You’re interested in becoming a software engineer. You’re committed to changing your career. Congrats! You’ve already made some difficult decisions and have the mindset to succeed.

But there’s still one big question left to answer: How do you pay for a coding bootcamp?

Student loan debt is a concern for the 42.9 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.44 trillion in federal financial aid, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, private student loan debt is a reported $119.3 billion.

Returning to college and spending several years learning a new skill might be unreasonable for many people. Bootcamps help bridge that gap by offering a more efficient way to learn new skills or change careers.

But even if you want to change your career, you might be thinking you’re unable to afford a bootcamp.

The average cost of a coding bootcamp in 2018 was $11,900. That’s a serious upfront investment that might not be reasonable for many students. Some coding bootcamps offer direct monthly payment options without having to go through a financing partner.

Flatiron School offers an upfront payment option for our immersive Software Engineering, Data Science, and UX/UI design courses.Flatiron School also offers a monthly payment option for the Online Software Engineering Bootcamp.

  • For Immersive programs: Pay a deposit and the full tuition before class starts.
  • Pay a deposit for the Online Software Engineering Bootcamp and set up monthly payments via credit card or debit card for 10 months.
But, there are several coding bootcamp financing options that can make attending your ideal  bootcamp a reality. We’ll review what you can’t pay with and then how you CAN pay for a coding bootcamp in 2019.

Coding Bootcamp loans and financing

Can you get federal loans for coding bootcamps?

  • No, you can’t use federal financial aid to pay for a coding bootcamp
  • You can’t use Sallie Mae loans with coding bootcamps — Sallie Mae loans only apply to certificate granting trade schools

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step for most students entering college. Eligible students can complete the FAFSA to obtain federal financial aid to attend an accredited university or college. There are certain basic eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet to qualify for financial aid. Once you apply, you can obtain federal aid in the form of grants, loans, or work-study programs.

At this time you can’t use federal loans for coding bootcamps.

Sallie Mae also isn’t an option with bootcamps. They do offer loans for certificate granting trade schools, such as culinary schools, but not for coding bootcamps.

However, there’s a recently launched government program offering coding bootcamp loans.

Government programs for coding bootcamps

EQUIP

  • Good news: The Educational Quality through Innovative Partnership (EQUIP) is a pilot program offering federal financial aid to eligible students
    • Non-traditional providers are paired with accredited universities as part of EQUIP
  • Bad news: As of May 2019, EQUIP programs are still awaiting approval

In 2016, the Office of Educational Technology announced the Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) pilot program. EQUIP lets students use federal financial aid for non-traditional educational providers, including coding bootcamps and online courses. These non-traditional providers have partnered with accredited universities and a quality assurance entity to offer financial aid to low-income students.

EQUIP launched with eight partnerships, including one with Flatiron School, and each program needs to be approved by the Department of Education (DOE). To date, only one program has been approved and is active. As of May 2019, the remaining schools are currently awaiting DOE approval.

No timeline has been announced for further approvals. For now, you still can’t use FAFSA to apply for a federal loan for coding bootcamps.

GI Bill

Good news: Coding bootcamps are eligible to accept the GI Bill

Bad news: Not all coding bootcamps accept the GI Bill

If you’re a veteran, many coding bootcamps are eligible to accept the GI Bill. A full list of eligible bootcamps can be found here.

While federal financial aid for coding bootcamps is pending, there are private and personal loan options available to prospective students.

Private coding bootcamp financing options

  • Private lenders for coding bootcamps have emerged to satisfy the enormous demand
  • Private loan rates and lengths vary by bootcamp and lender
  • Personal loans can also be obtained to finance a coding bootcamp

Coding bootcamps are a great alternative for anyone who wants to learn new skills or change careers without having to return to college. There’s a reason bootcamps have seen a 9X growth since 2013, according to Course Report. But, bootcamps are still an investment with an average tuition cost of $11,900.

With the need for financing options, private lenders tailored for coding bootcamps have emerged to support students. Here’s a breakdown of the top private lenders and their financing options.

Affirm

  • Eligibility requirements: U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status. Credit check and approval.
  • Bootcamp availability: Dezyre, Udacity
  • Loan amounts: Varies based on course
  • Interest rates: 0-30% APR
  • Term lengths: 3, 6, 12 months

Skills Fund

  • Eligibility requirements: U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status. Credit check and approval.
  • Bootcamp availability: Flatiron School, Bloc, Galvanize, Thinkful, Hack Reactor, Coding Dojo, Devmountain, DigitalCrafts, Fullstack Academy, We Can Code IT, Turing School of Software and Design, and many more for Software Engineering and Data Science
  • Loan amounts: Varies based on partner
  • Interest rates: 8.99% interest rate for 3-year term length. 10.99% for 5-year term length. APR varies based on loan term length
  • Term lengths: 3-5 years

