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Financial Aid For Coding Bootcamps (FAFSA, Scholarships, Loans)

Are you considering enrolling in a coding bootcamp to jumpstart your career? If financial aid is holding you back, don’t worry. Although FAFSA is not available for coding bootcamps due to lack of accreditation, you may be eligible for certain scholarships, loans, and other financing options.

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of financial aid for coding bootcamps, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

We will cover FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), scholarships specifically designed for coding bootcamps, and loan options from private lenders. Get ready to take the first step towards achieving your educational goals!

Before we begin, we must stress that the content of this post is purely for informational purposes. Any information or other material should not be viewed as legal, tax, financial, investment advice, or any other kind of advice.

What Are Coding Bootcamps?

Coding bootcamps are intensive training programs designed to teach you the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in software development.

Bootcamps typically last anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months, depending on the type of program. They are highly focused and hands-on, with a focus on learning by doing.

The goal of coding bootcamps is to prepare you for a career in software development as quickly and effectively as possible.

Coding bootcamps have become particularly popular in recent years as the software engineer shortage has led to new educational options for aspiring developers to enter the industry quickly.

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

While coding bootcamps are clearly more affordable than traditional university degrees, they still charge a significant amount of tuition. According to data collected by BestColleges from over 130 bootcamps, coding bootcamps cost an average of $13,500 for the duration of the program.

According to another 2019 survey conducted by RTI International, the average price of coding bootcamps ranged from $7,500 up to $13,950; this range is contingent upon the type and length of every program.

Understandably, the cost of coding bootcamps can be a financial barrier for many aspiring software engineers. Fortunately, financial aid options are available for coding bootcamps.

Paying for coding bootcamp with financial aid
Photo by Alexander Mils @ Unsplash

Can You Get Financial Aid for Coding Bootcamp?

Yes! Although coding bootcamps are not accredited, financial aid options are available to help you cover the cost. We will now discuss commonly used financial aid options for coding bootcamps.

  • FAFSA: FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is not available for coding bootcamps due to their lack of accreditation. However, some other government programs may be able to provide financial aid for certain coding bootcamps.
  • Scholarships: There are several scholarships specifically designed for and by coding bootcamps. These scholarships can be found through coding bootcamps themselves, or through third-party organizations. Be sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully, as most scholarships are only open for certain groups of people.
  • Loans: Private lenders provide loan options for coding bootcamps. As with any loan, it is important to read the fine print carefully and understand the terms of repayment.
  • Employer Sponsorship: Some employers offer financial aid for employees who are interested in attending coding bootcamps. Speak to your Human Resources department to see if this option is available at your organization.

Overall, financial aid options are available for coding bootcamps, although they may not be as extensive as financial aid options for traditional universities. We will discuss each of these options, as well as the specific coding bootcamps that allow them, further in this article.

Government-Supported Financial Aid for Coding Bootcamps

As previously mentioned, there is sadly no FAFSA for coding bootcamps. It can be difficult to obtain government grants and funds for this type of education; Pell Grants or federal student loans are not available to those attending a coding bootcamp.

However, some government programs do sponsor coding bootcamps in certain cases. Specifically, these include the new Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) program for low-income students and the GI Bill program for military personnel and veterans.

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EQUIP program

The EQUIP program was established in 2016 by the Office of Educational Technology, a division of the U.S Department of Education. The program provides financial aid to low-income students attending coding bootcamps that have partnered with accredited universities in the USA.

EQUIP financial aid is provided in the form of grants and must be used to cover the cost of the coding bootcamp. The programs supported by the EQUIP program include:

  • MakerSquare (with University of Texas at Austin)
  • Zip Code Wilmington
  • Flatiron School (with SUNY Empire State)

GI Bill or VET TEC program

The GI Bill is a financial assistance program for military personnel, veterans, and their families to cover the cost of higher education. With the help of this financial aid, veterans and their families can now pursue educational opportunities such as coding bootcamps.

The VET TEC program is an extension of the GI Bill that covers coding bootcamps. The financial aid provided can be used to cover tuition, books, and other educational expenses related to the coding bootcamp. The GI Bill and VET TEC financial aid can be used at such coding boot camps as:

  • Codeup
  • General Assembly
  • Code Platoon
  • Galvanize
  • DigitalCrafts
  • … and many more!
government-led financial aid for coding bootcamp programs
Photo by Markus Winkler @ Pexels

Scholarships for Coding Bootcamps

When it comes to financing options, scholarships are a great way to go. Numerous bootcamps provide scholarships that cover at least part of the tuition fee, and some even pay for the full cost!

To be eligible for this free money, students may need to prove academic excellence or financial hardship. Furthermore, various scholarships are directed towards certain communities predicated on racial/ethnic background, religion, or gender identity. According to a 2019 study by RTI Press, nearly one-fourth (26%) of bootcamps offer such grants and subsidies.

