Live Q&A

Creative Ways to Pay for a Bootcamp

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on March 19, 2024

Course Report strives to create the most trust-worthy content about coding bootcamps. Read more about Course Report’s Editorial Policy and How We Make Money.

It’s 2024 and the average bootcamp tuition is still ~$14,000 — the same as it’s been for the last decade. So why does it feel harder to pay for a bootcamp these days? In this Live Q&A, admissions representatives from four coding bootcamps – Springboard, General Assembly, Flatiron School, and Tech Elevator – offer their expert insights on creative ways to pay for a coding bootcamp.

They’re answering popular questions, like:

  • What are coding bootcamps doing to make bootcamp tuition feel more affordable?
  • Are there certain red flags or things to be cautious about before accepting an ISA?
  • Is paying for a bootcamp still worth it in 2024?
  • What are some of the more creative or niche ways you see your students covering tuition and living expenses?
  • What kinds of scholarships are available for coding bootcamps?
  • What can someone do if they have bad credit?
  • And more!

Meet Your Panelists

What are the top 3 most popular ways that your students pay for a bootcamp? 

Jonah: At Springboard, we offer a discount for paying the full tuition upfront, as well as three other payment options

  1. Deferred tuition. With Springboard’s Deferred Tuition program, your payments start after you’ve finished the course and landed a job. At Springboard, our programs are backed by a Tuition Refund Guarantee, which includes a 6-month, post-graduation job search period. If you’re eligible for the Guarantee, the bootcamp is free.
  2. Loan. We've partnered with Climb Credit who provides loans. After making a down payment, you pay small monthly payments during the bootcamp, then start paying it back once you've finished the course.
  3. Month-to-month. Tuition is spread out over the length of the course into monthly payments. You pay for the months it takes you to do the course, so if you put more time into the course each month and complete it in less time, you can pay less. Springboard bootcamps range from 6-10 months assuming you're putting in about 20-25 hours a week. If you're able to put in full-time hours and choose the month-to-month payment plan, then you would only pay for the months it took you to complete! 

Amanat: At General Assembly, the flexible finance options are definitely the most popular! Loans are made through educational financing partners, which are different from applying for a car loan — These partners exist to make education affordable, so they work with folks from all walks of life!

  1. 0% option. Pay nothing while you attend the bootcamp for a one-year deferment period, followed by 36 monthly payments at 0% interest. This reduces the monthly payments when repayment kicks back in.
  2. Income-contingent financing options. We have a few providers that offer a grace period while you look for a job until you can afford to pay back the tuition.
  3. Pay upfront or monthly. You can directly work with General Assembly to receive a discount by paying upfront or monthly installment plans.

Jem: At Flatiron School, we offer affordable repayment options that enable students to afford to dedicate their time to a coding bootcamp. 

  1. 0% interest. The most popular option is a 0% interest installment plan over time. 
  2. Deferred tuition. Pay tuition after the bootcamp is completed — People tend to gravitate toward this option as well. 
  3. Traditional loans. These include benefits like low payments under $400, but allow you to pay off early to reduce your total interest paid. This option also allows borrowers to take out living expenses as well as tuition, which can buffer the cost of living while completing a coding bootcamp. 

Patricia: At Tech Elevator, we have a variety of funding options! These are our three most popular payment options: 

  1. Pay-as-you-go. Pay out of pocket in installments. For the full-time program, it is two payments. For the part-time program, it’s three payments.
  2. Student loans. Our number one partner is Sallie Mae, a trusted and well-known name in student loans. This also includes the ability to take out the cost of living expenses in addition to tuition. 
  3. Partnerships. Many students get funding from partnership organizations, like Veterans Educational Benefits, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Dollars, and government agencies!

What are your bootcamps doing to make tuition feel more affordable?

Amanat/General Assembly: Our constant student advocacy is how we got the newest deferment financing option! We have a dedicated team always looking for scholarship opportunities, partnership opportunities, and how we can make bootcamps more affordable for our learners. We're here to provide education and try to save our students as much money as we can, which is why we work with five financing companies to find the best option to meet your needs!

  • For veterans, that looks like partnering with Veteran Affairs and the WIAO. 
  • Depending on a student’s situation, we may be able to waive the deposit. 
  • Aside from directly paying General Assembly through installments or Pay-in-Full, all the other payment options have a $250-500 deposit. Students can wait to enroll for either one year or until they save a certain amount of money for the bootcamp. 

Jem/Flatiron School: What works for one person doesn't work for all, so we make sure we have options that will cover every walk of life. If you come eager to learn, we're eager to work with you! 

