Currently, the cost of education is the biggest barrier for families and individuals who are looking to gain a new skill or pursue a new passion. To counter this, the DigitalCrafts team placed education accessibility at the top of its list of priorities at the beginning of 2017, and we've made tremendous strides over the past 6 months to support this effort. One major area of focus was to innovate on the way students financed their tuition to attend our full-stack software development program.
Below, I've outlined 3 different ways students can finance their tuition to attend one of our programs.
#1 No tuition until you're hired (available for Immersive students only)
Yes, that's correct. DigitalCrafts recently launched a way for students to avoid paying tuition until after they graduate and land their first job. Introducing, income share agreements (ISA). ISAs are an innovative way for educational institutions to really tie the effectiveness of their training to the overall success of the organization. At DigitalCrafts, our success is directly correlated with the successes of our students and even more so with ISAs.
How does this work? Well, every school that offers an ISA will have different rules and policies around their offering. Here's how it works at DigitalCrafts in 5 easy steps.
1. Apply for an ISA prior to starting class. If approved, you will need to submit a $1,000 deposit to secure your seat in a class.
2. Attend class and focus 100% on your learning.
3. Graduate and begin the job search.
4. Once you accept a job with a starting salary above $40,000, you will start paying for your tuition.
5. Pay 15% of salary for 3 years (or 36 months) with a max tuition payment of $28,000 (including your deposit).
Here's an example of how the math works.
Let's say you land a job at $50,000 after graduating from DigitalCrafts.
Step 1: Secure your seat in class with $1,000.
Year 1: You land a temporary job earning $50,000 as a Software Engineering Apprentice. In year 1, you would pay 15% of your salary which equals $7,500.
Year 2: After working hard for 1 year as an Apprentice, you are hired on full-time as a Junior Engineer and are compensated accordingly with a new salary of $60,000. In year 2, you would 15% of your new salary which equals $9,000.
Year 3: After two years of hard work, you're promoted from a Junior Engineer to a Software Engineer and start earning $70,000. In year 3, you would pay 15% of your new salary equalling $10,500.
Over the course of 3 years, you would pay a total of $28,000 in this scenario (which is the max payment).
If for some reason you earned more within your first 3 years, you would only pay a maximum amount of $28,000 and no more. If you earned less, then you would pay less than $28,000 over 3 years. It is important to note that you will pay much more for tuition when using an ISA, but it does remove a lot of the risk when taking on an investment in your education and future. Also, if you lose your job or your salary goes below $40,000 for whatever reason after graduation your payments will pause until you are back on your feet.
#2 Financing Your Tuition with a 3rd Party Loan (available for Immersive & Flex students)
A second way to finance your educational investment is through a standard loan. We've partnered with Skills Fund, a leading financing partner in the coding bootcamp industry, to provide our students with a safe and flexible plan. Our offerings are different depending on which program you attend, and I've provided a high-level example below to illustrate.
For Immersive students, you can select to finance your entire tuition over a 3 or 5-year loan. One aspect that makes Skills Fund unique is that it sets a fixed interest rate over the period of your loan regardless of your credit score which helps students plan accordingly over the long run. In addition to a fixed interest rate, Skills Fund also provides a grace period for Immersive students allowing them to make interest-only payments for the first 6-months of the loan before paying the principal down.
For Flex students, you also can select to finance your entire tuition over a 3 or 5-year loan at a fixed interest rate. The only difference if you are a Flex student is that there is no interest-only grace period. The reason for this is that Flex students are most likely working during the day and can use their salary to begin paying off their loan (not the case for Immersive students).
To learn more about the specifics of the Skills Fund and DigitalCrafts partnership, you can click here.
#3 Payment plan (available to Flex students only)
In addition to the two ways mentioned above, Flex students also have the option to pay for their tuition in 4 equal payments throughout the 26-week course. This approach is the most financial savvy approach if you have the capital and can plan accordingly and not put your personal finances in jeopardy.
In addition to the 3 approaches above, there are many other ways students can pay for their tuition including an upfront payment. As you begin your research, be sure to research credit cards, state and federally funded programs, raising money on crowd-sourcing platforms, or asking your friends and family for support.
If you ever have any questions regarding how to pay for your tuition or which approach might be the best, you can always reach out to our team directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope that helps!