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DOE proposing a new rule which would impact personal service jobs

Cosmetology and other personal service jobs designated as 'low value programs'
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Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-22 06:51:44-04

The Department of Education (DOE) is proposing a change that would impact how some students pay for school.

The DOE has proposed a change to the Gainful Employment rule, designating barbering, cosmetology, and other personal service jobs as “low-value programs.”

CEO of theCut app Obi Omile is asking for signatures and public comments from the community to speak on the DOE’s proposal since it would limit access to financial aid for students seeking enrollment in the programs.

“Their rationale is being that these professions don’t generate enough income or earnings for the student. And so, the loan is more of a burden than some sort of economic success,” Omile said.

Arianna Olivares is graduating from Cosmetology school in a week. She said she has a scholarship but still had to pay for other items.

Olivares said limiting financial aid for students in certificate programs means it will be harder for students to afford school.

“Financial aid is necessary for young students in today’s world with prices going up; us young students need the help to getting an education to further a better life for ourselves,” Olivares said.

Celeste Garza is a student at House of Elegance Cosmetology School in Corpus Christi.

Garza said even though she receives some financial assistance from her parents, it’s still tough paying for school and supplies.

“All the people I see that have all of their colors and their foils stocked on their shelves, that’s a lot of money. That’s like 2 to $3,000 just for that,” Garza said.

Omile said this doesn’t just impact students.

“If I’m a school owner, own a barber school, will I have enough students enrolling on a regular cadence to make this barber school viable in this location,” Omile said.

According to U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics, as of May 2022, Texas is the number one state for employment for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists, with an annual mean wage of just over $30,000.

As of May 2022, Texas also is the number one state for employment for barbers, with an annual mean wage of over $37,000.

“People are getting their haircut hair done every two weeks. It’s one of the most things people look at the most, and its appearance,” Olivares said.

“It wouldn’t be fair to cut financial aid and stuff like that because it really helps a lot of people,” Garza said.

Department of Education will make a ruling November 1.

For a link to the cut app, click here.