  • We take pride in having a diverse set of scholarships available, such as: Merit, Women Take Tech, and Access scholarships for underrepresented communities.
  • We offer grace periods when paying back loans and have different payment options for different types of grace periods, depending on what's right for the student.
  • Interest-only payments. Pay less than $100 a month and pay back the rest of the tuition after getting a job in the field. 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: The grace periods on loans and income share agreements from our providers (Sallie Mae, Ascent, and Stride Funding) will depend on the offering you’re getting from each lender and can vary from three-six months or until you get a job.

💡 Course Report Tip: Many coding bootcamps are prepared to meet students where they are — Don’t be afraid to ask for different payment accommodations when you enroll! 

Is Deferred Tuition more or less popular in 2024? 

Jonah/Springboard: Deferred tuition has always been a steady payment option at Springboard and 2024 hasn’t shown any indication that it’s going above or below what it's been. It’s a really good option for people who need that space to go through the course without worrying about paying it back until they get their job. 

Are there certain red flags or things to be cautious about before accepting an income share agreement (ISA)?

Jem/Flatiron School: If you’re interested in ISAs, you need to treat them differently than loans. ISAs are a great fit for a certain segment of students, but it’s important to slow down and think about more than “not paying until employed.” Instead consider the length of time you’re paying the ISA because it’s not like a normal loan where you can pay it early and pay less interest. 

When you’re comparing products, don’t just go by the one, short-term reason why you’re attracted to it. Really think about the full concept of that payment vehicle and its impact on you short term and long term.

Is paying for a bootcamp still worth it in 2024?

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Taking a look at the industry, software developers in 2023 had the number one career outlook and it’s projected to grow 25% through 2031! The industry still has a high demand for skilled professionals. As educational professionals, all we can do is give students the best information we have; our insight into the market for developers and help them make those decisions for themselves. My goal is to enable students to decide whether a bootcamp in general or Tech Elevator specifically is worth it to them to get to that next career goal 

More Creative Approaches to Paying for Tuition

What are some of the more creative or niche ways you see students covering tuition and living expenses?

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Many of our students work with different partnerships, such as Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant money. Students are surprised to learn that these government organizations can pay for huge grants, including full tuition! I don’t think enough people do the groundwork — it’s not as complicated as you might think to get some of these government grants. We specialize in helping students navigate that, which is a great opportunity not many folks go for.

Amanat/General Assembly: We’ve mentioned these external partnerships and government opportunities — the VA provides a lot of funding to veterans including housing allowances and covering bootcamp costs. Another creative way people are paying for coding bootcamps is through Employer Sponsorship. At General Assembly, we can help you navigate that conversation with your employer. I’ve spoken to employers to explain the value as to what the student would be receiving through our program and inquiring about any other opportunities within the organization that the student can pivot to, since employers would like to retain that kind of employee! I can’t stress it enough that we are here for you, we have your back, and we’re constantly trying to navigate financing your bootcamp experience at General Assembly

Jem/Flatiron School: If WIOA is not in your state, it could be under other terms, such as Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). We also see grants through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E). Looking for “tuition assistance grants” in your state can unlock what it’s called if it’s not WIOA! I’ve also advocated for employee sponsors and how funding a bootcamp will help in a student’s current role. We’ve had everything from a family member with a trust fund to someone having the education tax-free plan and paying out of that. More than anything it’s about prioritizing the bootcamp and figuring out how to make that priority work. As bootcamps we’re all looking into the same funding options and leaning into each other’s resources for the betterment of the industry. 

Jonah/Springboard: We have a lot of the same kinds of programs that we partner with and that we often hear of through students. To a lot of employers, it’s really beneficial to have one of their employees know how to code or analyze data or something related. It’s not unusual for people to find a reason with their current job to improve their company. Most employers want skilled employees, so it’s really not unusual to seek funding from employers. 

💡 Course Report Tip: Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) has lots of federal funding that is given to different states. Depending on the state you’re in, there might be different grants available for upskilling or making a career change!

What kinds of military funding are students using? 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: VET TEC is now up for passage in the Senate to become a permanent VA benefit. As of November, VA announced that they are not accepting new certifications for VET TEC. Right now is a great opportunity to use other veteran benefits, such as the GI Bill which simply depends on your eligibility. 

Are any of your schools able to accept Pell Grants etc? 

Jem/Flatiron School: Right now, Pell Grants are only valid towards accredited institutions. The reason why bootcamps are not accredited is because the function of what we’re teaching and those job roles aren’t requiring degrees. For bootcamps, education is more important than the piece of paper that comes along with it.

