Cosmetology school to host fashion show

Students at the Salon Professional Academy in Iowa City will have the chance to show off what they've learned during a fashion show Tuesday night at the First Avenue Club, 1550 S. First Ave. in Iowa City.

More than 40 students from the cosmetology school have been working for weeks with models to develop outfits, hair and make-up for the show.

"It's basically an evening where students showcase their work through fashion," said Emily Hesseltine, director of admissions at the academy. "It's a big celebration."

During the Night of Fashion and Style fashion show, students will bring to life different music genres, including hip-hop, reggae, disco, opera and others, Hesseltine said.

The program offers students a chance to show off their abilities to local business owners and network with potential employers, she said.

It also gives them a chance to think outside the box and get creative with their work.

"The industry right now is very artsy," Hesseltine said. "It gets them thinking differently and expressing who they are."

Hesseltine expects more than 200 people to attend the second annual show.

The Professional Salon Academy opened four years ago and has nearly 50 students.

Student Cortnie McCleary, 22 of Muscatine, said the fashion show is exactly the type of event she hoped to become involved with by attending the school.

"I'm really excited," McCleary said. "Fashion is what made me get into the industry. I really like fashion and the runway part of it. Now I'll get to see what that's like rather than being in a salon."

In addition to showcasing student work, the school will celebrate another major milestone.

Administrators learned earlier this month they have been approved to begin accepting federal financial aid for students.

To accept financial aid, a school must become accredited by a recognized accrediting agency and receive an official signature from the Department of Education, said Mary Watson, partner and financial aid officer at the school.

It is a significant step because it allows students more options for funding their education, Watson said.

"It definitely benefits the students for a school to be able to offer federal aid," Watson said. "They're going to be able to have tuition costs and living expenses met much easier."