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Make School

Online, San Francisco

Make School

Avg Rating:4.21 ( 19 reviews )

Make School is a college in San Francisco where students earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science in 2.5 years, complete with a liberal arts education that prepares graduates to work with the world’s leading tech companies. Make School's project-based curriculum — built in partnership with companies such as Lyft, Microsoft, Yelp, and Spotify — prepares students to keep up with the rapid speed at which technology and new languages evolve. Unlike a traditional 4-year degree that includes a once-a-week lecture followed by hours of self-directed homework and tests, Make School's accelerated degree program resembles the typical work week of a STEM professional. Due to this unique structure, students graduate in 2.5 years job-ready and with a robust portfolio.

Make School strives to create a safe, nurturing environment where students of all backgrounds can excel, regardless of how much prior coding experience they have. Admissions criteria is based on work ethic and excitement to learn rather than test scores and GPA. The majority of students come from low- to mid-income families, while nearly half identify as underrepresented minority students.

Make School is committed to helping graduates land their dream jobs and believes that higher education should be a path to upward mobility rather than insurmountable student debt. Make School offers an Extended Income-Based Repayment (EIBR), which, in basic terms, means that Make School will pay for private student loans if alumni are unemployed or underemployed after graduation. Graduates pay nothing until they have a job that enables them to pay back their loans.

Recent Make School Reviews: Rating 4.21

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  • Chris  User Photo
    Chris • Student Verified via GitHub
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    An extended bootcamp with an Accredited Bachelor's Degree. 
     
    Curriculum: 
     
    The project-based curriculum is laid out very well, with almost no time wasted. You’ll be learning a fundamental CS topic in the morning and you’ll be putting it to use on another project in another language in the afternoon. 
     
    Turning a four year degree into two years means things move fast. Terms are seven weeks long. It’s manageable but expect 50+ hour weeks if you’re a quick learner. 70+ if you want to really stand out. You will also take a few science, product development and liberal arts classes like in a traditional degree. At the end of each term there are mandatory hackathons (called Intensives) which you can use to build portfolio ready projects. 
     
    Make sure to bring your own motivation. The classes do cover all the fundamentals but don't expect to be among the best by only doing the assigned work. Self directed learning and side projects are highly encouraged and the school does offer a lot of support but you will only get as much out of the program as you put in. 
     
    Culture: 
     
    The culture at the school is one of the best I’ve ever experienced in higher education. There is a lot of support from the school. It feels like a real community and everyone is out to help one another. You get weekly 1v1 coaching sessions with Instructors, lots of open office hours, multiple co-working sessions with TA’s and helpful students and a Slack channel that is widely used by both students and instructors and staff. 
     
     
     
    TL;DR: 
    Highly recommended to the right type of highly motivated person that wants a real project based education in the shortest amount of time possible. Instructors are great. Lots of support. Modern curriculum. Cool students. Bachelor’s degree in 2 years. 
  • Jordan T  User Photo
    Jordan T • Student • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I chose to attend make school because I wanted to get a degree, but learn in a way that showcased my work instead of just giving a grade. I enjoyed visiting the school, taking a tour of the dorms, visiting classrooms, and most importantly sitting in on a lesson. Talking to other students about their experience here, and why they chose the school was important for my choice. After talking to them it felt good being surrounded by like-minded individuals.

    Instructors:
    All of my instructors have been supportive. Each one taking the time in class to offer their minds and makes sure we are learning. Each class has its own pace but each instructor makes sure we have time to ask our questions. Zoom has been difficult for people mentally, but the school is doing its best to make the zoom rooms engaging. Alongside our teachers, we also have a ton of student support from our classmates, and our TA's. Another cool thing about Make School is the amount of feedback we give. After you finish a course or go to a meeting they want feedback. The school is growing constantly and they are trying to make this space one for everyone.

    Support:
    I think support is something make school is pushing for. You get a coach and they are another person you can talk to, learn from, and as more professional questions. There are also tons of student and faculty lead groups where you can talk about being a BIPOC, or talk about life hacks. I know my professors have pushed mental health and most teachers encourage taking some time away from the computer to enjoy the world (safely). The faculty also make sure to check-in with students to make sure we are enjoying classes, and that we are okay mentally.

    Overall:
    I enjoy my classes, and I enjoy how this school makes me feel about myself. I like being supported in my own way, and I like the readiness that I am being prepared for. Make School has given me the chance to get where I want in my professional life, and if you're looking to take the next step consider coming here.
  • Richard J  User Photo
    Richard J • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    The project-based learning approach that Make School provides is unquestionably the best way to both prepare you for the workforce and give you things worth showing when applying to jobs. This is the kind of thing that I wish existed when I'd first graduated high school, so I hadn't wasted so much time getting a traditional degree.

