Editorial: Beauty schools may be biggest scam in higher education – Des Moines Register


opinion

A recent New York Times investigation underscores what the Des Moines Register editorial board has been saying for years: Attending an Iowa cosmetology school may be a huge and expensive mistake.

The Times interviewed Tracy Lozana, who borrowed $21,000 to cover tuition and supplies at a beauty school near Des Moines. After graduating and obtaining the required state license to legally cut hair in this state, the young mother got a job at Great Clips, where she earned $9 per hour. 

Thirteen years later — after also working at Pizza Hut and relying on food stamps — she still owes more than $8,000. 

The story is familiar. It is one a Register editorial writer has heard repeatedly from young Iowa women who dreamed of “doing hair” for a living. They are among the victims of this state’s cosmetology laws, which the Iowa Legislature needs to reform. 

In this state, anyone who so much as touches the hair on someone else’s head must obtain a state license. That requires 2,100 hours of education and training under Iowa law. With no community colleges offering cosmetology education here, people who want to work in the beauty industry head to for-profit schools. 

A 2013 Register editorial investigation into these businesses found the average cost of attendance ranged from about $20,000 to more than $30,000 to complete programs that run about 14 months — more than the cost of attending a community college for two years.

Once enrolled, students become unpaid laborers who work for months providing haircuts, facials and manicures to customers. Students interviewed by the Register also reported spending their time sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms and standing around waiting for customers to visit. Some said they were pressured to sell shampoo and other products. 

Money flows to the school from every direction. It collects tuition from students, payments from the federal government for education loans and grants, and money from customers for beauty services.

If you’re a business, it doesn’t get any better than this. 

If you’re a student, it is not such a good deal. A spokesperson for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said last week the office has received an average of about one complaint per month over the last two years about La’ James International College, which offers cosmetology classes.

It has been more than 50 years since Clyde Kenyon, a former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Barbering Division, observed what remains true today: Barber and cosmetology schools are the only business where “people pay you to work for nothing.” 

More: Expanding education choices for low-income families must be a 2019 Iowa Legislature priority

Lawmakers can abolish cosmetology licensing, and the industry can offer certification and training. They could also dramatically reduce Iowa’s ridiculously high 2,100-hour training requirement. No state mandates more hours, and most require significantly less. New York requires 1,000, and it’s doubtful people in the Big Apple are suffering any more bad haircuts than people here.

Iowa has many arcane licensing laws that thwart business growth, make it more difficult for people to find work, limit competition and hurt our economy. A state license should not be required to interpret sign language or fit hearing aids. But the worst of all licensing laws are the ones related to cosmetology. 

They neither protect public safety nor ensure students receive a quality education. Instead, they force students — frequently young women who are poor enough to obtain Pell grants — into slave labor at beauty schools. And the ones who actually do graduate will be lucky if they earn enough to pay off their student loan debt.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

What's Your Reaction?

Cry Cry
0
Cry
Cute Cute
0
Cute
Damn Damn
0
Damn
Dislike Dislike
0
Dislike
Like Like
0
Like
Lol Lol
0
Lol
Love Love
0
Love
Win Win
0
Win
WTF WTF
0
WTF

Comments 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

More From: School

DON'T MISS

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format