💡 Course Report Insight: A bill for Pell Grants for short-term programs (like coding bootcamps) has been bouncing around Congress for over a year now. Pell Grants for short-term programs may be more of an option for bootcamp students in the near future. 

Have you seen students be successful with getting their employer to cover tuition? 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Yes, workforce reskilling is a very popular option! We see this on an individual level of employees asking their bosses to get this funding, but we also see it in partnerships with companies who want to reskill their employees. For instance, we just kicked off a program with Amazon to help reskill some of their warehouse employees to build those skills and add value to their workforce. 

These are my tips for asking your employer for workforce reskilling funding:

  1. Review your company’s policies. There are federal tax breaks for companies to offer training to their employees, so there’s a good chance there’s something in there for your organization! 
  2. Make a good business case and have information about your program. Most bootcamps have a one-pager of their offerings that you can take into that conversation. 
  3. Demonstrate your value. Even if it doesn’t work out, by approaching your boss and showing this willingness to improve yourself, you’re demonstrating that you’re a very valuable asset, so it’s a win-win no matter how it goes. 

Jem/Flatiron School: If you’re lucky enough to work for somewhere that has upskilling or reskilling as part of their program, definitely take advantage of that! An admissions rep can help you break down how the curriculum can apply to future roles where you’re working as well as what you’re currently doing and how you can bring those skills into the office, no matter what size company you’re at. Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to only be the corporate companies — it can also be at smaller startups where you can wear more hats and help in different ways. Connect with an admissions rep to explore those opportunities! 

For students whose tuition is funded through an employer, are they typically already working in tech in some capacity? Or can someone who’s working a non-technical role like an office manager also take advantage of it? 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: You don’t have to start in tech to get into tech! Anything that you’re picking up is a value add. Even if your job is coding-adjacent, having that knowledge is going to make you a much better employee or more able to work with your technical teams. The skills are universal and you don’t have to be in your company’s tech team to elevate yourself. 

Amanat/General Assembly: Before I worked in the bootcamp space, I came from a completely different industry and anytime there was a tech-related event, I pitched it to my boss. Again, even if it gets denied, you’re showing initiative and your value to your employer. 

Fund Your Tuition with Scholarships

What kinds of scholarships does your school currently offer?

Jonah/Springboard: We have a scholarship application form that covers any price range from $500 to $1,500, based on a variety of things, like: Women in Tech scholarship, Diversity in Tech, Needs-Based (depending on living situation and salary). If you’re eligible for multiple scholarships, they can be combined if approved. It all starts with our scholarship application and we contact you based on what you’re eligible for. It’s a simple process! 

  • 💰 Course Report readers can take $1500 off Springboard tuition with an exclusive scholarship! Be sure to enter CR1500 in the Promo Code field of your application so Springboard can extend the discount to you upon acceptance. 

Amanat/General Assembly: We have similar scholarship offerings like Women in Tech and Needs-Based. When applying for General Assembly, there are a few questions regarding eligibility, which our team is well-versed in assessing. It’s always nice to get to tell someone they’ll be saving some money! Our most popular scholarship is the Women in Tech scholarship. 

  • 💰 Course Report is excited to offer an exclusive $1,500 Diversity Tuition Discount, $1,595 Military Tuition Discount, and $1,000 Merit Tuition Discount to General Assembly bootcamps — Apply now!

Jem/Flatiron School: We also have a Women in Tech Scholarship, plus our Access Scholarship, which offers funding to a wide range of minorities to encourage a more diverse talent pool in tech! The main goal with our scholarship is equity. Additionally, we have a Merit Scholarship. There’s a test prior to pre-work and if you do exceptionally well on that you can apply for the Merit Scholarship. We’re focused on increasing access to these huge transformations and getting yourself into tech for everyone and anyone and not just people who are already in tech. I also encourage everyone to go on Meetup or EventBrite and find your local communities because often they will also have scholarships. The Girls Who Code chapter where I’m located has a scholarship. Connect to these communities before you’ve even started the education portion and you can often find scholarships!

  • Find out how Flatiron School’s Women in Tech Scholarship helped a classically-trained painter Jessica launch a career in Product Design!

Patricia/Tech Elevator: I’m super enthusiastic to answer this question today of all days! Since 2020, Tech Elevator has invested over $1.4 million into our Represent Tech scholarship, which is providing opportunity for those who are historically underrepresented, such as transgender, non-binary, women, Black, Latinx, and Native Americans. Today, we are celebrating our 100th Represent Tech recipient landing their job in technology!

