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9 cosmetology scholarships for beauty school students

Free money is always in style.

Whether you’re interested in becoming the next Vidal Sasson or Pat McGrath, there are a slew of scholarships out there to help cover the cost of your cosmetology degree.

How we chose these scholarships

We looked for scholarships that were open to a broad range of cosmetology students, offered large amounts of funding and had multiple recipients each year.

Beauty Changes Lives scholarships

Beauty Changes Lives is a nonprofit organization that works with donors to offer mentorships and scholarships to beauty professionals. Its website offers a database of opportunities available to aspiring barbers, cosmetologists, nail technicians, estheticians and makeup artists.

Below are just a few of the scholarships available through the Beauty Changes Lives portal. You’ll need to fill out both a general scholarship application on its website, as well as a separate application for the specific scholarship you’re interested in.

Sydell and Arnold Miller Family’s Art of Hair Cutting Scholarship

AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
$5,000February 20, 2020

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • New or current student
  • Accepted to or currently attending an accredited beauty school
  • Completed less than 50% of your program
  • Love hair-cutting

If you have a passion for cutting hair, then the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family wants to help you fund your education. In order to qualify, you must submit a three- to five-minute video showing three different images of haircuts you have done on models, family, friends or mannequins. You’ll also need to include a description of your creative vision for haircutting, and why you love cutting hair. Judges base their decision on creativity and artistic skills.

Ratner Companies Passion and Purpose Cosmetology Scholarship

AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
$3,125October 31, 2019

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Accepted to an accredited institution
  • Not currently licensed for the beauty industry in any state
  • Completed less than 50% of your program
  • Never received a Beauty Changes Lives sponsored scholarship in the past
  • US or Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years or older

Ratner Companies offers four scholarships each year to students interested in pursuing their love of cosmetology. To apply, you must submit an essay or video demonstrating your passion for cosmetology and why it’s your purpose.

European Wax Center’s Don’t Hesitate Scholarship

AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
$5,000October 31, 2019

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • European Wax employee for at least six months
  • Enrolled at an eligible institution* pursuing a cosmetology or esthetician degree
  • Completed at least 50% of your program
  • Not currently licensed for the beauty industry in any state
  • Never received a Beauty Changes Lives sponsored scholarship in the past
  • US citizen or permanent resident

*Eligible institutions include any accredited school that offers cosmetology, nails, esthetics, barber or massage programs that can lead to a recognized state license or certification required for employment.

Every year, European Wax Center awards eight scholarships to help current employees complete their coursework and become licensed cosmetologists. In order to apply, you must provide proof of employment verified by a European Wax Center franchise owner as well as a video submission.

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation Scholarship

AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
$3,750October 31, 2019

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Accepted to or enrolled at an accredited beauty or barber school
  • Plan to complete your program after July 31st of the application year
  • Not currently licensed for the beauty industry in any state
  • Never received a Beauty Changes Lives sponsored scholarship in the past

The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation Scholarship is a memorial scholarship honoring a Paul Mitchell School graduate whose battle with mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation aims to not only help cosmetology students fund their education, but also offers support in the fight against domestic violence, breast cancer and other issues that affect self esteem.

Along with the application, you must submit a three-minute video answering the question: “Why is beauty your passion, and how will a career in beauty fulfill your purpose?”

CosmoProf Licensed to Create Education Scholarship

AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
$5,000October 31, 2019

To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Accepted to an accredited institution
  • Completed less than 50% of program
  • Not currently licensed for the beauty industry in any state
  • Never received a Beauty Changes Lives sponsored scholarship in the past
  • US or Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old

    Not only is this scholarship worth $5,000, but there are five awarded each year. It’s designed to support the success of stylists across the nation and encourages students to develop an authentic voice as an artist. To apply, you need to submit the application as well as a three-minute video answering the question, “Why is beauty your passion, and how will a career in beauty fulfill your purpose?”

    Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship

    AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
    $1,200June 1, 2019

    To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

    • Accepted to or enrolled in a US-based cosmetology or barber program
    • Active student as of August 31st of the application year
    • Not an esthetician or nail care student

    The Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to deserving students interested in pursuing a career in the beauty industry. While the number of applicants chosen each year varies, 38 scholarships were awarded in 2018.

