New NYCDA payment plan holds coding school's feet to the fire - Technical.ly Philly

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Oct. 3, 2017 11:48 am

New NYCDA payment plan holds coding school’s feet to the fire

The company, which has campuses in NYC, Philly and Salt Lake City, just rolled out an income-share option that lets students pay for tuition *after* they get a tech job. If they don't, tuition is on NYCDA.

At a NYCDA class.

(Courtesy photo)

New York Code + Design Academy rolled out a new payment option for their students in Philly and Salt Lake City known as Income Share Agreements.

Under the new setup, grads pay 8 percent of their post-graduation salary, a deal that only kicks in if grads land jobs that pay at least $40,000 a year or more. If not? NYCDA will take the losses, says CEO and founder Jeremy Snepar. It’s a bet based on the academy’s trust that they’ll be able to place grads in high-paying jobs. It’s also a way to lure more people into starting a career in tech.

“The point of the ISA is to provide accessibility,” Snepar told Technical.ly. “I want people who are underemployed or working to pay-off student debt or who are not passionate about their careers to consider this. The value proposition for them is: if we don’t do our job teaching you the skills you need to get the jobs you want you don’t pay us tuition.”

"People are basically working to pay interest to a bank. It's a terrible situation."
Jeremy Snepar, NYCDA CEO

Snepar thinks it’s also going to encourage more people to at least explore getting into tech, in turn filling the open tech jobs.

(In Philly, a report says that tech jobs are in high demand, with employers saying they grapple to fill high-skilled jobs.)

NYCDA’s most recent contender is Boston-based Launch Academy, now based out of the Benjamin’s Desk at 1701 Walnut. While they don’t offer ISAs, they offer financing through Skills Fund, a financing platform that vets coding bootcamp before offering financing (and that option is also available at NYCDA). Per Placement/Talent Manager Mike McCoy, grads from the program’s two Philly cohorts are at a 100 percent placement rate.

At NYCDA, tuition was just raised to $15,000, but Snepar said under the interest-free ISA deal an entry-level technologist could pay back the tuition in three to four years. If students aren’t making more than $40,000 after graduating — namely, if they have to go back to their non-tech career since most coding jobs easily clear that hurdle— they don’t have to pay anything.

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The ISA is also the coding camp’s response to the student debt problem, Snepar said.

“The problem with education is that people get into debt to get an education that then doesn’t pay them a living wage,” the exec said. “People are basically working to pay interest to a bank. It’s a terrible situation and I’m hoping that this will help people circumvent that cycle but also put pressure on universities to give a little more value and help get their students in real careers. Hopefully we can help chip away at the student debt problem.”

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