    Pros:
    - Incredible community of passionate and amicable people who all want to see you succeed and are just genuinely pleasant to interact with.
    - School's income is entirely dependent on your success whether you take the ISA route or take out loans with income-based repayment.
    - Project-based learning means you'll have a whole lot to show for the time you put in, which is exactly what you need when applying to jobs.
    - Accelerated pace means you won't be wasting any time, yet you'll still get an accredited bachelor's degree.

    Cons:
    - Be prepared to work HARD. 4 years' worth of schooling crammed into 2 means you will be spending the majority of your waking hours in class or working on homework/projects. There is not a lot of wiggle room if you fall behind.
    - Could stand to have better housing accommodations. 

    Overall, I've never been busier, but I've also never felt more optimistic about my future. I'm going to recommend this school to pretty much everyone I know.
  • Stanley Chow  User Photo
    Stanley Chow • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I applied to Make School looking for a computer science education after dropping out of a business college.  With coding, students get the most returns when they put in the hours coding in front of their computers.  Make School provided the best community for me to encourage me to put in these hours.  The instructors are from diverse backgrounds in tech from founders to data scientists and really care about the future of the industry in the form of their students.  I was a complete beginner to software engineering and Make School has been a big support for me in my learning journey.
  • Current Student
    - 10/29/2020
    Yin  User Photo
    Yin • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Overall Experience: Just started the journey of Make School this summer, and I'd say the experience is much better than the previous school. Make school is a cohesive community, so whenever you have a problem, you can always shoot a message to your instructors or the TAs. Also, they care about your well-being, and they do want you to succeed. Thus, they will pair you with mentors to help you out.
    Instructors & Courses: Some of the instructors are very experienced, and you will learn a lot in their classes. Also, I like the software product development class a lot because the materials are super helpful and can equip you with the skillset to work with others, and furthermore creating your own startup. 

    If you are expecting to become a programming Guru by simply applying to Make School, you are going to get disappointed. Make school can provide you the knowledge, community, industrial tips and tricks, and job assistance. However, studying CS requires you to put some effort and time into it. If you do make good use of everything they offer to you, the journey here is going to be amazing!
  • Jose  User Photo
    Jose • U2 Tutor, course grading • Student Verified via GitHub
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    The lie of saving you from student loan debt: The founder will harp on about how they are trying to give students zero debt, but the ISA (Income Shared Agreement loan) is $200,000 tuition which lasts 5 years + $100,000 housing loan which lasts 10 years loan for 2 YEARS OF EDUCATION. During the Corona Virus, they got approved to give out student loans instead. Which goes against their company's value of "reforming the student loan system".
    SHADY STUFF One of the founders is a total salesmen being your best friend before you enrolled, and then when you are enrolled he wants nothing to do with you. Additionally, He told us we would be guaranteed housing for two years for all incoming students, and then went back on it 8 months later saying we would have no guaranteed student housing in one of the highest rent cities in the room where a room averages $3000 a month. People debated suing, and a lot of the students were debating dropping out. They caved and tried to find housing for us out of fear of the bad reputation. In addition, the dean will tell you no to pretty much any request you ask them to make. I personally wanted to test out of intro classes, and she refused my request even though before I enrolled I was told multiple times I could do it only telling me after I already was fully enrolled that it wasn't possible. She came up with many excuses for not letting me even going as far as saying "it's against our school's integrity". She really makes the place a harder place to attend and makes the student body angrier almost every announcement. A common trend at Make School was whenever they go back on something they promised, they would use the dean to give us the bad news over slack.
    CURRICULUM They use GitHub for basically all their class syllabuses, and a lot of FREE OPEN SOURCE material for the work that you could easily find yourself without spending $90,000. That being said it isn't that bad to use it, but it isn't for beginners to read the online DEVELOPER DOCUMENTATION, which followed to a lot of dropouts. The curriculum is out of date leading to many problems slowing down the whole class.
    JOB SUPPORT This is probably the best thing they have going for them. The students that go here have a slingshot into big companies like Google, Microsoft, and Lyft. However, they do usually have other college experience or went to the ivy league, UC BERKELEY (TIED with MIT, Stanford), or basically degree and work experience in the cs field who get the jobs. Some other students get to use it if they devote their full time the first year to their portfolio, and go above and beyond working on their skills.
    Should you go to Make School? They have some brilliant instructors that teach frontend, backend, mobile, and data science. Probably the best part of the school is instructors, and how they help you build a portfolio. If you want to be a developer at the end of the day for a big company like google, and know nothing I would go there, but you are going to take a lot of debt when you could go somewhere else. If you know a lot about coding then I would maybe reconsider and go somewhere else cheaper, and teach yourself how to do practical work. If you can understand and implement c++ then you can do anything in the industry with ease.
    Final Thoughts   I really believed in this school when I first got there and thought it was going to be the school that would get me ready to work at a top company. unfortunately, I was scammed and denied a proper education for no good reason other than to keep me there for two years in order to get me to have a $300,000 loan to pay back. I wasted my time the first year having to work on side projects to learn anything with the second-year students. Lastly, the one thing I did learn from Make School was self-teaching, since the fact, I had to teach myself almost everything............
  • Connor  User Photo
    Connor • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    To start, I am writing this because I wish I would have done more research before attending Make School. I did not plan to ever finish the 2 year program to receive the degree in applied computer science, I just wanted to learn some cs and how to code. I'll start with the pro's and con's and then give my recommendations on what I think someone thinking of attending Make School might want to do:

