Best Cosmetology School Comparison

If you want a career in beauty it is important to choose the correct and most reputable school, so that you can have a successful career.

You have decided that you definitely want to pursue a certificate in Cosmetology. Although you have read national magazines of this trade, and know all about the most prestigious schools in the country, you know little about schools within your personal and geographical reach. How can you sort out the choices and find the best school to fit your needs? What are the things that you should look at when you are assessing a school as a possible candidate? Let's examine some of the ways you might insure that your decisions are the best possible ones for you.

How do you locate ALL of the possible choices of schools in your area?

The first and most obvious source of information is the yellow pages. If you have internet access, finding every possible school in the identified area will be a snap. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in: "Cosmetology Schools near MyHomeTown, State" (of course using your home town and state names). The other way to accomplish this search on the internet is to use a telephone company listing search of your local telephone company site.

You will need to know if the school is licensed by your state board of cosmetology.

To do this, you may either write to the state board in your state, asking for a list of licensed schools in your state, or you may simply access the state board site on the internet and check for the schools you wish to investigate. Every state has a board which issues licensure. Not all states may be up to speed in their provision of internet access to that information. Still, in the interest of time, if you have the internet access, it is worth checking for the availability of this information online. Since this is a vital component of your evaluation of each school, you should be particularly diligent about gaining the information from this state board. You need information such as how long this school has been licensed, and also information about any licensing suspensions or complaints that may be available to you through the state board site or from their information services.

Check the credentials of each school.

Once you have a list of local schools, then the next step is to check for accreditation of the schools to ascertain whether the certificate you would gain would be regarded highly in the industry of Cosmetology you are attempting to enter. The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences or the NACCAS, is the measure of a school in terms of quality education, students' state licensing examination successes, professional information about administrators and instructors and much more. This NACCAS Commission is the source for most of your information about a particular school. If the school is not accredited by this organization, chances are that you will find less interest in the professional community in hiring you as an entry level employee once you have graduated. Since this organization does routine inspections and audits of each school which it accredits, you can rely on their assessments of the actual performance of the school, as well as their assurance that it meets at least a minimum set of identified standards.

Obviously, the location of the school will bear a great deal on your choice.

If you have to move or find temporary housing for the duration of your attendance, it will seriously increase the expense of attending that particular school. If you are going to have to relocate in order to attend a school, then doing some research into the possible housing choices and general cost of lodging in each location will certainly have value in your effort to choose the best school for you.

A major factor in your choice of schools may be the cost of the tuition.

You will need to get all available information about each school regarding the tuition, the possible opportunity for grants or loans for that school, and the possible extra costs for fees, equipment, and other expenses. It may be necessary to place calls to some of your candidate schools to discuss financial arrangements and possible options with the financial advisor.

Your research about each school should include gaining information about the general class sizes, how long the course will take to complete, if the school has any provision for assisting you should you fail your state board examination for licensing, and require more training before retesting. It may even help you to make telephone calls to some of the professionals in the field of cosmetology in your area, and discuss with them what their recommendations or opinions are about certain schools.

In the end, your decision must fulfill your personal needs. Making a sort of check list of items which you are concerned about, and which are measures of comparison will enable to you easily compare the information you gather about each school. Once you have arrived at a final list of about five or six choices, then consider placing those choices into a matrix sort of check list. List the features that you view as important as a column on the left of a piece of paper. Across the top of the page, place the name or initials of each school as the header of a column. Then, enter the information about each school, regarding the list of features. When you have completed this, you can easily enter a small note into the grid, or cross off some feature you find insufficient. Using a research method like the one described here should insure that you find the school best suited to your needs, and that your experience will be a successful one.

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