How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost?

If you wish to become a licensed beauty professional, going to cosmetology school is a must. Enrolling in a certificate or associate’s degree program will teach you how to cut and style hair, apply makeup and care for the skin. Certificate programs typically last for a year while associate’s degrees usually take a couple of years to finish.

One of the biggest concerns that you most likely have in your quest to become a full-fledged cosmetologist is how much it would cost you to obtain a cosmetology education. This is a very valid issue considering the fact that school expenses are rising these days. There is good news, however. The money you would spend to pay for the tuition and other costs associated with going to cosmetology school is going to be cheaper than what you would normally spend to get a four-year bachelor’s degree. This is because you can become eligible for licensure even if you only complete a certificate program which lasts for a year.

According to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, a full cosmetology program can range anywhere from $6,500 to $10,000. Schools in a bigger cities tend to be more expensive compared those that can be found in rural areas. If the cost of the program does not include student kits and supplies, you will need to factor these in your calculations as well.

Associate’s degrees in cosmetology are more expensive mainly because these take a couple of years to finish. The annual cost of the program ranges from more than $6,000 to about $30,000. This already covers the cost of tuition and fees, housing, food and books and supplies. You would be able to lower the cost of your cosmetology education if you attend a program offered by an accredited school in your state of residence because of the in-state student discount.

At Citrus College in California, for example, in-state students only have to pay a yearly cost of $10,237 while out-of-state students have to shell out $14,149. At Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College in North Carolina, in-state students pay $9,661 a year while out-of-state students pay $14,777. Snead State Community College in Alabama costs $8,447 for in-state students and $11,777 for out-of-state students.

Private schools, meanwhile, charge the same fees to all students regardless of residency status. At Lincoln College of Technology West Palm Beach, the yearly cost for an associate’s degree in cosmetology is $23,962. At Miami Jacobs Career College Troy, the cost is $22,245 a year. Fortis Institute Erie in Pennsylvania costs $24,453 a year.

It’s important to understand that these are the amounts that you have to pay if you don’t get any financial aid. However, a lot of students are able to complete their cosmetology program at a much lower cost because they are eligible for some form of financial aid. Be sure to ask the financial aid office of your school to check if you can avail of scholarships or grants that can bring down the cost of the program. You may also opt to attend classes in the evening or go to school part-time while you work so you can fund your cosmetology education.

Career Spotlight: Cosmetologist



As a cosmetologist, you will provide a variety of beauty treatments for your customers. Most often cosmetologists are licensed as hairstylists, in which they perform haircuts, color treatments, highli[...]

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