    Pros:

        - CS instructor is amazing, has a great way of explaining concepts and is passionate about teaching.

        - The community is great, everyone is passionate about learning and excited about cs.

    Cons:

        - Curriculum outside of cs is just not there yet.

        - So EXPENSIVE. From my research, any state college in the nation is cheaper than Make School.

    Recommendations:

    if you're thinking of attending, I would highly suggest going to a community college for a year or two first. A local community college is really cheap and in some states free. After that, apply to some traditional computer science programs and look into other options. If you have no other options, I would say go to Make School as a last resort.

    The Price Scheme:

    They charge 20% of your salary for 5 years and if you take the living stipend they tack on another 5% for 5 years and then another 7% for an additional 5 years. It definitely seems appealing when they tell you no tuition up-front, but think about the future in this case. This contract doesn't go away unless you make under 60k per year for 8 years. The extra 5% and 7% are owed whenever you make more than 40k per year.

    Say you make 90k per year after graduating, after they take their money and then taxes (29% from federal and state if in California) are taken, you get left with $48,600 per year for the first 5 years.

  • juan hurtado  User Photo
    juan hurtado • Apprentice Software Engineer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    I want to leave a very honest review of my time at Make School so that other people can be informed when deciding to join. To give some background, I joined the full stack web track before the school introduced the bachelors in Applied Computer Science.

    The school was broken up into three parts. Computer Science, your chosen track ( my case full stack web ) and core. I am going to give my review on each of the three sections.

    Computer Science:

    Overall I was very happy with the CS classes. They were taught by a very knowledgeable instructor. I really liked his method of teaching because it was aimed at making sure students learned in depth the fundamentals of CS. He was also very good at breaking down complicated topics and made sure to draw diagrams and visual examples which made data structures and algorithms simpler to understand.

    Full Stack Web:

    The topics that were taught were current and applicable to getting a job but HOW they were taught wasn't up to par with the CS classes. For many of my classes we were just assigned some online tutorials and not once did we do code review or go over the tutorial to see what students did right or wrong. Me and other students were upset because we felt like there wasn't a structure to the classes. I was very dissapointing because I was spending a lot of money just to read some tutorial online. I can say I learned a lot more buying a $10 course on Udemy than from that class.

    Core:

    The purpose was to make you prepared to get a job and an effective employee. We did exercises such as:

      * Mock interviews

      * How to find and approach engineers from top tech companies to learn from them and potentially have a mentor

      * How to write professional emails

      * A bunch of other useful stuff

    The instructor was good and I can say he helped me a lot in my soft skills specially how to answer tough behavioral questions.


    Overall the school was good at teaching relevant skills and I can say that if you work hard enough you can definitely end up at a great company making a lot of money. Although, the lessons were great, Make School isn't teaching magic. You can learn and become a software engineer without spending tens of thousands of dollars. Many people have done it. In fact, I met someone who was a senior engineer at a top tech company who was entirely self taught.

    There are so MANY free or cheap courses online that are very high quality. MIT has free CS courses so does Harvard. Heck you could buy a few $10 courses on Udemy and get pretty much the same value ( From a technical side ). If I could do it all over again I wouldn't have gone to Make School and my wallet would be very happy but hindsight is 20/20.

    In conclusion, you will learn relevant skills but the school is EXTREMELY expensive and I don't know if I can justify the price for what I learned. For that reason, I don't recommend it.

