Gayle Hays, owner of Sunnyside Beauty Academy, put in three days at an accredidation workshop in St. Louis, Mo. to learn what hoops she has to jump through to be sure students are eligible for federal monetary support.
The beauty academy has already received the accredidation it needs to make its students eligible to receive state money to fund their education.
"But we need to receive Title IV so the students can apply for federal financial aid," said Hays.
Hays and her cosmotology instructor, Joann Brown, came home from the three-day workshop loaded down with books and what seems like a ton of paperwork to help them through the process.
Hays said she is excited about the possibility of helping extend additional financial help to students. At the present time, students receiving state aid have to meet specific requirements, but federal funds would be open to a wider range of people, she said.
As the process continues, Hays said she can expect an on-site visit to her Sunnyside school from a representative of the National Accredidation Commission of Cosmetology.
The academy is also in the middle of a two-year process to enable it to work with high school students enrolled in her program through the vocational programs in their high schools, which pay their fees. Participating high schools at this time are Mabton and Grandview.
"We have 10 students from these high schools, and we insist they maintain their grades at school. If they don't, they have to leave our school until they get their grades up," said Hays. "We certainly don't put them out, we just say they must work on their grades before they can come back, because the academy doesn't take the place of school. It's in addition to it."
Hays and Brown were kept so busy during their three-day stay in St. Louis that they couldn't find time to catch the St. Louis Cardinals' game that was being played near their hotel.
She said they were in class while the Cardinals were playing what most people thought was their last ever game at Busch Stadium.
"Everybody, and I mean everybody, was wearing red on Tuesday. I wish we could have gone to the game."
As it turns out, the Cardinals will play another game at Busch this week, as the Houston Astros failed to eliminate St. Louis from the playoffs last night.