Some cosmetology programs may be eligible for state or federal financial aid. If your ability to attend beauty school is dependent upon receiving financial help, be sure to check with the school in advance regarding their status. A few cosmetology schools may even offer their own financial aid packages to select students. There are two general types of financial assistance: gift aid, in which money is given without a need to repay, as in scholarships and grants; and self-help aid in the form of employment or student loans. Financial aid may be awarded on a need basis, for those who have financial hardship; on a merit basis, for those who've excelled academically; or for a combination of both. To apply for financial aid, students may be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. From these submissions, eligible candidates are selected. Other financial awards, such as merit scholarships or student grants, may be offered by the state in which you live. Ask the school's financial aid office for details.