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Are You Accredited?

We don't get this question every day but we are asked this question from time to time. Most people don't actually understand what accreditation is, and many, many more don't realize that over 90% of all beauty schools are really, really horrible. It's not that they're just not good, they're HORRIBLE, bad, terrible, etc..

Marinello Beauty Schools were all "accredited" beauty schools, which means that they jumped through some very complicated hoops and paid a lot of money so that they could accept federal money to finance their students. Many people think that if a school is "accredited" that this is the same as being branded as being 'good" by the US government. This is an artificial standing that holds little credibility within the beauty industry. This is similar to a cook getting a job in France. In the US an applicant would walk into a kitchen with a resume while a cook applying for a job in France would walk into a kitchen with his knives and the chef would hand them a potato so that he could watch their skills. Top salons require a test haircut, or two. This is to see if you have any skills not if you have a magic paper.

So, if Marinella had 56 accredited schools this would mean that these were good schools, right? Yet on February 5th, 2016, Marinella closed all 56 of their accredited schools due to fraud specifically related to their governmental financing. Regency Beauty Schools had 79 accredited beauty schools, so they must also be good, right? And yet, they closed all of their accredited beauty schools in September 2016, Regency closed all of their 79 accredited beauty schools also specifically related to governmental financing. So much for accreditation representing quality.

These schools not only closed, but they also ripped off their students by requiring their former students to pay their tuition payments even though they were not able to complete their training or to attend classes at the closed schools. Some people will try to tell you that the big chain schools are problematic but the "designer" or "brand" schools like TIGI, Paul Mitchell and Schwarzkoph are really good and they're accredited. Don't try attending the Schwarzkoph beauty school in Bellingham then, because they also closed do to financing problems. The Paul Mitchell school in St. George also closed. The Paul Mitchell, Schwarzkoph and TIGI schools are better than the others mentioned here but their tuition costs are also three, four or even five times higher. In fact, Renon's Beauty School in Seattle, the horrible school that I first attended was purchased (after I left) by a new owner who converted it into a Paul Mitchell school, which then closed. What would you think about a school that doesn't keep its commitments to you but requires that you keep your financial commitments to them leaving you with many, many thousands of dollars of debt but no way to repay this debt, because they closed and left you stranded. Couldn't happen?

If you think that this couldn't happen because the government is involved and they will protect you, think again. The very reason these schools ended up in the terrible situation they were in was because of government involvement. Take one incompetent government program, run by incompetent government employees, mix this with one, or several, greedy school owners and you're well started on the recipes of corruption, fraud and disappointment.

Accreditation in the beauty industry doesn't have the same outcome as academic schools because you're not going to be able to take your "credits" from a beauty school and then apply for your master's degree at a "school of higher learning" within the beauty industry and then after that, you can't take your credits with you and get a Ph.D. at a school of even higher learning. The entire reason beauty school seek accreditation is to secure financing for their students. ESPECIALLY if some of these financing options is free in the form of grants.

On the left is an "accredited" beauty school that charges THREE times more than we do, They bunched a lot of people into one giant room instead of separate facial rooms, they have no facial beds. They have their "clients" suspended between two cheap chairs with their feet on one end and their backs on the other chair with their heads and shoulders strained onto the flat surface on a stack of towels. Is this experience worth over $17,000? On the right is our "unaccredited" beauty school where students are in actual facial rooms where we do things properly instead of jimmyrigging a bogus facial experience. This is our facial experience and it's only about $6,000. Are you starting to get the picture?

People have the wrong idea about financing. I remember one very confused applicant to contacted us numerous times because she didn't understand why she would have to pay for her tuition, her housing, her books or her student kit because she was a "single mom." She really, truly believed that because she was a single parent that everything should be free for her as if she had attained some special status that would place her on a pedestal. She wanted us to directed her to all of these free programs and when we tried to explain to her that there were no programs just for single moms she didn't believe us.

When we first started our school we tried to include some special government financing programs. We had a student who signed up and began taking classes, but their vehicle broke down because they never changed the oil. Then they got a bike, but the bike got a flat tire. Then they got a skateboard but the wheel broke. After they dropped out we found out that this was the seventh program that they had dropped out of. We've had students in these programs complete their training just to get a job in the fast food industry when they could have gotten this same job without any training. The governmental agency counted this as a "successful placement" because the student got a job. A job they could have easily gotten if they had simply applied for without attending our school and wasting thousands and thousands of tax payer's money. Because of this we no longer accept J.T.P.A. funding, most D.V.R. funding, etc. In the case of J.T.P.A. we made special note that in every occasion they lied to us or lied to our student regarding their financial arrangements or the status of the student.

Why don't you accept this type of payment? Beyond the lying, and the fake placement statistics, the main reason is that to qualify for this type of financing you must prove that you have one huge obstacle that is standing in your path to success or two or three medium obstacles while we specifically test each applicant to make sure that there are no obstacles in their path to success. So, obviously there are opposite philosophies at work here and clashes are bound to occur. This doesn't prevent hostile, rude and even abusive employees of these government agencies from trying to force us to accept their financing every couple of years. Now, we simply don't respond to them. We do however get perspective students who show up with a list of questions that they must ask at least three schools before they can complete their screening process. These are just some of the many reasons that we put all of this information on our web pages.

So, while we don't have a problem with accredited beauty schools, we find that there are many more problems with the attached financing than problems that are solved and almost without incident, these schools have much worse curriculums than small, private beauty schools. In fact, because of this trend, we are a very small, private boutique beauty school. We have much better placement rates and much, much better success rates after the person is successfully placed in the beauty industry. Our tuition is just a fraction of these other beauty schools as well. We also have some of the best hairdressing and esthetics training programs in the entire country and the best esthetician student kit in the world that we are aware of. And we are able to accomplish all of this with much lower tuition rates.

We do accept Alaska Student Loans, some grants from Native Corporations and payment plans but the largest share (by far) of our students pay for their training 30 days before the beginning of their program.

These are just some of the reasons that we haven't pursued accreditation to secure another financing option for our training programs and because we are usually booked solid for the upcoming months on a regular basis, we probably won't be pursuing this option in the future.

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