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Best ISA Bootcamps of 2023

A coding bootcamp is an effective way to kickstart a career in tech and an excellent alternative to traditional education. However, it can also be expensive. To support students, many ISA bootcamp options exist that make education affordable and hold schools responsible for providing the best education possible.

Income share agreements, or ISAs, are becoming more widely available as coding bootcamps continue to gain popularity among students wishing to pick up tech skills quickly and effectively. Schools benefit because more students can afford an education, and students benefit because schools are accountable to help them become competitive in the workplace.

This guide will walk you through the fundamentals of income share agreements and how you can leverage them to afford a coding bootcamp education. With ISA bootcamps, it’s now possible for students from all financial backgrounds to take control of their career prospects and get an education.

The Importance of Income Share Agreements

ISAs are financing programs that put the majority of the risk on schools instead of students. ISA payment programs defer the cost of tuition until after students graduate and find a job in the industry they trained for. Once employed, students agree to pay a percentage of their income for 2-3 years, after which they’re free of debt. If students can’t find a job despite their best efforts, they don’t have to pay.

ISA bootcamps often have a minimum salary cutoff, preventing students from making payments unless they can afford it. The cutoff is usually between $50,000 and $60,000. These programs hold schools accountable for providing up-to-date curricula and provide students with peace of mind.

Best Income Share Agreement Bootcamps

ISA Bootcamp Provider Duration Payment Percentage Payment Cap Minimum Income
4Geeks Academy 48 months 9% 1.5 x tuition cost $35,000
Alchemy Code Lab 52 months 9.5% 1.5 x tuition cost $50,000
App Academy 36 months 15% $31,000 $50,000
Clarusway 5 years max 7.5% N/A $40,000
Coding Dojo 70 months 9.8% 70 payments $32,000
General Assembly 48 months 10% $15,000 $40,000
Hack Reactor 48 months 10% 1.4 x tuition cost $60,000
Le Wagon Up to 5 years depending on location 4,8% - 5,5% €13,000 €27,000
The Tech Academy N/A N/A N/A $30,000
4Geeks Academy logo

4Geeks Academy offers bootcamps for full stack development, data science and machine learning, and Blockchain and Web3. The school created an ISA to ensure students could focus completely on their education without any upfront investment. It offers a 9 percent rate and a 48-month timeframe for payments.

Alchemy Code Lab logo

Alchemy Code Lab created a program designed to train people for mid-level software development roles. It partnered with Social Finance, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to ensure the quality of its ISA and to ensure that it is accountable for the results of the students.

App Academy logo

App Academy has graduated over 3,000 students through their ISA program since 2013. App Academy graduates who are unsuccessful in their job hunt for a period of three years have their tuition waived fully, so long as they are in compliance with the bootcamp’s job search agreement. This ISA has a cap of $31,000 or 36 months, whichever comes first.

Clarusway logo

Clarusway

Clarusway offers a wide variety of programs, including Cloud and DevOps Engineering, Data Science, Software Development, Cyber Security, and Web3. It has partnered with Leif, who is its ISA program manager. In order to apply for it, you’ll have to go through the Leif website.

Coding Dojo logo

Coding Dojo has partnered with Mia Share to offer an ISA to students. This means that your application will need to be vetted by both organizations. The Coding Dojo ISA has the longest duration of any on our list at 70 months. It’s also worth noting that this financing option is not available to residents of California.

General Assembly logo

The General Assembly income share agreement program is called Catalyst. The Catalyst program is available for GA’s full-time programs. Students enrolling in its User Experience Design Immersive, Software Engineering Immersive, or Data Science Immersive bootcamp programs can apply.

Hack Reactor logo

Hack Reactor is part of Galvanize and offers an immersive software engineering bootcamp in three modalities which last 12, 19, or 36 weeks respectively. The Hack Reactor ISA is managed by Galvanize’s partner, Stride Funding, which conducts a credit investigation of all applicants. This ISA is not available to students from Alabama, California, Iowa, South Carolina, or Washington.

Le Wagon

Le Wagon is a top-ranking bootcamp that offers a wide variety of programs in various countries around the world since 2013. For now, it offers an ISA option for students enrolling in its 9-week web development bootcamps in Barcelona and Madrid. Financing options, as well as cost and program availability, vary depending on the country.

