Q: How do I apply to attend school?
A: We think it is important for a student to visit our school so that they can see for themselves what makes us different from other schools. After reviewing the general information on our web site, we suggest you call our Admissions Director (Richard West) and set up an appointment to tour the school and have any and all of your questions answered. There is absolutely no obligation to enroll when you visit our school. The plain fact is that if you were not excited about attending our school when you do visit, we would prefer you to wait to make a decision until you are. His telephone number is 864-322-0300.
Q: Where can I find out more about the school and the programs it offers?
A: In addition to answers to the questions that we are frequently asked found on this page, our web site has a wealth of information about our school, its faculty, its course offerings and its curriculum. It also contains other information of interest to most prospective students. Still, you will probably have some specific questions that are not answered in this material. Further, there is no way you can adequately judge any school without actually visiting it. The decision you make concerning which school you will attend is far too important to make without actually visiting. The best way to have specific questions answered is through an in person visit. Call and schedule an appointment with Mr. West (864-322-0300), our Admissions Director, to tour the school and have all your questions answered. Again, there is absolutely no obligation to you arising from visiting our campus. In fact, we will never contact you again if you don't decide to attend on your own. We do not believe in pressuring someone to make a decision to attend. While visiting, we invite you to have a complimentary service. If you have time, this would afford you the opportunity to ask a student what she or he thinks about the school. We encourage you to take the time to sit in at least a portion of a class as well. Seeing is believing. We will also gladly show you hard statistics on state board pass rates and placement as well. We will never ask you to accept our word on these important factors that affect your ultimate success. We have found from experience when students visit our school and are indeed serious about entering this field; they are so impressed with what we have to offer that they will choose our school.
Q: Why doesn't the Academy have branches in other cities?
A: Even though we have a national and even an international reputation, we have elected not to branch into other cities. While none of the school's owners teach cosmetology or nails, they are very much hands-on managers who believe their daily presence helps assure a quality program. The accomplishment of our students at various student competition events throughout the country and world has led to students from other geographic areas temporarily moving to Greenville to attend school. We are approved to accept foreign students by the INS, thus we have also had students from other countries attend as well. The Greenville community has apartments available at varying prices, from very basic to luxurious living.
Q: What type of kit is provided and how much does it cost?
A: The Academy is not in the beauty supply business. We do not operate a book store. We believe that when practical and economically feasible, it is better for the student to purchase exactly the quality of tools desired that can be afforded. We realize some material is not readily available in the Greenville area. For this reason, we supply all textbooks needed for the student to use while in school. They remain the property of the school; however, it is our policy to award them to anyone who graduates. To keep our costs down, we do re-issue textbooks to students if available, but such texts are always in serviceable condition. The nail technician is given a list of other supplies and equipment that will be needed over the course of the program of study. Typically, these can be purchased for about $350 from area beauty supply houses. The textbook is supplied. The esthetician is also given a list of supplies that will be needed to be purchased as well. Typically, the cost for such is less than $300. Texts are furnished. The cosmetologist is given all the texts necessary. There is a difference between wants and needs, and, while not required, most students spend from $650 to $800 to purchase the tools and supplies needed for school. We provide a listing of exactly what is needed and when and typically a student will not have to pay more than $150 in any six week period.
Q: Who are the key people I need to contact to enroll in school?
A: Richard West is the Director of Admissions. All prospective applicants are introduced to the school through him. To arrange an appointment to tour our school and have your questions answered; call 864-322-0300. Robert MacElhiney, the Director or the Academy, also handles financial aid. After a student has made a commitment to attend the Academy, an appointment with him can be made through Mr. West to discuss the availability of financial aid. It is the position of the Academy that while financial aid provides help in paying for an education, but the availability of such should not be a reason for choosing the Academy over other schools. In other words, people that want to attend our school should want to attend our school because of the superior education we offer, not because we are eligible to participate in financial aid programs. James W. King, Jr., is the President. He handles placement of our graduates and is the person to talk to if you want to know what type career positions recent graduates have been able to secure.
Q: What class schedules are available?