  • ShenTungHuang  User Photo
    ShenTungHuang • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    We got many instructors and students in this class, all of us come from different countries and cities and major in different fields. In this class we are effort to build our mobile APP in a specific field try to amaze the world. You can learn how to build an APP or Game, get some interesting stories and advices and you can get new friends. There's a lot of things happen in this 8 weeks.

  • Just DO IT!
    - 11/13/2020
    DRose • (future) Software Engineer • Student
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    MAKESchool has an excellent curriculum and not only prepares you for "code" but also for what employers and large companies are looking for in competitive candidates. The experience and network you gain at MAKEschool with industry leaders is incomparable and they have bridged the gap between a degree and actually securing a lucrative position. In addition, I have had unexpected health issues that impacted my ability to fully attend school initially and make school was amazing at accommodating my needs and well as helping me get back on track. The only con is the dorm situation for many students after COVID which I wish Make School had handled better. I am optimistic to see how they alleviate the issues for students in dorms moving forward. Otherwise, my experience with make school so far has been pleasant and I expect to gain irreplaceable skills and experience. 
  • Accelerated Student
    - 10/29/2020
    Aldrin • Student
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    Prior to attending Make School, I attended a traditional University for Computer Science. Long story short, the first impressions I received during my time there were subpar to say the least. As a student studying a technical degree, I appreciate any type of assistance that the program can grant me. Realizing that the program wasn't efficient for my learning experience, I decided to leave and transfer to Make School's Applied CS Program.

    Having just started my Make School journey this year, I already have experienced a much better, more efficient Computer Science program than what I have experienced before. This is my experience:

    Community: Make School is a very close-knit, cohesive community, prioritizing their students' academic experience and project-based learning. During orientation, they provided us with multiple instructors who guided us with environmental setups prior to starting the courses. Throughout the terms I have experienced, the community (specifically the faculty) is active on the Make School Slack channel to be able to assist student with any help that they ask for. The community is revolved around Computer Science, and so the student vibe and experience is mostly technical, giving you daily experience and exposure to Software Engineering. 

    Curriculum: The curriculum is efficiently structured to where a student knowing nothing about programming can succeed and become efficient in a certain field of Computer Science by the time of graduation. Currently, the programs technical concentrations are in iOS programming, Front End Web, Back End Web, and Data Science. Each student starts off with the generic intro classes and then branches off into their chosen concentrations. The curriculum is very project-based, having the students submit various projects throughout each class to showcase what they understand and have learned. What I find to be extremely helpful is that the program requires a week long intensive after each term, allowing the students to practice what they have learned in and out of school into a project-based final. The Make School Applied Computer Science program is a 2 year, accelerated program, and so students interested in transitioning and/or applying to Make School have to understand that the curriculum of the traditional 4-year programs will be compiled into 2 years. Saying this, be prepared to work hard and efficient throughout your whole time there.

    Instructors/Faculty: The instructors/faculty, in my opinion, are one of the most efficient gems in a student's Make School experience. All of the instructors that I have had so far are brilliant and have had vital working experience as Software Engineers both in and out of Silicon Valley. Their backgrounds are extremely impressive, having had academic and work backgrounds at Columbia University, Google, Microsoft, NFL, UC Berkeley, and numerous others. 

    Job Support: Another great gem at Make School. Their Job Support is amazing. Shoutout to Jeff D'Andria for being an awesome human being and being a great mentor to communicate with for job support in Silicon Valley. The students that attend Make School have a higher chance to be able to work for big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Yelp, etc. It is the perfect mixture of Make School's curriculum, community networks, and faculty that allow for this to happen. 

    Financial Aid: As a Military Veteran currently waiting for the final processing to use my Education Benefits for tuition, it is hard to judge my thoughts for their financial aid services. As I have not had much experience dealing with their FinAid at this time, I will withhold any comments I have to say in regards to their FinSystem. I will say that their new assistant director for financial aid, Isabelle, has been an amazing, active communicator with me throughout my Make School experience. She is extremely helpful and is actively updating me with my FinStatus. Shoutout to Isabelle for being awesome!

    Final thoughts: Make School is an ACCELERATED PROGRAM. As welcoming as the community is, as helpful as the instructors are, as awesome as the curriculum holds, students that are interested in attending Make School have to understand that it is a competitive program that will guide you to succeed, but you also have to work hard. Life doesn't grant you a degree. Life doesn't grant you easy access to a high salary job as a software engineer. It is your motivation and work ethic both in and out of the classroom that will get you there. Make School provides the knowledge, community, assistance, and environment to help you succeed, but you yourself have to be driven enough to reach that goal. If that is truly something you desire, then Make School is the perfect fit for you. 

Thanks!