Updated December 6, 2019
So you’ve decided to make a career transition. You’ve done your research and have decided that attending a bootcamp is the best way for you to learn the craft of software development or the skills required for data analytics or data science. You’re considering Nashville Software School, but wonder, “how do I pay for it?”
As the first non-profit coding bootcamp in the US, we strive to keep our bootcamps within financial reach of all who apply. We do this by, first, keeping our tuition affordable; which as a non-profit is easier to do since we don’t have investors requiring a return. On a per week basis, we’re one of the most affordable bootcamps in the country (if not the most affordable bootcamp). As an example, our Web Development Bootcamp is a full-time, full stack program that runs for six months, or 24 weeks. At our current tuition of $12,500, that’s about $500/week! Some bootcamps may offer lower tuition, but often, they cost twice as much per week to learn only a portion of what we teach in 24 weeks.
Second, we offer students several ways to pay their tuition, including payment plans, student loans, and the GI Bill® as discussed below.
Third, we offer an innovative tuition program where we “bet” on the success of the student and offer them deferred tuition until they have a job in technology. We were the first bootcamp to offer a deferred tuition plan back when we started in 2012. We refer to this option as Nashville Opportunity Tuition.
What is Nashville Opportunity Tuition?
Nashville Opportunity Tuition has been a key pillar of Nashville Software School since day one when all of our students were a part of this unique shared risk/deferred tuition plan. Currently, a little over half of our students are on this plan. So what is Nashville Opportunity Tuition and who is the program for?
Nashville Opportunity Tuition allows us to help individuals in economically disadvantaged situations pursue careers in tech. It also enables us to lower barriers for underrepresented groups in tech, such as women, African Americans and other people of color, and veterans, especially those who have already used their GI Bill benefits (for more about the GI Bill, see below).
John Wark shared in a blog post last year:
The essence of the Opportunity Tuition is that both we and the student share the risk and co-invest in their career. Students selected for this program receive a $2500* scholarship and are only required to pay $1500 in tuition at the start of the program (“skin in the game money”). The remaining tuition balance of $8,500* is carried on our books until such time as the student a) graduates from NSS and b) secures their first tech job post-graduation.
*These numbers have been updated to reflect our current tuition of $12,500 for Web Development and Data Science Bootcamps.
Nashville Opportunity Tuition graduates are encouraged to find jobs locally. Our goal from the beginning was to find and nurture home-grown tech talent to fill Nashville’s need for software developers. Being a non-profit bootcamp focused on a single community has enabled us to adapt quickly to meet the needs of Nashville, for example, adding data science and UI/UX to our curriculum. And our local community is the foundation of Nashville Software School. Read What We Mean When We Say Community.
Not everyone can qualify for Nashville Opportunity Tuition, so we provide several payment options for regular tuition students.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Yes! Those who plan to pay full tuition out-of-pocket have two options (based on $12,500 tuition):
- Full Payment with Early Bird Discount: Students pay a $5,000 deposit, which is required to hold your spot. Then, if you pay you full remaining balance by the first day of class, they’ll receive a $500 early bird discount.
- Payment Plan: Some students prefer to spread out their payments. They also pay a $5,000 deposit when they accept their offer to bootcamp. 50% of the remaining tuition is due by the first day of class. The final tuition balance is due halfway through the course.
Other payment plans may also be arranged, but all of our payment plans require full payment by the time you graduate. If you need an extended payment option, you may want to consider the student loan options discussed below.
Do You Accept The GI Bill®?
We do! Nashville Software School was one of the first five coding bootcamps in the country approved to accept the GI Bill. Qualifying veterans and their dependents are eligible to get up to 100% of their tuition at Nashville Software School paid or reimbursed. We are able to accept the following:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch.33)
- Montgomery GI Bill (Ch.30)
- Select Reserve GI Bill (Ch.1606)
- REAP GI Bill (Ch.1607)
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) (Ch.31)
- Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) (Ch.35)
Veterans who have used all their GI Bill benefits or whose benefits have expired can apply for Nashville Opportunity Tuition, as explained above, or regular tuition.
Are Loans Available? Skills Fund and Climb Credit
We never encourage students to take on debt, particularly more debt than they can afford. However, we understand that for some, a third-party loan is the best option. We have partnered with two companies that offer loans for bootcamps, Skills Fund and Climb Credit. Both loan options are free to apply and we encourage students to look at the terms for both and choose the option that is best for them. The minimum deposit, paid to NSS, for those using Skills Fund or Climb Credit varies between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the bootcamp. If you borrow less than the maximum allowed, your remaining balance is due by the first day of class.
We recommend that prospective students compare all of the financing options available to them, including savings, third-party loans from Skills Fund or Climb Credit, an NSS payment plan, assistance from your family, or other loan options.
If you have considered all of your financial options and come to the conclusion that you can’t quit your day job, we have yet another option for you.
Have You Considered Our Part-time, Evening Bootcamps?
We offer our Web Development Bootcamp, Data Analytics Bootcamp, and Data Science Bootcamp in a part-time, evening format. Students still experience our comprehensive bootcamps, just over a longer time period. It’s demanding to work full-time and be in school, but our part-time programs have allowed over 150 graduates to start a new career. All of our financing options are also available to part-time bootcamp students, including payment plans, loans, and the Opportunity Tuition.
Is your employer frequently hiring junior web developers? Would our data science bootcamp enable you to level up your skills and move into a new role within your company? If so, consider asking your employer if they would pay for part or all of your tuition in one of our part-time, evening programs.
Is Federal Aid Available?
Nashville Software School is NOT eligible for federal student aid, loans, or grants. In general, schools must be accredited in order for their students to be eligible for federal grants or loans. While Nashville Software School (like most bootcamps), is approved by its state’s higher education regulator, it is not the same as accreditation. In the coding bootcamp world, the vast majority of bootcamps are private, non-accredited schools and thus, ineligible for government loan/grant programs.
Every student’s financial situation is unique. While affording any bootcamp at Nashville Software School takes some planning, it’s a less expensive (and more vocationally relevant) alternative to a four-year degree in computer science and offers a more comprehensive program at half the cost per week than other bootcamps. Additionally, most students find our hands-on learning environment to take them further, faster than self-study options. Our students leave with valuable hands-on experience that is appreciated by many local hiring managers.
**All numbers in this post reflect current tuition for our Web Development and Data Science Bootcamps as of 12/6/19**