Do Cosmetology Schools Require a Diploma or GED?
Each state sets the requirements for eligibility to enroll and complete a cosmetology program. Virtually all cosmetology schools require that incoming students have a high school diploma or its equivalent, the general educational development (GED) certificate. You must be a certain age to apply for a cosmetology program, and the age varies for every state. In New York, you have to be at least 17 years old. In Washington, you must be at least 16 years old.
Cosmetology school doesn’t require students to study general education courses. However, most states require students to obtain at least a GED to qualify for enrollment, as well as successfully complete the program before they can make a living as a cosmetologist.
GED for Beauty School
In most states and beauty schools, a high school diploma or its equivalent is required to gain admission. The GED tests students in the following subjects:
- Reasoning through language arts (reading and writing)
- Social Studies
For example, in Washington State students as young as 16 years old can take the GED. However, anyone younger than 19 must submit an “approval to test” form that is completed and submitted by a Washington State high school.
Each test is $30. The official term is General Educational Development tests, but over time, common usage has made GED stand for General Equivalency Degree or General Equivalency Diploma. No matter what it is called, people who did not receive a high school diploma can take the five simple tests and receive the GED certificate that allows them to gain admission to beauty school under the equivalency requirement.
Gaining Entrance to a Beauty School Without a GED
Some schools are willing to make an exception to qualifying students and to enroll students without a GED on a provisional basis, so long as the student is working towards completion of their GED. Of course, with these schools, not completing the GED for beauty school means no diploma from beauty school either, so students need to make sure they are committed to achieving these twin educational goals.
Check with the admissions and financial aid office if you must obtain your GED before applying for financial aid.
GED for Beauty School and a Beautician’s License
As a general recommendation, the high school diploma or GED is preferred. If you are ready to start making plans to explore your cosmetology options and obtain your GED, consult your high school advisor if you are under 19 years of age. Research your state’s GED testing and transcripts locations, costs, and test preparatory material. Are you interested in attending beauty school? Contact us to find out more about our admissions requirements!
Evergreen offers financial aid to those that qualify.
Update: Ability to Benefit tests used to be available for students and are no longer available for nationally accredited schools like Evergreen.