Does your bootcamp allow students to bundle scholarships with financing?

Amanat/General Assembly: Simple answer: yes! There are always minor eligibility requirements, but talk to your admissions rep and they can help you navigate that. You don’t have to apply for the full tuition, if you only need a portion covered. 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Also yes! Our Represent Tech scholarship covers $13,175, so students will often apply for a grant or loan to cover the remaining balance and also cover the cost of living expenses. 

Jonah/Springboard: If you are approved for a dual scholarship, which is case-by-case, it can reduce tuition up to $1,500. 

Jem/Flatiron School: We don’t combine scholarships, but we are generous with them. We do work in multiple ways to help students, such as if they’ve saved up a certain amount. There’s different flexibility. When I hear bundling, I’m hearing, “Is there flexibility to creatively get where I need to be, whether that’s a payment, loan term, or interest rate” and at Flatiron School yes, we have multiple ways to get to the end result you’re specifically looking for!

How long does it take to apply for scholarships?

Jem/Flatiron School: If it’s an internal Flatron School scholarship, it’s within a business day, as long as they’ve already applied and interviewed. If it’s for external scholarships or other programs we’ve talked about, the timeline is dependent on those individual programs. Some of the WIOAs can take up to 90 days, so you may have to buffer when you start to when those funds are available. 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Everything Jem said. We can’t control the external partners and the government agencies can take a while. Our internal scholarship is assessed quarterly, so that’ll come into play when you’re looking to get started. It’s also worth pointing out that in addition to timing for looking at scholarships or grant opportunities, you also have to put yourself in a framework of considering your backup plan. If this scholarship doesn’t come through or you’re not eligible for these grants, do you have a backup plan? Does it change the value of what the bootcamp is offering if you’re paying for it in a more robust way, out-of-pocket or with interest over time? 

Amanat/General Assembly: Internal scholarships also take around one business day. We’re trying to make the application process as seamless as possible. It’s important to look at the bootcamp as a whole and of course we do understand that this is an investment of time and money. What’s your end goal, how determined are you to get there, and if this scholarship doesn’t work out, what’s your process?

Are there any scholarships you recommend applying for that come from an outside organization?

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Put feelers out and see what you can find! I encourage people to take the grassroots approach and reach out in your community, not just to tech groups but maybe individual organizations you’re a member of in your ethnic group or religious community. It’s not just tech organizations that might have a scholarship you can use. Some organizations Tech Elevator has worked with in the past include: 

Scenario #1: Paying for a Bootcamp with Your Savings

“If I can pay for the bootcamp with savings or help from family, should I?” 

Amanat/General Assembly: It’s completely up to you! There are some savings to be had when you’re doing an upfront payment. I get this question a lot from applicants because they have this misconception that General Assembly only helps students who went with an ISA or loan financing option find a job. That’s not the case! Our goal is to help you learn this new skill set and launch your career into this new field. You’ll get the exact same support, excitement, and resources, whether you choose a financing option or choose to pay it all upfront. Some people are against loans, even at 0%, and that’s perfectly fine if you’re blessed enough to have that money or family support. Remember you can also do a down payment with family support and finance a smaller amount. It’s a personal preference.

Scenario #2: Paying for a Bootcamp If You Have Bad or No Credit

“What can I do if I have bad or no credit?”

Jem/Flatiron School: There are a few options that’ll depend on your situation:

  • Do you have a co-signer available? A co-signer doesn’t have to be your parent — it can be a variety of people. 
  • What is your network? Is there someone that you have a good enough relationship with that could assist? 

Another thing to think about with scholarships is that if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t mean “no.” It’s human nature that when we get a “no,” we decide it’s not for us anymore. I find that the most successful people are those that rank their options and approach them in order. How much of a priority is this bootcamp for you, what’s the return on investment for you, and how can we make what is available to you work? 

Amanat/General Assembly: No credit doesn’t mean you won’t get approved. Again, these are financial partners that are really trying to make education affordable, so a lot of them look at you as a whole. Of course credit is an aspect of it, but there are merit-based financing options and others. No credit is not bad. A soft credit check won’t damage your score. The other option is to start working on your credit. I had a diligent student that had exhausted all her options and was determined to improve her credit. It was a longer path but it still worked out for her! 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Give yourself grace and give yourself time. This is not the only answer or time to pursue this. 

Scenario #3: Will I Land a Job After Paying for a Bootcamp?

“Which option should I choose if I’m nervous about getting a job after graduation?”

