The best cosmetology schools in Minnesota

Minnesota doesn’t have as many beauty schools as the bigger states, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality! Anyone looking for the best Minnesota cosmetology school has plenty of options, each with their own unique selling points.



Hastings Beauty School

Hastings Beauty School has been around since 1985, and boasts an impressive 86% graduation rate.

Its main selling point is its size: it’s deliberately small! No practical class ever has more than 12 students to one teacher, meaning you get more attention and your questions answered quickly. Students comment on the laid-back atmosphere at the school, and praise its supportive instructors.

The cosmetology program lasts 48 weeks, and costs $14,150 plus $2,470 in books and supplies. This makes it one of the more inexpensive schools on our list. Another unique feature is that because of the school’s location, the school can prepare you to qualify in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Hastings beauty school

Minnesota School of Cosmetology

MSC has two campuses: in Plymouth and Woodbury, and dates all the way back to 1950!

It has a major emphasis on careers, with a dedicated department to help you develop a career strategy, identify job openings and even conduct mock interviews. Students love its high-energy vibe and family atmosphere, and rave about how supportive and helpful the instructors are.

Tuition for their Cosmetology program costs $21,700, plus $1,350 for kit. As with most schools, financial aid and scholarships are available to help with the cost.

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Minnesota school of cosmetology

Model College of Hair Design

Model College offers a 10-month Cosmetology course that costs $15,900 plus $1,550 for kit and books. It has a graduation rate of 73%.

It boasts an impressive 10:1 teacher to student ratio, to makes sure you get plenty of individual attention. They also partner with nine different retail lines, making sure you start your career with exceptional product knowledge. It’s also big on flexibility: it offers evening and Saturday classes to help you work around your schedule, and also has an “earn while you learn” program where the money you earn can be credited towards your tuition costs.

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Model college of hair design

Nova Academy of Cosmetology

Nova Academy has campuses in Rochester and Mankato. Their Cosmetology program costs a total of $19,750, including $3,300 for kit.

The course takes 51 weeks full-time, and is made up of 420 hours of theory plus 1,330 practical hours. The graduation rate is over 90%.

The school’s motto is “The beauty school that turns your talent into a career”, and this is reflected in a curriculum that has an emphasis on business training as well as cutting and coloring. It describes itself as “a student focused forward thinking school that offers hands on, real life training to its students.”

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Nova Academy of Cosmetology

PCI Academy – Plymouth Campus

The Cosmetology program at PCI academy costs $20,012, which is inclusive of all books and materials. Courses in Esthetics and Nail Technology are also available.

PCI was established in Minnesota in 2002 (having already been in Iowa since the 1970s), and it has a strong emphasis on business skills and career development as well as technical skills. Another plus is the all-inclusive pricing: the cost includes not only tuition and kit, but they’ll also pay your first state board exam and your licensing fee for you!

Finally, PCI is big on flexibility: they offer 20, 30, and 40 hour per week options so you can fit your study around whatever is going on in your life.

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PCI academy minnesota

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