How to choose the right cosmetology school

When it comes to your education, it’s important to take the time to consider all your options and make the right
choice for you. There’s no one right answer for everyone. You’ll have to think about what’s important to you in a beauty school and then look to find ones that match your interests and wants. As you do research, keep in mind a few key factors.

Location

This is the easiest way to narrow down your choices from hundreds of options around the country to just a few. Of course, if you don’t care where the school is and you’re willing to relocate, then you can rank your choices based on your preferences and move wherever you end up getting accepted. However, since beauty schools often only take a year or less to complete, it would also make sense if you were not willing to move somewhere else in the country for such a temporary period of time. And of course, if you have a job or a family, you’ll probably have to look for schools within driving distance or that are accessible by public transportation. Once you have this smaller pool of options, you can consider other geographic factors, like commuting time, traffic patterns, and campus surroundings.

Accreditation

Schools that have credible accreditations are more reliable and often guarantee a better quality education. Accrediting commissions such as the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) demonstrate that the school’s curriculum is up to a high standard and meets certain conditions. Typically, any accreditation from a commission that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education is trustworthy. If you choose to go to a school without an accreditation, you are taking a risk with your time and money.

Tuition

This is another big factor that often makes peoples’ decisions for them. Most people have a budget in mind for school. A school’s tuition is affected by a multitude of factors, including the institution’s reputation, the area of the country in which it is located, the quality of its facilities, and the length of the program. If you have your heart set on a specific school that is outside of your comfort zone financially, look into financial aid options. You can always apply for government assistance, but don’t stop there. Many institutions have competitive programs that dole out financial aid based on applicants’ need.

Length of Program

Full- time programs typically last at least nine months, but some may be considerably longer – up to the length of an associate’s degree program. Some may label their program length in terms of hours, the number of which to gain a degree will depend on the specialty sought. For instance, a cosmetology program might require 1500 hours, while a nail technician one would only require 150. In many cases the number of required hours are determined by the state. Keep this in mind when deciding what to specialize in and where to go to school. If you are itching to get out into the professional world, you might want to seek out opportunities to enroll in a shorter curriculum.

Sources:

http://www.empire.edu/cosmetology-schools/virginia

http://www.regency.edu/institute/accreditation.aspx

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Personal-Care-and-Service/Barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm#tab-4

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