Jonah/Springboard: I don’t think the payment option impacts that. From a bird’s-eye-view, the way we look at employment isn’t that we have a job waiting for you at the end with a specific company. It’s more like a money-back guarantee that if you don’t get employed within six months of finishing the course then you won’t have to pay for the course. At Springboard, we incorporate job readiness in 1:1 sessions with career coaches throughout the course and for six months after free of charge. These are experienced career coaches that have been in senior roles in companies to coach professionals to land new roles. If you want to pay more upfront but less overall I’d suggest the upfront and month-to-month option. If you’re in a situation where it’s going to be better for you to pay somewhat more but stretch it over some months, then maybe the loan or deferred tuition would be best for you. To be nervous about employment is normal, that’s where we have the money-back guarantee to ease people’s nerves. 

How to Initiate a Tuition-Funding Conversation with Bootcamps

Who can our readers reach out to at your schools to start the conversation about paying for a bootcamp? 

Jem/Flatiron School: Initially, you’ll be talking to someone to coordinate the conversation. If you haven’t applied, admissions will answer any questions you have. The first step is to fill out that application and the team will call you to schedule your interview. We want it to be a robust amount of time so that we can make sure we’re a good fit for each other. In the interview they’ll go over the full process and you’ll work with that same person all the way through until your prep course, then you work with an onboarding rep who will make sure you’re getting all the support you need with technical coaches and helping you find resources while you’re going through that pre-work that has to be finished before Day One, then doing enrollment agreement and financing clearance before you begin the bootcamp. 

Patricia/Tech Elevator: Any activity that you get started with with Tech Elevator (whether that’s taking our mini aptitude test or submitting an application or even if you just want to speak with admissions), the person that you’re talking to is well-versed in financing information. As you’re moving through the admissions process, you’ll be talking with your interviewer to assess fit and talk about the daily experiences as a student and the in-depth conversations about your specific journey and needs. Talking with a financing specialist happens later in the process, especially about the time you’re deciding to accept an offer of enrollment. That’s when we’ll start having those more in-depth conversations about you personally. The end goal is for us as professionals to make sure you have all the information you need before you make your decision. Your decision is what counts here and it is not scary. Our job is to equip you for that choice, so please talk to us! 

Jonah/Springboard: You’ll receive a phone call pretty soon after applying online. The point of that call is to determine a mutual fit. To be totally candid, we’re not afraid to turn people down if their reason is just to make more money but they don't care about engineering. We want people that want to do this. Changing careers is not an easy journey. No one will tell you it’s easy. The more you really want it and want to put the work in and understand what it takes, then that’s really what we’re looking for and those are the people we see really succeed. It’s also determining that we can give you what you’re looking for. You’ll hear a rundown of the course, the hours to expect, the goal for you throughout the course, and financing options. You’ll understand what options there are and what’s available and if you specifically ask for more guidance on that then we can give you that, but we also believe that that’s an area you should focus on and determine what’s best for you based on the information we’ve given. 

Amanat/General Assembly: It starts with requesting information, filling out an application, then you’re jumping on a call with an admissions specialist the same day where we try to get to know each other. The program is beginner-friendly, but it’s intense. You’re learning a brand new skill set in a short period of time and we really want to make sure everything has been thought about. Once we’ve solidified your interest, there’s an  interview, and then we go into the enrollment agreement. Then you are introduced to your onboarding specialist who is there to ensure all of your tech is setup, pre-work is on track, support during pre-work, and getting you ready to succeed in that first day of class where the instructors and student support will take over. 

💡 Course Report Insight: The admissions team at coding bootcamps are very approachable! When enrolling at a reputable bootcamp, you won’t be dealing with a robot, but instead talking to people who are very passionate about ensuring the right fit.

Next Steps

  • Book a call with Amanat at General Assembly to hear about the fully deferred payment plan — Get 12 months grace period and then 36 payments at 0% interest! 
  • Get 6-9 months grace period during your course at Springboard! Pay if you finish the course and get a job — if you don’t land a job on completion, the bootcamp is free.
  • Apply for an educational loan at Flatiron School through their financing partner, Climb. Eligible students qualify for a 0% interest over 24 months.
  • Tech Elevator is now accepting applications! Talk to a financing specialist to help you find the right funding for your unique situation. 

Creative Ways to Pay for a Bootcamp: One-Sheeter

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

Also on Course Report

Get our FREE Ultimate Guide to Paying for a Bootcamp

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email marketing from Course Report.

Get Matched in Minutes

Just tell us who you are and what you’re searching for, we’ll handle the rest.

Match Me