Criteria We Used in Selecting Top Cosmetology Programs

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In making our selection of the top beauty academies in each state, we considered the 12 things that are most important to student cosmetologists:

  • Graduation Rate: More than half of students finish the program on time
  • Student Debt: The median level of debt at graduation is less than 60 percent of the program cost
  • Success Rate: More than 75 percent of graduates find work in the field
  • Job Placement: Job placement or career services are offered
  • Veteran Benefits: Veteran’s Administration benefits are accepted
  • Cutting System: School has a hair-cutting system over and above state required training
  • Community: School maintains involvement with the local community (volunteering, charity events, etc)
  • Facilities: Cool and up-to-date training facilities
  • Scholarships: Scholarships available to prospective students
  • Business Training: Specialized salon business training offered with the curriculum
  • Value: Schools that offer rigorous programs that satisfy board requirements for licensure at a price that is lower than the overall average for all schools on the list
  • Wow Factor: Whether it is the great price, exceptional instructors, or over-the-top customer service, schools that made us say, “Wow!”