What Are Golden School Awards?

AACS presents the fourth annual Golden School Awards. Do you have the finest facilities, the best school culture, or does your school create a positive impact on the community? Are you “school of the year” material? We have simplified the 2023 submission process and all AACS members receive their first entry for free!  In addition, we have changed the judging criteria to accommodate campus and school group size to recognize the diverse size and complexity of our institutions.

AACS is excited to receive entries that showcase your successes. Here’s a tip; videos and lots of images are highly encouraged! We want to highlight all your hard work and achievements, because we know our schools go above and beyond and deserve to be recognized. All entries will be judged fairly by beauty and wellness professionals who are independent from AACS.

You have the opportunity to submit your school for one or all nine categories.

  • Advocacy
  • Community Involvement
  • Facilities
  • Legacy Alumni
  • Marketing Innovation
  • Placement
  • School Culture
  • Student Salon & Spa
  • School of the Year

WINNERS will be announced at the AACS Annual Convention – October 25-27 in Houston!

Benefits of participating:

  • A trophy to display on campus and boost your school’s reputation
  • A digital badge to add to your website and social media
  • Publication in the AACS Updates Newsletter
  • A feature on the AACS website and social media pages
  • Acknowledgement and recognition

Participating for 2024 is easy as 1..2..3:

  1. Register your intent to participate by campus and category. Remember, it’s $149 per campus/location and you can enter as many of the categories as you’d like!
  2. Gather your documentation and submit it to the online portal between August 7-13, 2024. This is where you will submit your entry:
  3. Attend the AACS Annual Conference, October 25-27 in Houston, to find out if you’re a winner or finalist!

Guidelines and Planning

Planning Documents – Please Download

Download Category Descriptions and Judging Criteria


GSA 2024 Planning Document


After you successfully register and pay for your entry, please carefully review the category descriptions and judging criteria.

Feel free to make your submissions as long as you need to fully describe why your campus deserves to win. Supporting documents such as photos, videos, and screenshots are not required, but are highly encouraged.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be an AACS member to submit an application?

Yes. The Golden School Awards are only open to current AACS member schools. If you would like to learn more about AACS membership, please reach out to the AACS office at info@beautyschools.org or fill out a member application here.

What makes a successful entry? 

No one knows your campus like you. The judges will be looking for responses that come from the heart and truly embody the award that you are applying for.

Can I submit one entry for all my campuses?

While one brand may have multiple campuses, each campus is unique! Therefore, all applications are campus specific.

When are entries due?

All applications must be submitted through the online portal between August 7-13, 2024.

Is there a cost to enter?

The entry fee is $149 per campus per category and you can enter as many of the categories as you want.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced at the AACS Annual Conference, October 25-27 in Houston.

What kind of supporting documents can I upload?

Applicants can submit any type of supporting documents! The follow file types are all accepted by the application: .jpg, .png, .pdf, .mp4, .mov. If you are unsure, reach out to the AACS office at info@beautyschools.org.

Is there a size limit for uploading my supporting documents?

Individual files can be a maximum of 1GB. There is no limit on how many files you can upload.

What is the best way to use my award?

Display your trophy at your campus! Add the digital badges to your website, and any landing page you have. Remember, just by adding a digital badge to a paid ads landing page has proven to increase leads by 37.25%! Schools have found other creative ways to share news. Some have printed a banner and put it up in the school. They’ve thrown celebration parties for their staff and students. Everything they do they’ve documented with video or photos and put it on their social media. Schools have even added the badges to their email signatures. According to previous winners, the benefits of winning one of these prestigious awards also helps with recruiting staff.