Gregory Matthews helping student complete FAFSA

Understanding Financial Aid With Gregory Matthews

Planning to go to school can seem overwhelming, but applying for financial aid doesn’t have to be. Federal financial aid, specifically Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans, as well as, Pell Grants are available to those who qualify in the Cosmetology, Barbering, Esthiology, Ayurveda Esthetic and Massage Therapy programs at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness. Additionally, The Institute of Beauty and Wellness offers payment plans for all programs, as well as scholarship opportunities.

We also encourage our students to apply for any national scholarships that are available.  Several national beauty and wellness scholarships are awarded each year through companies such as and  These options combined can help off set the cost of tuition and make the programs even more affordable for anyone.

We met with The Institute of Beauty and Wellness financial aid administrator, Gregory Mathews, to break down the process.

Learn how the FAFSA helps students get access to federal loans and grants for education.

Q: Who qualifies for financial aid?

A: “Almost all of our [Cosmetology, Barbering, Esthiology, Ayurveda Esthetic and Massage Therapy] students qualify for the maximum amount in Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans.”

Q: How do students know if they qualify?

A: Students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. As the name indicates, there is no cost to fill out the FAFSA, and it can be filled out online at

Q: When should students apply for financial aid?

A: As soon as possible. “If a student is starting after July 1, 2019, and they’re estimated to graduate before July 1, 2020, they only have to do the 2019-2020 FAFSA. What it’s looking at is, are they going to be in school next July. So if they’re going to be in school after July 1 of next year, then they would be doing the 2020-2021 FAFSA.”

Q: So there’s a FAFSA for each academic year. Does that mean students have to fill out the FAFSA more than once?

A: “What I always tell students is, if it’s not too much of a hardship, they should complete all the FAFSAs available to just to cover yourself and make yourself eligible for as much financial aid as you can.”

Q: So…when exactly should students apply for financial aid?

A: “Submit your FAFSA as soon as you can. It’s free. Do both FAFSAs.”

Q: How do I know if I’m considered an independent or a dependent applicant?

A: “With the 2019-20 FAFSA, a student is considered an independent student if they were born before January 1, 1996. With the 2019-2020 FAFSA, it’s if they’re born before January 1, 1997.”

Q: Can someone under the independent age requirement be an independent?

A: Generally, someone under the independent age requirement can be independent because of their marital status or if they have a child. “If someone [under the independent age requirement] is married, the government would say you’re an independent student. Then, the second [exception to the independent age requirement] would be, if the they have a child or dependent that they provide more than 50% financial support to.”

Q: Can a student get financial aid if they owe money from a previous federal loan for school?
A: “They should still be able to get financial aid. In that situation, I always try to tell the student, to make sure to add our school code (038083) to their FAFSA and then I can determine their eligibility.”

Q: What programs do not qualify for federal financial aid?

A: Federal financial aid is not available to shorter programs, which includes the Manicuring and Instructor programs, as well as all advanced trainings and workshops.

Q: What is available to students who do not qualify for financial aid?

A: “There’s a payment plan to the school that’s interest-free.”

Q: Can federal financial aid be combined with the payment plan?

A: “Yes, they definitely can.”

Q: How will students know if they qualify for financial aid or the payment plan?

A: “Be sure to check your email and text messages for communication from the school.”

Click here if you would like more information about our programs or if you would like some assistance with understanding financial aid email  We would love to help you!

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