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In need of advice

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM
  • 7 Replies

So, I've recently been thinking of going to cosmetology school. I wanted to go after high school but thought pursuing a nursing degree would be a more economical choice. After a year of college I found that it wasn't for me. Now, 2 years later, I have $10,000 in college loans and I nanny full time while taking care of my 5 month old. I make $400 a week after taxes. The family has already told me they won't need me in a year or so and I have been trying to find something new to do. The school I would like to go to, Aveda, counts $1,680 a month into school expenses to pay for housing and living expenses. It's only about $80 less a month than I make plus my OH works. My problem is the total of that loan would be $38,000... Is it worth it to add more debt for a job making about the same as I make now? I really want to be a cosmetologist but I want to be smart about it.

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM
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jhslove
by Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:59 PM
3 moms liked this

Well, you're smart to be thinking this through. No one can tell you whether it's worth it to add debt to be a cosmetologist, but what you should think about and research is this:

1) What is the job outlook in cosmetology? What is the likelihood of your finding a full-time job with benefits and what are average starting salaries in the field? Where is the program you're looking at ranked and how is their job placement?

2) What would your loan payments be?

3) Are you likely to earn a salary that will allow you to easily pay back your loans?

4) How long does the degree program take and are you sure that cosmetology is really the right field for you? There are a lot of jobs that aren't really what they seem. Maybe it would be a good idea to "shadow" a cosmetologist for a week or two and find out what the job really entails.

If the degree program is manageable, you are likely to find a job earning a salary that would allow you to easily pay back your loans, and you think you would be happy and productive long-term in the field, then it sounds like it's worth it to me.

calsmom62
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM
Is there an option through your local community college for cosmetology or regional votech? It would be a lot cheaper than Veda, and later, as a licensed working cosnetologist, if you were still set on Veda, could you then take courses from them geared toward current cosmetology professionals?
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Nighttiger
by Ashley on Dec. 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

This. I know there are a ton of programs for trade school cosmetology here in our town. I would look at those first. DH has only 32K in student loan debt and his payments are $240/month for the next 20 years. Also, we have ours at 3.25% interest and I would guess yours will be higher due to the current economy. Plus, you may land a job that would pay for higher level training. $38k is a lot of money and a $1,600 a month salary is not a lot to help offset that cost. However, you have to follow your dream.

Quoting calsmom62:

Is there an option through your local community college for cosmetology or regional votech? It would be a lot cheaper than Veda, and later, as a licensed working cosnetologist, if you were still set on Veda, could you then take courses from them geared toward current cosmetology professionals?


the3Rs
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Great advice!

Quoting jhslove:

Well, you're smart to be thinking this through. No one can tell you whether it's worth it to add debt to be a cosmetologist, but what you should think about and research is this:

1) What is the job outlook in cosmetology? What is the likelihood of your finding a full-time job with benefits and what are average starting salaries in the field? Where is the program you're looking at ranked and how is their job placement?

2) What would your loan payments be?

3) Are you likely to earn a salary that will allow you to easily pay back your loans?

4) How long does the degree program take and are you sure that cosmetology is really the right field for you? There are a lot of jobs that aren't really what they seem. Maybe it would be a good idea to "shadow" a cosmetologist for a week or two and find out what the job really entails.

If the degree program is manageable, you are likely to find a job earning a salary that would allow you to easily pay back your loans, and you think you would be happy and productive long-term in the field, then it sounds like it's worth it to me.


deccaf
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I would find a different cosmotology school.  You can get a license with a less expensive school.  This way you don't start off so deep in debt.

Marti123
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM
2 moms liked this

My stylist contracts for Aveda salons and she & her employees go to mandatory training I believe every other week. Could you get employed at a salon as a receptionist or helper and see if they would help pay the training? IDK really, just throwing out suggestions.

Mommy2OWL
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:50 AM
There is another local school that is much cheaper, but when I look at the job posts for my area they ask for Aveda training. I also only know employed cosmetologists that went to Aveda, so I'm trying to find some women that went to the local school. The only one I know didn't finish. I'm not sure if I could work somewhere and they would pay for my education. I'm going to look into that. There are tons of jobs in my area, and not just chain salons which is not where I want to be in the long run. Aveda is the top ranked school in my area and 1 of 2 that isn't considered "ghetto." Starting pay seems to be an average of $25,000, but if I had to start at a chain I could only be making minimum wage so about $15,000. I believe my loan payments would be $300; I'm trying to get a hold of a loan consoler. We just found out yesterday that my son's torticollis has created a flat spot that is severe enough that he requires a helmet. So now he has weekly physical therapy and weekly visits to the othotist in the near future. When I talked to my employer she said we would work it out but she sounded a little annoyed. I don't think she would ever just fire me but she may cut back on my hours since I need a day off anyway. I'm not sure how that's going to go... I did find out that Aveda has a 3 day a week program so depending on the days I may still be able to work, if she'll let me.
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