A: Since we offered a structured program, there is not a lot of flexibility in class schedules. Further, in order to benefit from our classes, you have to be here. Good attendance is essential. Simply put, we cannot teach you if you are not here. Our cosmetology program is only offered in the day. Students enroll as accelerated students and attend Tuesday through Friday, from 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM. After completing the Freshman program (12 weeks) such students could elect to come in on all or some Saturdays to complete the required 1500 hours quicker provided they had perfect attendance the prior week. In addition to class time, students need to have time to study assignments and prepare for tests. Following this schedule, a student can be expected to complete the required 1500 hours in program just under twelve months (50-weeks). Students are allowed to miss 30 scheduled hours without having to pay additional absent charges. Further, after completing their first twelve weeks, cosmetology students can come in on Saturdays (9:00 am to 3:30 pm) to make up missed time or graduate earlier. Our nail technology program is only offered in the evening. Students are scheduled to attend class Tuesday through Thursday, from 6:00 PM through 10:00 PM. Following this schedule, a student can be expected to complete the required 300 hours in program in six months. If a student never missed, they would complete this program in twenty-five weeks. Students are allowed to miss up to two weeks or take as long as 27 weeks to complete at no extra charge. It is important to realize that 300 hours is not a lot of time to master skills and develop speed necessary to work in a salon successfully. We feel that once a skill has been mastered, the student is just as able to practice it at home to gain necessary speed skills. Once a mastery of a skill has been demonstrated, an assignment must be completed each week at home and brought into class on Tuesday to be graded by the instructor. The time required to complete the project each attempt is recorded by the student. Once the speed necessary for salon work is claimed, the student will be timed at the school. When the speed skill level is verified, it will be checked off. Again, prior to attempting such assignments at home, the instructor is comfortable with the student's mastery of the skill itself. These home-practice assignments make it possible for our students to acquire the skills and speed necessary to succeed in a salon while minimizing the time the student needs to spend in school and therefore the costs of a quality education. Our esthetics program is also an evening program. Our surveys of the industry indicate that the 450 minimum set by state law is not adequate to provide the type training we want to. Our 600 hour program includes basic esthetics (facials and make-up) as well as advanced training in body wraps and micro-abrasion. It is offered from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm, Monday through Thursday and, if the student has perfect attendance, takes thirty weeks to complete. Again, students are allowed up to thirty-two weeks (2 weeks absence) to complete the program at no additional charge. Homework assignments involve additional time.
Q: When do your classes start?
A: Although we are a clock hour institution, we offer a structured program. Classes start eight times a year, pretty much on a six-week cycle. The starting date for the next class available can be determined by calling our office and speaking to Mr. West. Because enrollment is limited in each start, typically classes are filled up some time before the start date. For this reason, it is a good idea to make a commitment to sign up for class as soon as you are certain. A non-refundable $100.00 admissions fee is all that is required to hold a seat.
Q: How can financial aid help me pay for college?
A: The nail technician program is only 300 hours in length and so does not qualify for any financial aid. The school has payment plans, but the least a student can expect to pay is $300 the first month ($100 admissions fee and $200 tuition) and $250 for each of the next six months. Since we are an accredited school, payments made for tuition do earn a Hope Tax Credit and so in many cases most of the money paid is able to be recovered through a reduction in taxes owed at the end of the next year. Both the cosmetology and esthetician program are Title-IV eligible. In almost all cases, the cost cosmetology program can be covered using a combination of grants, student loans and parent loans. This is also true for the esthetics programs for dependent students. For independent students, the student may have to pay some monies (about $1,200) but this can be paid in installment payments. Most of our students do not rely on financial aid to pay for tuition. We have a number of payment plans available. Essentially the total tuition owed is divided into the months the student is in school. A student interested in applying for financial aid should be aware that recent changes exist in the way Title-IV is administered. If a student doesn't attend at least 60% of a payment period (a little over nine weeks of actual class attendance), much of the aid a student may have been eligible for has to be refunded. Now for the good news: (a) Payments made for school by a student or a parent earns a tax credit (HOPE) which means that in many cases the student (or parent) will get most of this money back at the end of the year when filing taxes. (b) The Tax Credit would cover up to $3,000 of the first $4,000 in payments if more were paid.