Upstart

  • Eligibility requirements: U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status. Upstart requires a credit check, personal bank account, and a regular source of income. Age and location restrictions apply.
  • Bootcamp availability: Personal loan that can be applied to your bootcamp of choice.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000-$50,000
  • Interest rates: 7.46%-35.99% APR
  • Term lengths: 3-5 years

Climb

  • Eligibility requirements: U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status. Credit check.
  • Bootcamp availability: General Assembly, Galvanize, Flatiron School, Hack Reactor, DevMountain, Turin School of Software & Design, and more
  • Loan amounts: Varies by bootcamp
  • Interest rates: Fixed from 6.50%. APR  from 0.26 – 60.00%
  • Term lengths: 42 months. First six months are interest-only payments. The next 36 months include the principal and interest.

Personal loans are another way to pay for a coding bootcamp. From private lenders to your current financial institution, there are many ways to obtain a loan. We recommend reviewing each lender to determine interest rates and eligibility requirements. Many lenders have a monthly payment calculator to help you understand the loan offer.

Flatiron School has financing options through Skills Fund and Climb.

  • You can calculate your Flatiron School Skills Fund loan here.
  • Learn more about the Flatiron School Climb loan here.

Coding bootcamp scholarships and grants

  • Coding bootcamps offer scholarships with various eligibility requirements
  • Each bootcamp has their own scholarships that offer full or partial tuition coverage

Coding bootcamp scholarships in 2019

Coding bootcamps offer full and partial scholarships based on several factors in 2019. These reasons vary by bootcamp, so you should see what’s available at the bootcamps you’re interested in.

Some coding bootcamps offer scholarships alongside the new launch of new courses. There are also scholarships for underrepresented groups and scholarships for women. Many coding bootcamps also have dedicated scholarships for the military community.

Flatiron School has running scholarships that you can view here.Flatiron School’s past scholarships have included partnerships with Citi, Operation Code, Out in Tech, and Facebook.

Bootcamps can also offer payment programs to help pay for tuition. An Income Share Agreement (ISA) and deferred tuition are two of the more popular options available to prospective students. Bootcamps can also offer fellowships or grants to help pay for the cost of the bootcamp.

Bootcamp deferred payment programs

  • An ISA is a form of deferred payment that includes a refundable deposit
  • ISAs include an ISA Cap, a set monthly payment amount, and a max number of payments
  • Deferred tuition is a form of deferred payment where a student pays back their tuition once they graduate and start earning income
  • Students only pay the tuition itself as part of a deferred tuition program

Income Share Agreements

ISAs are a type of deferred payment. Eligibility requirements include being a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident aged 18 or older. Bootcamps offer an ISA as another financing option.

ISAs are different from private loans because there’s a set interest cap and max number of payments.

For the Flatiron School ISA, students never pay more than 1.5x the ISA tuition amount — the tuition cost minus the initial payment.

Students agree to pay 10% of their monthly income after graduating the program and earning $3,333.34/month (equivalent to $40,000/year). After a six-month grace period, students make a maximum of 48 monthly payments over a maximum payment window of up to 96 months (8 years). Students only pay when you’re making the minimum income. You can view estimated tuition costs by income below.

ISAs have fewer restrictions than deferred tuition programs. They may be a good option for individuals who want to attend a bootcamp, but don’t want to take out a loan.

Deferred tuition

Deferred tuition is another financing option provided by coding bootcamps. Unlike ISAs, students only pay the tuition cost after graduation. There are no additional fees, like the 1.5x tuition cap found in ISAs. Students agree to a monthly payment amount and a minimum income. But, deferred tuition programs typically have more restrictions than ISAs.

At Flatiron School, we partnered with the We Company to launch the Access Labs initiative. Access Labs is a deferred tuition program eligible to students earning under $35,000 in income. Students do not have to pay any upfront cost with Access Labs. After a grace period, students pay 10% of their monthly income after graduating the program and earning at least $3,333.34/month (equivalent to $40,000/year)

Flatiron School offers a deferred tuition model for the software engineering, data science and UX/UI design programs at our London campus. There are no eligibility requirements, but students have to pay a refundable £1,000 deposit.

Fellowships and employer sponsorship

Beyond loans, scholarships and grants, there are a few other ways to pay for a coding bootcamp. Some bootcamps offer fellowships with an outside partner as a way to provide opportunities to join an industry. Fellowship opportunities may not be provided by all bootcamps or have different eligibility requirements than scholarship offers.

Lastly, employers may have their own sponsorship opportunities for employees. This could be a voucher to attend a part-time course or tuition support to gain new skills.

Going to a coding bootcamp is one of the most rewarding investments you can make in yourself. Spend the time researching your financing options so you can find the right bootcamp for you!

Apply to Our Software Engineering or Data Science Courses