Financial Aid Plans for Fall 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Our New Plans

A New Chapter in Student Financing

In Fall 2020, Make School started offering a new financial aid model that will (in most cases) replace the Income Share Agreement we have used since 2014. This new plan is designed to reduce the average cost of a Make School Education while preserving the core protections of ISAs - if you don’t have a job after Make School, you should not have to pay until you are employed.

Under our new model, students will take primary financing from Title IV funding (Pell Grants, Direct Federal Loans, Parent Plus Loans) and private loans. Make School has created a protection plan that will cap your loan payments as a percentage of your income to ensure your monthly loan payments remain affordable. If you are unemployed, this plan will drop your monthly payments to $0.

This strongly incentivizes Make School to see you succeed - if you are underemployed or unemployed after graduating, Make School will be helping pay your loans every month. This new protection plan is called Extended Income-Based Repayment (EIBR) and is fully described further down on this page. Learn more about EIBR here.

Tuition Costs, 2021 - 2023

We have updated the tuition breakdown to provide an understanding of On-Campus vs Online costs of tuition. Online students will get a $1,000/semester discount since they will not be using On-Campus services.

Fall 2021$15,000$14,000
Spring 2022$15,000$14,000
Summer 2022$10,000$9,000
Fall 2022$15,000$14,000
Spring 2023$15,000$14,000

A full breakdown of the estimated cost of attendance can be found further down on this page.

It is possible for students with no transfer credit to complete the bachelor's degree in 2 calendar years. However, depending on how many credits you transfer in and how many classes you complete in 2 years, you may need to study for a semester or more after your second summer to complete your degree.

Students studying beyond 2 years will incur additional living expenses. These expenses can be covered in part or in full by Federal Direct Loans and Pell Grants, depending on your eligibility. If you need additional support for your living expenses beyond what is available with Federal Direct Loans and Pell Grants, you may need to take out additional private loans.

Students may have to pay additional tuition for classes beyond their first 2 years of study, though typically students needing 12 units or less to complete their degree after 2 years of study are not charged additional tuition if they have maintained satisfactory academic progress throughout their time at Make School.

How the model works

Based on our learnings over the past 5 years, Make School is shifting to a financial aid model that we believe will be the future of student financial aid. Colleges should be responsible for loan payments that students cannot afford. Income-Based Repayment is already a well-established program used by the federal government and all top law schools around the country. We are extending that protection to all loans a student takes out for their Make School education, a system we first recommended in the policy paper we published in December 2019. This extended protection, which we are calling EIBR, effectively brings the best features of ISAs to the established financial aid system used by all colleges. We hope that we can show the way to other undergraduate institutions and spark change across higher education so that no student is left with debt they cannot afford.

Lower Cost
Higher Cost
Pell Grants
Free grant money available for low-income students
Direct Federal Loans
At a 2.75% interest rate, available to all students
Parent Plus Loans
At a 4.3% interest rate, available to all students with parent co-signer without delinquent loan payments
Low-Interest Private Loans
At 3-7% interest rate, available to all students with excellent credit or a co-signer with excellent credit
High Interest Private Loans
At an 8-15% interest rate, available to all students (except for students who have bad personal credit or significant existing debt)

Our new financial aid model uses an algorithm that advises students to take as much aid from the lowest interest rate source prior to considering higher interest rate sources. This strategy - though it adds complexity - ensures the lowest cost of education for students.

For most students, their full financial aid package will cost less than our existing ISA-based financial aid. For some students, the private loans on their own will be on par or slightly higher than ISAs, but when blended with Pell Grants and Direct Federal loans will generally be more affordable.

In most cases, our students will be protected by our Extended Income-Based Repayment plan which will cap their monthly payments as an affordable % of their income.

Extended Income Based Repayment (EIBR)

Direct Federal Loans come with built-in Income-Based Repayment for students, resulting in payments being capped at 10% of monthly discretionary income. This provides part of the protection for underemployed and unemployed graduates. The problem we are solving is that all other student loans (Parent Plus, Private) don’t come with built-in Income-Based repayment options. So while you could reduce your Direct Federal Loan payments to $0 if you are unemployed, at other colleges you would still have to pay monthly for the rest of your loans. Not so at Make School.

