One of the biggest barriers to entry for bootcamp students is the cost of tuition, but there are many potential solutions. Here we explore various options to help you fund your future bootcamp and help you to get one step closer to achieving your coding education dreams!
Coding bootcamps and other non-traditional education programs have broken the mold when it comes to higher education by offering accelerated training at a lower cost. While the financial and personal investment of a bootcamp is significantly lower than traditional 4-year institutions, (costing an average of $40,722 annually), most students still don’t have $8,000 - $21,000 laying around to cover the upfront cost.
The bad news is most bootcamps don’t accept federal financial aid. There are a select few that do via the experimental EQUIP program, but most require alternative options to fund education initiatives.
When researching potential programs, make sure to keep all of these funding options in mind:
Up Front Payment
When possible, the best option is paying tuition with cash or savings to avoid interest fees. Financing, credit cards, personal loans, etc. typically have interest involved, thereby increasing the total amount you spend.
Sometimes friends or family are willing to loan or even gift students their tuition. This is a great option for people with poor or no credit. Asking around may surprise you.
Another way to foot the bill for a bootcamp is by credit card. If you have well-established credit, you can likely get approved for a credit card with a high enough limit to pay the entire balance. Alternatively, the balance may be enough to supplement a scholarship or savings account balance.
Sometimes it’s possible to land a credit card with 0% interest for 12-15 months. This enables students to put tuition on a credit card, attend their bootcamp, land a tech job, then pay off the card before the 0% interest expires.
This can be a good option for students that are working while studying, offering them more control than a personal loan. *Note - credit cards usually have higher interest rates than loans, which may end up costing you more.
In-house financing and payment plans are great options for students who don’t want to take out or don’t qualify for personal loans. In-house financing allows an institution to loan students their tuition, which can then be paid back to the institution itself via monthly installments.
The Tech Academy offers an in-house financing option that simply requires a minimum down payment to start, followed by affordable monthly payments. For this plan, no credit check is needed, and the monthly payments are flexible based on how large the initial down payment was.
Many schools have scholarships available for women, veterans, and people from underrepresented communities. There are also scholarships available for low-income students and students who have previously attained Computer Science degrees.
Bootcamps like The Tech Academy have launched scholarship programs, including a Women in Tech Scholarship, Veteran Scholarship, and Diversity in Tech Scholarship, in efforts to make education more accessible and to promote inclusion and diversity in tech.
Scholarship amounts and criteria range from bootcamp to bootcamp. You can find a full list of 2018 scholarships here.
Bootcamp Lenders/Personal Loans
Lenders like SkillsFund, ClimbCredit, and Earnest partner with bootcamps to provide fair and flexible loans for coding bootcamp students. Varying slightly from traditional personal loans, these loans are short term, have a quicker application processing period, and may offer deferred or interest only payment until after graduation.
If a bootcamp is not partnered with a lender, another available option is a personal loan from a private lender. While approval for a personal loan might be more difficult, you may be able to find a loan with longer repayment terms and less stringent qualifications.
Be sure to shop around before taking out a personal loan and take note of repayment period, interest rates, additional fees and payment options.
If you’re enrolling in a coding bootcamp for professional development in your current role, see if your company offers tuition reimbursement or consider approaching your employer about sponsoring your education. It might take some time and persuasion on your part, so be ready to discuss the added value your education could bring to your employer.
One thing to ask and look for is whether or not the code school is offering a discount. Common examples of discounts are:
1. Up-front payment discounts: students who pay the full tuition up front typically pay less.
2. Pre-registering discounts: some schools charge less tuition cost to students who pay prior to classes starting.
3. End-of-the-month discounts: some bootcamps run monthly discounts which save students money if they pay before the end of a given month.
The Tech Academy has a discount for students who pay their tuition up front prior to the end of this month!
There are many options available to help students take the next step towards a new career in software development. With a little research and planning, you can set yourself up for success!
This post was sponsored by The Tech Academy