Support & Flexibility Options for Online Students During COVID-19

Posted by Rebekah Rombom  /  March 24, 2020

See the latest information regarding Flatiron School's COVID-19 response and our reopening plans.

Updated May 11

As the unprecedented time we find ourselves facing has continued over the past several days, Flatiron School has, like so many of you, worked to respond to the ever-changing world around us as a result of COVID-19. Even amid all the unknowns, our goal of providing you with a rigorous educational experience has not changed despite the impact of COVID-19 on how we live, work and learn.  

We are committed to listening to our students, teachers, and coaches and over the last week have heard their experiences of trying to navigate a very unexpected new normal. The additional stressors and unanticipated responsibilities are affecting each of us in unique ways. 

Our students are our most important priority, and we have worked to identify key ways to further support them during this challenging time. We are making several temporary modifications to our policies to allow for more flexibility as our online students balance their obligations and responsibilities outside of school with the demands of their Flatiron School programs. We’re also sharing existing options for flexibility and support that students may want to utilize during this time.

A summary of those changes and policies is below. 

As we continue into this increasingly unknown future, we are committed to moving forward together with our community of students and staff. We are committed to continuing to provide an experience as focused on learning, engagement, and community as we have always been, and to supporting students towards graduating from Flatiron School and fulfilling their career goals.

We will continue to re-evaluate policies on an ongoing basis as circumstances change, and be in close touch with our community and staff with any updates.

I hope each of you reading this message, no matter your connection to Flatiron School, is able to find moments of calm as we all work to return to a new and temporary sense of normalcy. We’re grateful for your part in our community.

Summary of Temporary Policies Providing for Student Flexibility

To further support our students during this time, we are making several temporary
modifications to our policies to allow for more flexibility for students as they
balance their obligations and responsibilities outside of school with the demands
of their Flatiron School program. These temporary modifications below will
continue until June 12, 2020. We are continually re-evaluating how to
best serve our community and will continue to work hard to create the best
possible environment and circumstances for our students over the course of these

Program Change Policy

Cohort-based students have the opportunity to change programs an additional time at no extra cost.

  • Our existing program change policy allows students to change programs once at no extra cost, including the opportunity to repeat a module/phase. During the period of these temporary policy changes, we are making a modification to our course catalog and policies to provide that every online student may repeat one additional module/phase if they cannot keep pace with their course requirements during this period.

  • This means that if a student has previously changed programs once within their discipline, they will be permitted one more opportunity to change programs within their discipline during this period.

90-Day Extension to Self Paced Program End Date

All students currently enrolled or who enroll in a self-paced program before June 12, 2020, will receive a 90-day extension to the program end date set forth in their program documents.

Withdrawal Policy

  • For withdrawal requests received by March 25, 2020, Flatiron School will honor a refund amount calculated using March 13, 2020, as the last date of attendance. 

  • For withdrawal requests received after March 25, 2020, refund calculations will be based on the date Flatiron School receives the withdrawal request, and the refund policy set forth in a student’s Enrollment Agreement.

Phase Pass Deadlines – UX/UI Design

UX/UI Design students can take up to two additional weeks after Phase 5 to complete the course, following the scheduled course completion date.

Summary of Existing and Ongoing Policies Providing for Student Flexibility

Below are existing and ongoing policies available to all students to provide for additional support and flexibility during this period. 

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Students can request an LOA, which will pause their program and payments, for up to 30 days. If they require additional time, students may reach out five days before the end of their LOA request to extend their LOA for up to an additional 30 days. Students may take up to two two leaves of absence in a 12-month calendar period, for up to a total of 60 calendar days in that period.

Students returning from a leave of absence may be subject to an additional skills assessment to determine which module the student will re-join, and students requesting a leave of absence should note that re-joining a cohort upon return from a leave of absence is based on availability and cohort timing.

Module Pass Deadlines – Software Engineering and Data Science

In Software Engineering and Data Science, cohort students have a two-week grace period to submit and pass their project assessments following the module end date.  

Educational Coaching

Our Educational Coaches are available for 1:1 coaching calls and are specifically provided as a source of support as students navigate their life challenges right now in relation to their Flatiron program and career goals. 

Our Student Assistance Program (SAP) is also available to help. 

The SAP provides students with up to 3 personal counseling sessions per year.

Loan Deferral Requests

Flatiron School loan partners Skills Fund and Climb are accepting loan deferral requests for students who are in active payment periods. Both partners are in the process of contacting students with information about how to take advantage of these options.