Attending one of the best ranked cosmetology schools in the world can help you to get your foot in the door of a career in hair, skin care, or makeup. A top cosmetology school will have talented, experienced teachers who will be able to help you hone your skills as a hair dresser, spa tech, or professional makeup artist. These teachers should also have excellent connections to help you find employment upon graduation. Some schools even have apprenticeship programs or job placement assistance for grads.
Choosing a beauty school can be even more difficult than choosing a college. That is because, first of all, you will probably want to choose a field to concentrate on before you look at schools. You will need to decide whether you want to be a hair stylist, a professional makeup artist, or some type of skin care professional. Many beauty schools have several different programs, but some may be stronger than others. You don't want to spend a fortune studying hair at a school famous for skin. Furthermore, the best school for you could depend, in part, on where you hope to work. Every state has different cosmetology licensing laws, and you need a license to practice. Most cosmetology schools will prepare you for a career in state. You may be required to train a certain number of hours and you will most certainly be required to pass state tests.
The best ranked cosmetology schools are those accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences. This is a nonprofit accrediting body that certifies that schools have met certain institutional requirements relating to the quality of education, thoroughness of curriculum, quality of facilities, qualifications of teachers and staff, and admission policies. Some of these accredited schools even grant graduating students with Associate's Degrees in their field of study.
In addition to a higher standard of education, NACCAS accredited schools are able to offer students federal financial aid. Unless you happen to be rich, you are going to need to find a way to pay for your cosmetology education. You might be lucky enough to win some type of scholarship or grant. Otherwise, you will have to take out a loan. If you go to an accredited school, you can take out a federal student loan that has a very low interest rate. If your school is unaccredited, though, you will be dependent upon banks and creditors to lend you money for tuition. You will end up paying a fortune on interest alone.
Once you narrow down your beauty school search to accredited programs in your state that specialize in your field, you should really visit each of the schools you are considering. Ask if you can talk to current and former students to get their opinions on the school. Some schools are very competitive, whereas others have friendlier student bodies. You should also ask about the school's rate of success with licensing. This will let you know how many of the school's graduates passed their state licensing exam on the first try.