How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp

By Rebecca Safier · March 19, 2024 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right.

How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp

If you’re looking to break into the tech field, a coding bootcamp might help you get there. Coding bootcamps are short-term, intensive programs that teach in-demand coding skills, such as JavaScript, data science, and web and app development.

They may span three to six months to complete, and are usually available in person or online. According to Course Report, bootcamp tuition can range from $7,800 to $21,000, with an average cost of $13,584. Since coding bootcamps are usually not accredited programs like a degree program at a university, they don’t qualify for federal financial aid.

However, there are other options for financing this cost, such as scholarships, loans, and income-share agreements. Here’s a closer look at how to pay for a coding bootcamp so you can launch your career in tech.

Apply for Scholarships from the Bootcamp

Some coding bootcamps offer scholarships to students. Scholarships can be the best form of financial aid, since you can put them directly toward program costs and don’t have to pay them back. Scholarships are typically based on financial need or the student’s background; sometimes, they are based on a student’s aptitude and achievements.

Some specifics:

•   Coding Bootcamp Tech Elevator, for example, offers the Represent Tech Scholarship of $13,175 to historically underrepresented groups to increase access to tech careers. You might qualify for this scholarship if you identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/American Indian, female, transgender, or non-binary.

•   You might also find scholarships from private organizations. Code Fellows, Hack Reactor, and V School are just a few groups that offer scholarships for coding bootcamps. Use a scholarship search engine to find additional opportunities.

To boost your chances of winning a coding bootcamp scholarship, apply early and cast a wide net. Make sure to meet all the scholarship requirements, and, if required, put time and effort into crafting a thoughtful personal statement and any other answers to questions on the scholarship application.

💡 Quick Tip: Ready to refinance your student loan? With SoFi’s no-fee loans, you could save thousands.

Take Out a Student Loan

If you’re wondering how to pay for coding bootcamp, borrowing a student loan may be another option. While you can’t use a federal student loan to pay for most bootcamps, you may qualify for a private student loan.

Do some research on the basics of student loans and which lenders offer coding bootcamp loans. Find out what the qualification requirements are, such as a minimum credit score or income. Depending on your financial profile, you may need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner to qualify for a loan.

With private student loans, you can often choose between a fixed and variable interest rate, as well as loan terms that span several years. Keep an eye out for any fees that could add to your costs of borrowing, such as an origination fee. Many people have student loans and it can be a challenge to repay them, so you want to be sure you are getting the best deal possible.

A personal loan may also be an option for paying for coding bootcamp. However, interest rates may be higher, and it can be tough to qualify without good credit. It may be worthwhile, though, to see what you might qualify for.

Consider an Income-Share Agreement or Deferred Tuition

Some coding bootcamps let you finance the cost of your program with an income-share agreement (ISA) or deferred tuition. An income-share agreement lets you postpone paying tuition until you get a job. Once you start earning a certain amount of income, you’ll pay a percentage of that income back to the coding bootcamp for a certain period of time.

Deferred tuition works in a similar way. With this option, you don’t have to pay tuition until you’ve finished the program and gotten a job. Unlike an ISA, which involves paying a fixed percentage of your income, a deferred tuition agreement typically has you pay off your tuition bill in monthly installments.

ISAs and deferred tuition arrangements help you attend the program and gain valuable skills without having to pay tuition upfront. However, you can end up paying significantly more with this approach than the initial price tag of the program. Crunch the numbers and see what makes sense for your financial situation.

Recommended: Advantages of Refinancing Student Loans

Attend a Tuition-Guarantee School

If you want reassurance that you’ll get a return on your investment for coding bootcamp, consider a tuition-guarantee program. Bootcamps that offer a tuition guarantee will refund your tuition if you don’t find a relevant job within a certain time frame after finishing the program. Some of these bootcamps also offer deferred tuition, so you won’t have to pay your tuition bill at all if you don’t find suitable employment.

Some bootcamps that offer tuition guarantees include Springboard, Jigsaw Labs, and Bloom Institute of Technology, among others. The criteria for a tuition guarantee can be strict, however. For instance, the program may not allow you to turn down a job offer, and you may be required to apply for a certain number of jobs, meet with a career coach, and go to networking events in order to verify that you are hunting for a position. Plus, you might have to be willing to move if you get a job offer in another city or state.

If you’re attending a bootcamp with a tuition guarantee, make sure to read the fine print of that agreement. You don’t want any surprises after you complete the program.

💡 Quick Tip: When refinancing a student loan, you may shorten or extend the loan term. Shortening your loan term may result in higher monthly payments but significantly less total interest paid. A longer loan term typically results in lower monthly payments but more total interest paid.

FAQs About Paying for Bootcamps

Here are a few common questions about affording coding bootcamps, plus answers, to help you make your decision.

Does FAFSA Cover Coding Bootcamp?

The FAFSA does not cover coding bootcamps, as coding bootcamps are typically not eligible for federal financial aid. Schools that are eligible for federal aid include most accredited public, nonprofit schools, as well as some privately-owned, for-profit post-secondary institutions.

Can You Get a Student Loan for Bootcamp?

While federal student loans are not available, some private lenders offer student loans for coding bootcamp, though not all do. Some coding bootcamps may have a relationship with particular lenders. Whether or not this is the case, it can be wise to research multiple lenders to find a student loan that you can use for coding bootcamp and that also has reasonable rates and terms.

Can You Get Financial Aid for Coding Bootcamp?

You typically cannot qualify for federal financial aid for coding bootcamp. However, you may be able to find scholarships from coding bootcamps or private organizations. Plus, you can explore your options for private student loans, personal loans, income-share agreements, and tuition-guaranteed programs.

Can You Use a 529 Plan to Pay for Coding Bootcamp?

You can only use a 529 plan to pay for coding bootcamp if that program is offered by a school that’s eligible for federal student aid. As most coding bootcamps do not fit this criteria, withdrawals from a 529 plan for a coding bootcamp would likely not count as qualified educational expenses.

Recommended: What Is the Average Student Loan Debt After College?

The Takeaway

If you want to learn web development, make your own app, or become fluent in JavaScript, CSS, or another programming language, a coding bootcamp can teach you those skills and potentially help you in your career. If covering the costs of a coding bootcamp upfront are out of reach, you have various ways to pay for it, including scholarships, student loans, personal loans, and income-share agreements.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.

With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.

Photo credit: iStock/izusek

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender