A certification in data science can be a great investment that could put you on the track of a viable career — in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 36% growth (much faster than the national average) from 2021–2031! And with the availability of bootcamp programs, you can get trained at a relatively low cost. Nevertheless, they can still require a significant upfront payment. So, here are a few options if you’re wondering how to pay for a data science bootcamp.
Scholarships and grants
The first step you’ll want to take as you start the enrollment process is to look into scholarship options. Check your school’s website or talk to an admissions rep to learn about available scholarships and grants. In many occasions, schools will have their own scholarships open to their students, or you might be able to find third-party ones that you can use for tuition or living expenses!
Veteran benefits — GI Bill
If you’re a veteran, or eligible for veteran benefits, you may be able to pay for your data science certification through the GI Bill®, an education grant available to veterans and military personnel. If you’re eligible, the GI Bill may be able to cover your full tuition. Apply on the VA website or ask your school for more information about qualification!
“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official US government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
Out of pocket upfront
Once you’ve looked into scholarships and grant opportunities, paying out of pocket might be your next best option — as long as you have enough money saved up to cover the tuition, any books and supplies you may need, and living expenses such as rent and groceries. While this method does have the highest upfront cost, you won’t owe any money in interest, there’s no credit check, and you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments!
Interest-free recurring payment plans
For those who have explored all scholarships and are still looking for how to pay for a data science bootcamp, some schools offer payment plan options to allow students to make several smaller payments over the duration of the program. This lessens the upfront cost, and it includes no credit check and no interest — so you’ll ultimately pay less than you would with a loan. However, payments are spread over a much shorter period of time than they would be with a loan, so though you’ll pay less overall, your monthly payments will be higher.
A student loan can be a good option for students who need to make the smallest monthly payments, rather than larger payments or all upfront. While not all bootcamps offer federal student loans, private student loans may still be available. Depending on the loan terms available for your course, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.
Some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though, are that most loans come with an interest rate, so you’ll likely end up paying more than the tuition amount. Your credit report will also be pulled, so your credit score may be impacted — although, Climb only performs a hard credit pull once a loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!* Ultimately, you’ll need to consider what works best for your situation: smaller monthly payments while paying more overall, or higher monthly payments while paying less overall.
*Climb performs a “soft” credit pull to evaluate eligibility, but this soft credit check will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull is only performed once the loan is accepted and funded.