As an example, Flatiron School has allocated a staggering $1 million to advance women’s coding education through its Women Take Tech scholarship program.

Some other bootcamps provide exclusive scholarship programs for veterans and military personnel, permitting them to receive a discounted education.

Applying for scholarships is an excellent opportunity for qualified students, since those funds are not required to be paid back. This means that all you need to worry about is the cost of equipment and resources when attending your desired bootcamp!

Full scholarships

  • Ada Developers Academy – Ada Developers Academy Scholarship
  • Code Platoon – Various scholarships
  • Codesmith – The Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship
  • V School – Various scholarships

Scholarships for women

  • Alchemy – PDXWIT & Alchemy Scholarship for Black & Indigenous Women ($5000)
  • Bloc – Close the Gap Scholarship Fund (25%)
  • Code Fellows Diversity Scholarship Fund (up to 70%)
  • Code Platoon Women in Technology Full Scholarship (full)
  • Flatiron School & The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Scholarship (full tuition)

For a complete list of coding bootcamp scholarships available for women, see this article by Course Report.

Scholarships for people of color

  • The Code Fellows Diversity Scholarship
  • The Coding Dojo Diversity Scholarship ($1000)
  • The DevPoint Labs Opportunity in Tech Scholarship (50%)
  • V School’s You Belong in Tech Scholarship (full scholarship + internship)
  • DeltaV’s Diversity Tuition Awards (up to full scholarships)
  • The Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship (full tuition)

For more scholarships designed for people of color interested in attending a coding bootcamp, see this post by Course Report.

Scholarships for people with disabilities

  • DevPoint Labs – Opportunity in Tech Scholarship (50%)
  • Turing School – Diversity Scholarship ($4,000)
  • Flatiron School – The Access Scholarship (up to $3000)
  • The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild – Diversity Scholarship ($1,900)

Scholarships for veterans

  • Code Platoon – Skillbridge Scholarship for Transitioning Service Members (full)
  • Bloc – Veterans Scholarship (up to 25% off)
  • LEARN academy – Military Scholarship ($2,000)
  • The Software Guild – Veterans Who Code ($2,000)
  • Coding Dojo – Military Retraining Scholarship ($1,000)

For more scholarships for veterans planning to attend a coding bootcamp, visit this page by BestColleges.

financial aid for coding bootcamps
Photo by Vantha Thang @ Pexels

Loans for Coding Bootcamps

Unfortunately, coding bootcamps do not qualify for Title IV funding at this time which means that federal loans are unobtainable to bootcamp students.

Furthermore, Sallie Mae—the nation’s leading student loan provider—will not issue loans to aspiring coders striving to receive a quality education.

Fortunately, bootcamps often have their own lending programs to assist students in getting the education they need. Some even partner with loan providers such as Climb Credit and Upstart – making it possible for those who don’t possess any credit or bad credit to find a loan that works for them.

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Private lenders often charge an APR of between 5% and 8% on their loan products, providing a reliable source for those needing extra funds.

Private loans

Financing your coding bootcamp can be made significantly easier with the help of private lenders like Affirm, Ascent Funding, Upstart, Earnest and Climb Credit. These loan providers enable students to pay for their tuition without breaking the bank or deferring any important financial goals in life.

With these companies’ competitive rates and flexible payment plans, bootcamps students can attend their desired school and pay for the cost of tuition over time.

If you’re considering financing your bootcamp journey with a private loan, be aware that repayment terms tend to be shorter than those of community colleges and universities. On average, most lenders expect students to pay back the money they borrowed within one to three years – but no more than five.

Although private loans have the potential to provide financial assistance, they aren’t accessible to everyone. Private lenders analyze a borrower’s credit score, savings, and debt-to-income ratio before determining eligibility.

Unfortunately, for those with an unstable history of handling finances may be denied access – but there is still hope. Most private loan providers offer co-signers who can assume responsibility if repayment isn’t met by the primary lender.

Coding Bootcamp Payment Plans

You don’t always need to take out a loan or find financial aid to pay for your coding bootcamp tuition. Many coding schools have payment plan options that allow students to pay a portion of their tuition in advance, and the rest over time.

This can be a great option for those who are able to pay in installments and is generally a better option than an interest-based loan.

Coding bootcamp payment plans vary in length and amounts; some schools offer plans that stretch over a year, while others may be as short as three months. Generally, coding bootcamps require a down payment of about 10-20% of the tuition cost and offer students the opportunity to pay off their tuition in monthly installments.

Two other convenient incremental payment options often available for coding bootcamp students include Deferred Payment Plans and Income Share Agreements.

Deferred Payment Plans

Many bootcamps offer a unique opportunity for students to pay their tuition after they graduate and find a job in tech.

