Every state requires barbers to become licensed before they can practice, and those wishing to become licensed must first attend an approved barbering or cosmetology program. Many grants are available to help offset the costs. The places to look for a grant to attend barber school include the federal government, the schools themselves, professional associations and scholarship directories.
Complete the FAFSA
Federal financial aid can be awarded to attend barber schools. To be considered for financial aid like the federal Pell Grant or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You must provide information about your finances and those of your parents, unless you meet the criteria to be considered an independent student. You must also indicate the schools that you will be applying to on the FAFSA. If you add a school later or change your mind, you can always amend your application.
Check the School
Many barber schools offer their own grants and scholarships. For example, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College offers scholarships and grants that can be used for its barber training program. School scholarship funds are specifically for students who attend those programs, so the competition for them is greatly reduced. When you apply for your barber program, there will likely be a second application for financial aid, or you may be able to indicate your interest in scholarships and grants on the primary application. Ask the school's admissions office about the procedure for getting school-specific financial aid.
Contact Professional Associations
Several professional associations are available for barbers and cosmetologists, and they either sponsor scholarship funds for aspiring barbers or they list information about available scholarships and grants. For example, the American Association of Cosmetology Schools has information for several scholarships and grants for barber students on its website. Some professional associations in related fields also offer scholarships for barbers. For instance, the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations provides the Aurie J. Gosnell Scholarship, which awards $1,250 each year to those studying to become cosmetologists and barbers. Go to the websites of professional organizations to find many more grant opportunities.
Search Scholarship Directories
Scholarship directories like Fast Web and Big Future by the College Board include grant opportunities for barber schools. Search these directories to find funding opportunities such as The Joe Francis Haircare Cosmetology Scholarship or the the Alice Madden Barton Scholarship program, both of which can be awarded to students entering barber school. When you use scholarship directories, you can set your search criteria, such as your degree program and the type of award you want to find.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists
- The National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations: Scholarships, Grants and Gerson Award
- American Association of Cosmetology Schools: Grants & Scholarships
- The Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation: Apply
- Great Clips Cosmetology School Scholarships: The Alice Madden Barton Scholarship program
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.