Make School is creating and funding an Extended Income-Based Repayment (EIBR) protection plan to cover Parent Plus and private loans to create full protection coverage for underemployed and unemployed graduates.

The EIBR protection plan is designed as an extension of the Federal IBR program to apply to all types of loans not covered by Federal IBR and preserve the protection and incentive alignment of Income Share Agreements. The EIBR protection plan will cap total student loan payments (combined federal direct, parent plus, and private) to the following percentages of monthly gross income.

Disclaimer: the stated EIBR caps apply to students enrolling in fall 2020. These caps are subject to change by a few percentage points for future cohorts as we collect data on how the program is working and what the challenges are.

Any debt obligation beyond the cap will be paid out by the EIBR protection plan. The EIBR protection plan is funded by 7-10% of tuition revenue collected by Make School, placed into a protected fund with transparent financials and independent control. Make School itself is a guarantor for the fund and will top it up if ever necessary.

We expect that around 80% of students will qualify for the cheaper funding options - government and private loans to fund their Make School education*.

*If you have significant existing debt that would result in unaffordable monthly payments after Make School, you may be denied loans. Please contact us immediately if you have more than $7500 in outstanding debt. This is not a hard cut-off, just an amount that will trigger a conversation about the best financial options for you.

Example breakdowns for new students. (fully on new model)

An on-campus student graduating in 2 years will pay $70k in tuition and spend ~$36k in living expenses.
    Example of student financial aid stack with Parent Plus loans:
    Example of student financial aid stack with private loan:
Disclaimer: these are example cases. Your individual breakdown and median payments will depend on your personal financial situation, funding amount, interest rate, salary growth, and other factors.

How the Process Works

Submit FAFSA
2-7 days
Receive Financial Aid Package
2-7 days
Counseling Session on Package
2-7 days
Apply for Private Loan or Parent PLUS Loan
2-7 days
Accept Aid and Complete Package
2-7 days

EIBR vs. ISA Comparison

Scroll through the table below to see the direct comparison between different financial aid packages (including the Full ISA option offered between 2014-2019).

Disclaimer: the numbers in the following table are approximations based on typical funding amounts for each financial aid type. The exact numbers will be different based on your personal financial situation, funding amount, interest rate, salary growth, and other factors. We’re sharing these approximations to help illustrate differences between various funding options and help give a high level understanding of what your financial situation will be upon graduating from Make School.

Available to
Students with parent cosigner that has moderate credit
All second year students, first year students with moderate credit or family cosigner
(with exception of students that have very bad credit and no cosigner, and students who have significant existing debt)
All students
(with exception of students that have very bad credit and no cosigner, and students who have significant existing debt)
Total funding amount
(assumes no cash tuition)
(will range from $90-115k based on Pell eligibility and time to complete degree)
(will range from $90-115k based on Pell eligibility and time to complete degree)
Interest rate for loans
2.75% for direct, 5.3% for Parent Plus
(based on current federal loan interest rates, varies year to year)
2.75% for direct, 13% for private loans
(interest and payback will be lower with a cosigner or strong credit)
ISA Payback Terms
20% for 5 years for tuition, 5-7% for 10 years for living stipend
Maximum monthly payment immediately after graduating
(estimated based on typical funding amounts listed above)
(based on $120k starting salary, even higher for starting salaries over $120k)
Maximum percent of gross income owed immediately after graduating
(calculated by adding up all payments owed across federal debt, private loans, ISA)
20% of income
(if making exactly $60k, otherwise lower)
20% of income
(if making $60k-$85k, otherwise lower)
25% of income
(if making $60k+)
Average monthly payment post-graduation
Median monthly payment post-graduation
Median monthly take home pay after taxes and debt payments*
Length of payments post graduation
10 years for Parent Plus, 10-20 years for Direct Loans
(depending on federal IBR payback)
10 years for Private Loans, 10-20 years for Direct Loans
(depending on federal IBR payback)
5 years for tuition, 10 years for living stipend
NPV of average tuition payback
(estimated, Net Present Value (NPV) discounts for time value of money)
Maximum tuition payback
(estimated based on typical funding amount, not NPV adjusted)
(even higher for starting salaries over $120k)
Lower payback if paying some cash tuition
Lower payback with co-signer or good credit
(Parent Plus requires parent co-signer. Good credit does not reduce interest.)
(Private loans typically have a 4-11% with a cosigner or with strong credit. They typically have 13-15% interest without a cosigner and little to no credit.)
Ability to refinance once employed and credit has been built
Ability to pre-pay to reduce interest
Stacks well with future debt
(additional education, mortgage)
Tax credit for education loans
Enables students to build credit with reliable payback
Delinquent payments with lack of communication will harm student credit
Dischargeable in bankruptcy
* Estimated based on historical Make School outcomes and assuming San Francisco taxes

