You might also get a six-month tuition scholarship fromDermalogicafor one of its programs.

Some cosmetology programs also offer scholarships. For example,Empire Beauty Schoolshas scholarship programs for high school students, good attendance, and those who recently lived in an anti-domestic violence shelter. Plus, Empire Beauty School provides scholarships from many industry partners.

You can also apply for one of the many national scholarships offered by theProfessional Beauty Associationor the nonprofit organizationBeauty Changes Lives. The specific scholarships and deadlines these organizations offer change, so check back often to see what’s available.

Another terrific place to search for private scholarships is with theAmerican Association of Cosmetology Schools(AACS). The AACS partners with many industry groups and associations to offer scholarships to cosmetology students. These also change, so review its scholarship list often.

Specific grants for cosmetology school

Along with private scholarships, you might qualify for private grants. The term “grants” often describes need-based funding provided by government entities.

Most private entities use the word “scholarships” to describe funding they give students, whether it’s need-based or merit-based.

Since the terms “scholarship” and “grant” may be interchangeable among private entities that offer this type of college funding, it’s helpful to search for both types of private financial aid. For example, theAmerican Association of Cosmetology Schoolsshares scholarships and grants on its website.

Students do not need to submit a FAFSA to receive private aid. Instead, you should apply directly with the school or association offering the private grant or scholarship.

General scholarships and grants

Finding private scholarships and grants might seem tedious. A scholarship database (such as ourguide to scholarships) can be helpful, along with checking the websites of professional organizations. Your school’s financial aid office can often give you a scholarship list.

Before you search for a scholarship, consider what’s unique about you. Most scholarships target a specific group or need, such as cosmetology school students, women, or people with specific disabilities. Use the unique terms and features you identify with as you search for options online.

Targeting your search to what’s unique to you makes it easier to find scholarships and increases the odds you’ll get one—or several. When you submit your scholarship or grant application, provide all the necessary details to show why you’re the best applicant. Be sure to apply on time.

Private student loans

Unlike federal student loans, which anyone attending an accredited school can get, private student loans are issued based on creditworthiness. Whether you qualify, how much you can get, and your rates and terms will depend on your (and your cosigner’s) credit score, credit history, and income level.

You should know that private student loans have fewer benefits than federal student loans. Plus, you’ll often paylower interest rates on federal loans. For these reasons, we always recommend maximizing federal student loans before turning to private student loans.

If you’re looking for a private student loan for cosmetology school, check out ourstudent loans for trade schoolguide.

Does Financial Aid Cover Cosmetology School? | LendEDU (2024)


Does Financial Aid Cover Cosmetology School? | LendEDU? ›

You can use financial aid to pay for cosmetology school. Federal financial aid is available to students who attend an accredited cosmetology program at least half-time. You may also be able to use private aid, including scholarships and loans, to cover cosmetology school costs.

Can FAFSA cover everything? ›

The financial aid awarded based on the FAFSA can be used to pay for the college's full cost of attendance, which includes tuition and fees. While it is possible for student financial aid to cover full tuition, in practice it will fall short.

What does financial aid usually cover? ›

Federal student aid from ED covers such expenses as tuition and fees, housing and food, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid can also help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care.

How do I know how much FAFSA will cover? ›

The financial aid staff starts by deciding upon your cost of attendance (COA) at that school. They then consider your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). They subtract your EFC from your COA to determine the amount of your financial need and therefore how much need-based aid you can get.

Will cosmetology student loans be forgiven? ›

Technically, student loans are student loans–and cosmetology students fall into that category. And if you meet the criteria that the student loan forgiveness policy lays out (which we discussed above), it's highly likely that you could fall into the student loan forgiveness category.

What does the FAFSA not cover? ›

Financial aid also does not cover non-necessary items that many students tend to enjoy, such as dorm room decorations and season tickets to the school's football games.

What do I do if my FAFSA doesn't cover everything? ›

Request a Reevaluation of Your Circumstances

Schools are not required to consider special circumstances, but those that do have a process, called professional judgement. Through this process, you can petition for a reevaluation of the information on your FAFSA® form.

What's the highest amount FAFSA gives? ›

Federal financial aid limits
Maximum amount (2022-23)
Direct Subsidized Loan$3,500 to $5,500 per year, depending on year in school
Direct Unsubsidized Loan$5,500 to $20,500 per year, depending on year in school and dependency status
Direct PLUS LoanTotal cost of attendance
Federal work-studyVaries by school
4 more rows
Feb 7, 2023

What is the maximum amount of FAFSA you can get? ›

$57,500 for undergraduates-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500 for graduate or professional students-No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

How much money is too much to qualify for FAFSA? ›

There is no set income limit for eligibility to qualify for financial aid through. You'll need to fill out the FAFSA every year to see what you qualify for at your college. It's important to make sure you fill out the FAFSA as quickly as possible once it opens on October 1st for the following school year.

