One of the biggest barriers to education can be cost. And even though, when it comes to career-building programs such as cosmetology school, a comparatively low tuition cost can lead to a higher-paying career prospect, the thought of making that initial investment can be daunting for some. So, how much does cosmetology school cost, and what are some options for how to pay for it? Below, we have a breakdown of paying for your cosmetology program.
Cosmetology school cost
One major factor that impacts the cost of your cosmetology program is location. While a program in a major city could cost between $10,000–$20,000, that same program in a more rural area could cost as little as $6,500. Another major factor? Whether or not your program is specialized. Getting a specialized certification, as opposed to a general cosmetology certification, will cost significantly less in tuition. A few examples of specializations are:
- Hair design
- Laser training
- Makeup artistry
- Nail technician
- Salon management
- And more
There are a couple other things you’ll want to consider besides just the cost of the program, though. In addition to tuition, you’ll also be expected to purchase and maintain your own kits and supplies, which could cost anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Finally, the third cost you’ll want to consider won’t be used for your cosmetology school — living expenses. Though many programs take less than two years to complete (and some specialized certifications can take as little as six months), you nevertheless may be faced with reduced income while in your program. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you have enough money saved up to cover expenses such rent, utilities, groceries, or transportation.
Full cosmetology programs can take less than 2 years to complete,
and specialized certifications can take as little as 6 months!
How to pay for cosmetology school
Upfront, in full
If you have enough money saved up to cover tuition, supplies, and living expenses, paying out of pocket is your best option. While this method does have the highest upfront cost, you won’t owe any money in interest, there’s no credit check, and you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments. Since cosmetology programs can cost up to $20,000, check out if there are any scholarships available that can help ease the tuition amount!
Pay-as-you-go payment plan
For those who are unable to pay the full tuition cost upfront, some schools offer payment plan options to allow students to make several smaller payments over the duration of the program. This lessens the upfront cost, and it includes no credit check and no interest — so you’ll ultimately pay less than you would with a loan. However, payments are spread over a much shorter period of time, so though you’ll pay less overall, your monthly payments will be higher.
A student loan can be a good option for students who need to make the smallest monthly payments, rather than larger payments or all upfront. While not all cosmetology schools offer federal student loans, private student loans may still be available. Depending on the loan terms available for your program, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.
Additionally, Climb only performs a hard credit pull once a loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!
Some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though, are that loans come with an interest rate, so you’ll end up paying more than the tuition amount. Your credit will also be pulled once loan funds are sent, so your credit score may be impacted. Ultimately, you’ll need to consider what works best for your situation — smaller monthly payments while paying more overall, or higher monthly payments while paying less overall.