Our Guiding Student Financing Principles

Tuition, living and interest expense re-payments must remain affordable relative to income and low enough to allow repayment of tuition within a reasonable time period to enable students to build their lives without significant delay.

Students with little to no credit history and no parent co-signer should be able to receive financing. Especially important for students from low-income families. Students with bad personal credit or significant debt may not be eligible.

Return-on-investment on the Make School degree must be among top institutions, creating significant upward mobility for graduates.

Strong downside protection must be in place, whereby unemployed students don’t have payment obligation and underemployed students have reduced payment obligation.

Sufficient funding and tuition revenue must be available to Make School to sustain our cost of operations and improve long term financial health.

Why we shifted to our new model

We have been working for some time on this shift to a more comprehensive financial aid model. The data we’ve collected on ISAs shows that ISAs can be very expensive for students who graduate earning salaries above $100k, as our alums on average do. Given our growing set of data, the policy paper we published last December recommended our new model for colleges. The new model significantly reduces the average amount that a student will have to pay for their Make School education while maintaining the core protections of an ISA.

We had hoped to finalize our new financial aid model for the class entering Make School in Fall 2021. In light of the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we had to accelerate introducing this change by a year. The truth is, the Coronavirus-driven recession has severely impacted ISA funding markets, leaving us without the funding necessary to offer ISAs.

We apologize for rolling this out so late in the academic year, but we feel strongly that this new offering is in our students’ best interest. This program builds on the strengths of the traditional tuition/financial aid model and affords our students the financial protection we have always promised.

Recording of the financial aid info session at the April 2020 Virtual Preview Weekend

Comparing Make School to Traditional Colleges

Our graduates start their careers with an average salary of $100k/year, on par with graduates from top-tier programs and far ahead of the national average ofaround $66,000.

Our graduates start working 1-2 years earlier than typical computer science undergrads. This means that while a student at a traditional college would pay up to $40,000-80,000 in tuition for their last years of college, the typical Make School student is already a graduate and will earn $100,000-$200,000 pre-tax during those same years.

2021 - 2023 Academic Year Budget

TUITION* - Year with summer classes$40,000$40,000$40,000$37,000
TUITION* - Year with summer internship$30,000$30,000$30,000$28,000
Enrollment Deposit$250$250$250$250
Housing (Deposit)$500$1,800***$0$0
Books and Supplies$200$200$200$200
Macbook (only Year 1)$1,600$1,600$1,600$1,600
Health Insurance$100$100$100$100
Personal Expenses$2,853$3,996$3,564$2,853
TOTAL Year with summer classes$62,507$73,424$49,448$44,203
TOTAL Year with summer internship$52,907$63,424$39,448$34,203
*The total tuition for the 2 year program is $70,000 for on-campus students and $65,000 for online students.
**The cost in this table for Make School’s preferred student housing options assumes the student has a triple occupancy room. The preferred student housing costs are as follows: Single: $1,450 Double: $1,095 Triple: $995 Quad: $975
*** This table assumes a monthly cost of $1,800/ month to live outside of Make School’s preferred student housing options while enrolled in the on-campus program option. The cost accounts for rent, utilities, and internet in a shared 2 or 3 bedroom unit. You may be asked to pay the first and last months rent at the time of signing the lease, in addition to a deposit.

Have More Questions?

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2. Learn more about applying for private loans.

3. Check out our Tuition FAQs.

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