    Beauty Schools Directory Scholarship

    AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
    $2,500

    Applicants are chosen on a quarterly basis, with 2019 deadlines:

    • January 31st
    • April 30th
    • July 31st
    • October 31st

    To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

    • Accepted to a US cosmetology school and plan to enroll within one year of receiving the award
    • Enrolling at your chosen institution for the first time
    • US citizen or permanent resident
    • Over 18 years old

    The Beauty Schools Directory Scholarship is unlike any others on this list. Not only is it awarded multiple times a year, but applicants are chosen via a drawing system each quarter. How many winners are chosen varies each drawing, so the odds of winning this award are never the same.

    PBA Rosy Salon Software Scholarship

    AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
    $500 to $1,500

    Applicants are chosen on a quarterly basis, with 2019 deadlines:

    • February 15th
    • May 15th
    • August 15th
    • November 15th

    To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

    • Cosmetology student enrolled in a cosmetology, barber or esthetics program
    • At least 18 years old
    • US or Canadian citizen

    Students in a continuing education program or with an existing cosmetology, barber or esthetics license don’t qualify.

    The PBA Rosy Salon Software Scholarship awards $10,000 in scholarships each year — with $2,500 being awarded quarterly. To apply, you must submit a letter of recommendation from an employer or instructor, your resume and two photos highlighting your skills.

    Minerva Beauty Scholarship

    AmountDeadlineEligibility requirements
    $1,000May 31, 2019

    To qualify for this scholarship, you need to meet the following requirements:

    • Currently enrolled in an accredited cosmetology program in the US
    • Completed at least one semester or graded cycle with an accredited school
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA

    In partnership with the Professional Beauty Association, Minerva Beauty awards 10 scholarships worth $1,000 each year to aspiring cosmetologists. Recipients also get a one-year student membership with the Professional Beauty Association, which offers updates on industry news and trends, discounts and more. On top of submitting a letter of recommendation from a cosmetology professional, you also need to write an essay explaining why you’re pursuing a cosmetology degree and how you plan to use it to better the lives of others.

    Other ways to pay for beauty school

    If you can’t fully fund your education with scholarships, check out these other options:

    • Grants. Just like scholarships, grants from the federal government and outside organizations don’t have to be repaid if you meet the requirements. You can usually find options based on your financial need or area of study.
    • Federal student loans. When you’ve exhausted your options for free aid, student loans can pick up the slack. You might want to start with federal loans offered by the Department of Education first, since they usually offer more flexible repayment plans and lower rates.
    • Private student loans. If federal loans aren’t an option, you can look into private student loans. Just keep in mind that these tend to come with higher interest rates and stricter repayment plans.

    Compare private student loan offers

    Explore your options by APR, minimum credit score, loan amount and loan term. Select the Get started button to start an application with a specific lender.

    Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
    Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
    As low as 2%
    None
    Up to $25,000
    2 to 10 years
    A student loan alternative for graduate students based on your future salary.
    EDvestinU Private Student Loans
    4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
    675
    $1,000 - $200,000
    7 to 20 years
    Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
    CommonBond Private Student Loans
    3.74% to 10.74%
    700
    $5,000 - $500,000
    5 to 15 years
    Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
    Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
    Varies by lender
    Varies by lender
    Varies by lender
    Varies by lender
    Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
    Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)
    Starting at 0.99% with autopay
    Good to excellent credit
    Starting at $1,000
    5 to 20 years
    Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    Interested in going to beauty school? Take advantage of opportunities for free money to pursue your passion of hair, nails and makeup. And if that falls short, use our guide to student loans to explore more ways to pay for your cosmetology degree.

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I fund my entire education with scholarships?

    Yes! There’s no limit to the amount of private scholarships you can receive. However, keep in mind you might not be eligible for other funding options such as federal grants or loans if you’re fully funded by private scholarships.

    Is there a fee for applying for scholarships?

    No — you should never be charged anything to apply for a scholarship or to receive the funds you’ve been awarded.

    Can I reapply for the same scholarship each year?

    It depends on the scholarship program. Some are automatically renewed each year, while others require recipients to reapply. And some scholarships only allow recipients to receive funding once.

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