Do I have to pay back FAFSA? ›

FAFSA is not the financial aid itself, as it is just an application, so you do not have to pay anything back in that regard. However, students may use the term FAFSA to refer to the financial aid awarded after the student files the FAFSA.

How much money does FAFSA give per semester? ›

Undergraduates can receive up to $16,000 toward their degree. This is $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester. Graduate students can receive up to $8,000 to continue their education. For a two-year master's degree, this is $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester.

Does FAFSA give you money every semester? ›

Generally, your school will give you your grant or loan money in at least two payments called disbursements. In most cases, your school must give you your grant or loan money at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter).

What is the future outlook for a cosmetologist? ›

Job Outlook

Overall employment of barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 93,800 openings for barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Does student loans fall off your credit? ›

Both federal and private student loans fall off your credit report about seven years after your last payment or date of default. You default after nine months of nonpayment for federal student loans, and you're not in deferment or forbearance.

What program cancels student debt? ›

Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available to government and qualifying nonprofit employees with federal student loans. Eligible borrowers can have their remaining loan balance forgiven tax-free after making 120 qualifying loan payments.

What is the hardest part of FAFSA? ›

For many, the most difficult part about filling out the FAFSA is entering in the financial information. But now, thanks to a partnership with the IRS, students and parents who are eligible can automatically transfer the necessary tax info into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Why did FAFSA give me nothing? ›

Contact your school's financial aid office

There are a number of possible reasons why you might have been told no aid is available: Your FAFSA may be incomplete. If you failed to submit any information on your FAFSA, then the school may not have determined yet what types of aid you are eligible for.

How do I negotiate more financial aid? ›

Appeal as soon as you know your needs.
  1. Assess Your Current Financial Circumstances.
  2. Don't Call It a Negotiation.
  3. Have a Conversation With the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Reach Out to the Admissions Office.
  5. Use a Competing Offer.
  6. Hold Back on the Deposit.
  7. Appeal as Soon as You Know Your Needs.

What are the 3 most common FAFSA mistakes? ›

You'll have a better chance at receiving money for college if you avoid several common mistakes when filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Such mistakes include not completing the form on time, not filling it out correctly, or forgetting to sign and submit.

Am I too rich to get financial aid? ›

But you might be surprised to learn that there are no FAFSA income limits to qualify for aid. For example, a family with a household income of hundreds of thousands of dollars could be helped by other factors in the FAFSA formula, including school costs and the number of siblings also attending school.

Can you be denied FAFSA? ›

If you're wondering: can you be denied a federal student loan, the answer is yes. Even if you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), approval is not always guaranteed. If you've applied for federal student loans and have been denied, it's important to understand the reason for denial.

Why is my FAFSA so high? ›

Why is my EFC so high? If your EFC is high, it generally means that your family's income is high. Parental income is one of the biggest drivers of Expected Family Contribution. This is because the FAFSA takes both parents' income into account, as well as the student's income.

How much is the full Pell Grant? ›

The maximum amount of money you can get from a Pell Grant is: $7,395 (2023–24). The amount granted depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), cost of attendance, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

How many times can I use FAFSA? ›

In most cases, you'll need to reapply for federal student aid each year you're in school. But does that mean completing a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) per semester or just once per year? The fast answer: once per year.

Does the FAFSA check your bank accounts? ›

Students selected for verification of their FAFSA form may wonder, “Does FAFSA check your bank accounts?” FAFSA does not directly view the student's or parent's bank accounts.

Do you have to pay back Pell Grant if you fail? ›

Pell Grants also require satisfactory academic progress, and your school sets that standard. If you fail a class, then you may lose your grant or need to pay it back.

Do I have to pay back a Pell Grant? ›

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant. You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Who should not complete FAFSA? ›

Who should not fill out the FAFSA? If there is no chance of you using any loans and your family has so much money that they can easily pay the full cost of your education, you may not want to spend time filling out the FAFSA.

Does financial aid depend on parents income? ›

If you're a dependent student, the FAFSA will attempt to measure your family's financial strength to determine your expected family contribution. Therefore, your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as funds collected through unemployment or Social Security) should be entered into the FAFSA.

Do you get more financial aid if you live with parents? ›

Schools then offer a financial aid package covering the difference between attendance costs and expected family contribution. Students who live at home enjoy lower attendance costs than those who live on campus or independently. As a result, these students may receive lower financial aid awards.

