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Income Share Agreements and Skills Fund

What's all the hype around ISAs?

Income Share Agreements (ISAs) have recently come to light as an alternative payment vehicle for various forms of higher ed (including coding and technology bootcamps). To put it simply, when you enter an Income Share Agreement with your school, you're agreeing to pay no or little tuition upfront, and in return, you're giving the school a big chunk of your paycheck after you've secured employment.


The idea of not having to pay program tuition until after you've secured a paycheck sounds appealing. Especially when it carries a hook of a tuition guarantee.

But let's step back for a moment, and look at some statistics.

How Much Debt Do You Have?

The average bootcamp tuition cost is $11,400 for 14.1 weeks. (source)

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The average post-bootcamp salary is $66,887. (source)

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Income Share Agreements take anywhere from 15%-25% of your post-bootcamp salary. (source)


App Academy takes 23% of your first year's salary as their tuition. There's also a deposit that ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. If you make the average salary ($66,887), that puts your tuition + deposit around (at least) $18,384 for a 12-week course.

Viking Code School, in addition to their $2,000 nonrefundable deposit, takes 20% of your first year's salary as their tuition. If you make the average salary ($66,887), that puts your tuition + deposit around (at least) $15,377 for a 12-week course. There's also an option to pay for the program upfront: $2,000 deposit plus $12,800.


It depends. Let's start with the pros: it puts pressure on the school to make sure you get a great job, and puts the school on the hook if you don't.

But there's a flip side, and it involves you potentially paying a lot more for your education than is necessary. If you end up in a role after you graduate, you pay the school whatever percentage is in your agreement (and that's assuming the terms are transparent and upfront to you). The school can earn up to five times as much as the tuition is actually worth.

Income Share Agreements are one of many solutions for bootcamp tuition funding. Keep an eye out for payment plans (often higher than the original cost, but still manageable), scholarships (especially geared towards veterans and underrepresented groups in technology), deferred tuition (don't pay until after you graduate), job guarantees (don't pay until after you've secured a great post-bootcamp job) and loans (low monthly payments towards tuition and added bonus of credit health).


How Much Have You Been Spending

What percentage of my salary will you take?

What Costs Do You Have To Pay Every Day?

How quickly do I need to pay you after I secure a job?

Look At Your Savings

Is there a job guarantee?

Skills Fund - Revolutionizing Higher Education


We created a model that places students first. With Skills Fund, expect underwriting and loan terms that do not penalize your educational or employment background, and disclose all loan details before you start your loan application.

This means no teaser rates, no odd cosigner incentives, and no hooks around a model that appears student first at initial glance but instead will cost you significantly more in the long-term.

Another important benefit to our model is your improved credit health. Part of becoming a productive and well-paid adult is being able to make payments, build your credit score, and invest properly.

When you take out a Skills Fund loan, it's about more than borrowing money. When you make on-time payments, you benefit from building your credit score, which allows you to pay less to borrow money in the future.

Everything we do at Skills Fund is students first. So, take a step back, and put ISAs into context: are they in your best interest or the schools? It's as simple as this - the schools benefit from your salary long after your graduation.

Skills Fund doesn't offer ISAs because there is no clear way to empower the student directly, and we believe our model can provide short- and long-term benefits that an ISA cannot.

We've created a product that doesn't change based on the job you get or the salary you receive, nor discriminate based upon where you are today in life. No matter what, you're getting the same interest rate, general APR, and loan terms as all other students in your program.

To learn more about the value of a Skills Fund partnership, click here.