The Tech Academy logo

The Tech Academy offers instructor-led and self-paced programs covering a wide range of subjects, from cyber security to UX/UI design, but it only offers ISAs for students enrolling for its full-time Software Developer, C# and .NET, and Python bootcamps. Its partner, Leif, manages its ISA program. The Tech Academy does not offer a great deal of information regarding how its ISA program works, so it’s best to reach out directly for more information.

two men coding on a computer

Why Choose an Income Sharing Bootcamp?

So, why choose an ISA bootcamp? Income sharing bootcamps offer many benefits over traditional education and even other bootcamp programs. When a school offers an income share agreement to most of its students, it’s a good sign that the program is confident in its ability to guide them toward successful careers. After all, most income share agreement providers only profit if graduates find a job.

The best ISA programs can give students the opportunity to get an education that otherwise they could not afford. They also offer clear terms and conditions so you understand what you’re getting into from the get-go. This system has clear benefits over traditional financing and helps break down the barrier to entry that once prevented thousands of motivated individuals from attending a bootcamp.

Pros and Cons of Income Share Agreements

As tempting as an ISA might be at first, it is important that you evaluate both the pros and the cons before you make a commitment. Keep in mind that there are other financing options, such as deferred tuition plans, which can also help you cover tuition for your desired bootcamp. Keep reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of ISAs.

Income Share Agreement Pros

  • You can start your education without investing money. The clearest advantage of ISAs is that they allow you to get an education without having to pay money upfront, eliminating any financial barrier.
  • You won’t pay unless you make more than the stipulated minimum income. Another pro is that you will not start paying until you are making the minimum income stipulated by the bootcamp. If you’re struggling to find work after graduation, you won’t have to worry about ISA payments until you find your footing.
  • There are payment caps in place. Payment caps in the shape of a maximum amount to be repaid and a maximum number of months are in place so that you always know the end is in sight and you won’t be dragging debt for years.

Income Share Agreement Cons

  • You often pay more than your tuition cost. A disadvantage of ISAs is that you will likely end up paying more money than what tuition would originally cost, even with payment caps in place.
  • Your income will suffer. As soon as you start making the minimum stipulated in your agreement, you will have to sacrifice a percentage of your income. This might hinder your ability to save up or pay other debts for an extended period of time.
  • ISAs are not regulated. Unlike traditional loans, ISAs are not regulated by any government agency. This means that each bootcamp or financial partner is free to charge as much as they want, which might lead to disproportionate amounts of money paid to the school in the long run.

Are Bootcamp ISAs Worth It?

Yes, an ISA bootcamp can be worth it, but you need to be clear on what you’re getting into. ISAs can be an excellent way to bypass financial barriers and get the training that you need to launch a career in tech. They are also based on the premise that you will succeed in finding work upon graduation, which can help bootcamps stay accountable for the training they provide to students.

If you choose an income sharing bootcamp, make sure you understand what percentage you’ll be paying, how many months or years you’ll be paying for, and any other terms and conditions that are in place when you sign up. Also, remember to research all financial aid options available to select the one that will benefit you the most in the long run.

Best Income Share Agreement Bootcamps of 2023 FAQ

What happens if you don’t find a job when you graduate?

If you don’t find a job when you graduate from your bootcamp, you will likely have your fees waived after an agreed-upon period of time. This period can vary greatly depending on the bootcamp, but it’s usually severely years. However, you will likely have to demonstrate that you are actively searching for work according to the bootcamp’s guidelines.

Are there regulations around ISAs?

No, there are no regulations around ISAs. Unlike other types of student loans, no government agencies have a say on the terms and conditions of an ISA, which are agreed upon by the bootcamp provider and the student.

What happens if you don't pay an income share agreement?

What happens if you’re unable to make your ISA payments depends on the reason. If it is because you are unable to find work and have followed the job search parameters laid out by the bootcamp, your fees will likely be waived in the long run. However, an ISA is a legally binding contract between two parties, so if you fail to demonstrate intent to find work the bootcamp can take legal action.

How are ISA bootcamp payments calculated?

ISA coding bootcamp payments are typically a percentage of your income. This percentage is agreed upon when you sign up for the ISA and the bootcamp, as is the minimum income you need to make in order to start paying.

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