What happens if you get FAFSA money and don't go to school? ›

If you drop out of college while receiving a Pell Grant, you may have to repay part of that sum. The university will determine how much you owe, and you should contact the financial aid department for those details. You can repay the college in full or work with them to create an installment payment plan.

Can I use my FAFSA money for a car? ›

You also can't pay for the purchase of a car with financial aid funds. In particular, a qualified education loan is used solely to pay for qualified higher education expenses, which are limited to the cost of attendance as determined by the college or university.

Is FAFSA a loan or grant? ›

The FAFSA is not a loan. It is an application form. However, you can use the FAFSA to apply for financial aid and federal student loans. The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is used to apply for several types of financial aid, including grants, student employment and federal student loans.

What is the average FAFSA monthly payment? ›

Student loan payments cost between $200 and $299 on average, but that figure can vary significantly. Here's how to estimate your future student loan payments. March 10, 2023, at 9:20 a.m. The average student loan payment is between $200 and $299, according to the most recent available data from the Federal Reserve.

How long does it take for FAFSA to give you money? ›

What happens now? If you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form online, we'll process your form within three to five days. If you submitted a paper FAFSA form, your form will be processed within 7 to 10 days.

Do you get paid every month for FAFSA? ›

Financial Aid will disburse aid to your account each quarter according to the dates published in the academic calendar Funds administered by our office are disbursed on a quarterly basis and yearly awards are split by our system into three quarterly disbursements.

How much is FAFSA Pell Grant per semester? ›

Federal Pell Grant

Award amounts are based on the student's level of financial need and enrollment status for each term. The maximum Pell Grant for the 2023-24 award year is $7,395. The maximum Pell Grant per term is $3,698 for Fall/$3697 for Spring.

What happens if I only need FAFSA for one semester? ›

Can I get financial aid for one semester? Federal student aid awards generally apply for an entire academic year — the fall, spring, and summer semesters (in that order). If you don't attend college for the entire academic year, you can't receive your full financial aid award from the federal government.

What is the highest paying cosmetology? ›

High Paying Cosmetologist Jobs
  • Licensed Barber. ...
  • Performance Makeup Artist. ...
  • Beauty Artist. ...
  • Makeup Artist. ...
  • Hair Stylist. Salary range: $30,000-$50,000 per year. ...
  • Nail Technician. Salary range: $31,000-$50,000 per year. ...
  • Airbrush Artist. Salary range: $16,000-$41,500 per year. ...
  • Shampooer. Salary range: $26,000-$34,000 per year.

What is the highest cosmetology salary? ›

12 more highest-paying cosmetology jobs
  • Salon owner $43,272 per year.
  • Spa manager : $47,734 per year.
  • Nail technician : $51,118 per year.
  • Piercer : $53,190 per year.
  • Cosmetics manager : $54,013 per year.
  • Tattoo artist : $60,049 per year.
  • Director of public relations : $67,648 per year.
  • Prosthetist : $77,305 per year.
Jun 24, 2022

What if I can never pay off my student loans? ›

If you default on your student loan, that status will be reported to national credit reporting agencies. This reporting may damage your credit rating and future borrowing ability. Also, the government can collect on your loans by taking funds from your wages, tax refunds, and other government payments.

Does debt go away after 7 years? ›

A debt doesn't generally expire or disappear until its paid, but in many states, there may be a time limit on how long creditors or debt collectors can use legal action to collect a debt.

What happens if you don't pay off student loans in 25 years? ›

Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 25 years.

How do I know if I qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›

You may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loans based on borrower defense to repayment if you took out the loans to attend a school and the school did something or failed to do something related to your loan or to the educational services that the loan was intended to pay for.

How to knock out student debt? ›

How to Pay Off Student Loans in 10 Steps
  1. Get on a budget.
  2. Find out your payoff date.
  3. Pay more than the minimum payment.
  4. Make some financial sacrifices.
  5. Pay off student loans with the debt snowball.
  6. Apply every raise and tax refund toward paying off your student loans.
  7. Increase your income with a side hustle.
Apr 21, 2023

Is there a limit on using FAFSA? ›

$57,500 for undergraduates-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500 for graduate or professional students-No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

Does FAFSA cover all 4 years? ›

Financial aid can cover four years of college if you file for the FAFSA each year and remain eligible. Eligibility includes agreeing that you are a U.S. citizen or national, providing your social security number, and meeting requirements. Financial aid can come in many forms, such as grants and scholarships.

How much does FAFSA cover per semester? ›

Undergraduates can receive up to $16,000 toward their degree. This is $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester. Graduate students can receive up to $8,000 to continue their education. For a two-year master's degree, this is $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester.

Can I use my FAFSA money for clothes? ›

Support includes money, housing, food, clothes, medical and dental care, gifts, loans, payment of college costs, etc.


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