Generally, graduates are expected to make at least $40,000 – $60,000 from their job before being required to repay the set amount of tuition over 2-4 years. In some cases, bootcamp applicants may also be asked for an initial deposit when signing up.

Income Sharer Agreements

An Income Share Agreement is another financial model that allows students to pay for their tuition after they have a job. With this type of agreement, the student pays a fixed percentage of their salary, often between 10-25%, over several years (usually 2-4) once they start earning.

No interest is applied to this type of agreement, and students only pay after they have the financial means to do so. This type of financial assistance is great for those who are looking for a flexible way to finance their coding bootcamp education.

ISAs offer a more adaptive option for students when financing their education, as they only have to pay back if they succeed at getting a job. Additionally, it encourages schools to provide high-quality educational services that benefit the student and ensure success – meaning minimal or no repayment is necessary should failure occur.

Bootcamps such as Flatiron School, General Assembly, and Kenzie Academy offer Income Share Agreements to help finance their students’ education.

paying with payment plans to coding bootcamps
Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya @ Unsplash

Employer Sponsorship

The final financial assistance option for coding bootcamps is employer sponsorship. If you already have a job and your employer is willing to pay for some or all of your tuition, you may be in luck.

Many employers understand the value of coding bootcamps and are willing to invest in the development of their employees’ tech skills. Employers may sponsor coding bootcamp tuition either partially or in full, depending on the company’s financial situation.

It is important to note that many employers have certain criteria for sponsoring coding bootcamps and often require employees to commit to a certain period of service in exchange for having their tuition paid.

If you are considering taking up a coding bootcamp and your employer is open to financial assistance, it is essential to read the fine print and understand any obligations required for financial sponsorship.

Will a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job?

Coding bootcamps are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the tech industry, but it is ultimately up to the student to capitalize on their new skills by finding a job.

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By attending a coding bootcamp, you will often be provided with networking opportunities, industry advice and support from instructors, access to job boards and career placement services, resume reviews, and interview practice.

According to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, bootcamp graduates are finding employment within their desired field at a remarkable rate. In fact, from January through June 2019, nearly 79% of all graduates were employed 180 days after graduation.

Some coding bootcamps also offer job guarantees or deferred tuition programs, which provide additional support for students to find a job once they have completed their bootcamp. Under the job guarantee policy, the coding bootcamp will pay for additional training or refund tuition if the student cannot find a job within a certain time frame.

Although coding bootcamps are a great way to build your tech skills and improve your marketability in the industry, it is ultimately up to the student to put in the hard work and make use of the resources available.

Ultimately, it is essential for prospective coding bootcamp students to understand the job market and research the opportunities available before committing to a program. It is also important to evaluate any financial assistance options and choose the right one for you. With all this in mind, coding bootcamps can be a great way to get a job and jumpstart your tech career.

getting a job after coding bootcamp
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko @ Pexels

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth the Investment?

In order to assess whether the outcomes of coding bootcamps are worth their costs, we need to consider both financial and personal factors.

Perhaps the most important of these considerations are the salary outcomes of bootcamp graduates. Graduates of coding bootcamps often become web developers, who have the potential to earn a median annual salary of $77,030 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more lucrative can be positions of software developers with an impressive median salary at $120,730.

A survey of 2020 coding bootcamp alumni revealed an impressive $25,000 median salary increment post-graduation. On average, participants earned a median annual income of $65,000 after completing their program.

According to BestColleges 2021 Bootcamps Trends Report, almost half (48%) of business leaders and an even higher percentage (56%) from tech companies and organizations that hire for technical roles agreed upon the pivotal role bootcamps will play in future workforce training.

All this points to the fact that coding bootcamps are indeed a financial investment, but one with the potential to pay off in terms of higher career prospects and higher salaries.

In addition to the financial benefits, coding bootcamps also provide an opportunity for students to build a strong network in their field, learn valuable industry skills, and gain a better understanding of tech culture.

Conclusion

This article highlighted the various methods to finance coding bootcamp. Before making a decision, conduct thorough research about available financing options and tuition costs for different schools. Additionally, consider your own financial situation when analyzing how an option will impact you in the long-term.

When starting your research for a coding bootcamp, first seek out organizations that offer scholarships. If you are an active or retired veteran, use the GI Bill benefits to get additional assistance. Additionally, consider programs with deferred tuition; however, be sure to read over the terms of any income share agreement before committing.

To help protect yourself from potential risks, we suggest searching for coding bootcamps that bring a job guarantee in the form of tuition reimbursement if you don’t acquire a job after graduating. Additionally, there are also bootcamps that promise to hire you with their parent company or an associated partner once finishing the coursework.

Ultimately, coding bootcamps can be a great way to jumpstart your career in tech. With the right financing plan and effort on your part, the outcomes of coding bootcamps can be well worth the investment.

Good luck in your search!