Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Lambda School located?
Lambda School is located in Silicon Valley, California. However, all of our classes take place entirely online. Various cities have local meetups and gatherings. Students do not work out of our offices, and can take classes from anywhere.
The course hours don't work for me. Can I attend on my own time?
No. The most important aspects of Lambda School happen in small, interactive groups, and require full attendance for all hours of the class. Although we do record and archive all of our lectures, the lectures alone are not what makes Lambda School great.
Do I have to take the first job I'm offered?
No, we don't control where you work. Since developers tend to get raises fairly quickly, we do recommend not over optimizing your job search and getting a job as fast as possible.
Does Lambda School help me get a job?
We do everything we possibly can! Our team will help you prepare a resume and portfolio, practice interviews, and even help you in salary negotiation. At the end of the day though, you're the one who needs to apply, interview, and land the job.
What computer specs do I need?
Minimum
1.6 GHz Processor
4 GB RAM
120 GB Hard Drive
Web Cam
Microphone

Recommended
2 GHz Processor
8 GB RAM
256 GB Hard Drive (preferably solid state)

Recommended operating systems (in descending order): macOS, Windows 10 Pro, Ubuntu

Other versions of Windows work but students should anticipate occasional environment issues. Chromebooks are not supported, as coursework involves installing and running software locally.
Do you offer loaner laptops for prospective students?
No. Last year Lambda School ran a pilot program where we offered laptops to applicants in need. The program is currently on pause while we evaluate the success and impact of the program. We currently do not have an estimated date for when the program will re-launch.
Will I receive a degree when I graduate from Lambda?
Lambda School is not a degree granting institution, however we do issue a certificate of completion within 60 days of graduation.
Is Lambda School accredited?
Lambda School is not an accredited institution. Lambda School is regulated at the state level as a post-secondary education institution.
Tuition & Income Share Agreement (ISA) Questions
Important Note: The FAQs below explains certain tuition and ISA features and terms, but do not override any terms in the Income Share Agreement (ISA) itself. Students should read their enrollment agreement and ISA contract(s) carefully to understand their terms.
What is an ISA and how does it work?
An ISA is a way to pay your Lambda School tuition. A Lambda School ISA is a contract under which you agree to pay 17% of your post-Lambda School salary for 24 months, but only once you're making more than $50,000 per year (or the equivalent of $4,166.66 per month). The ISA is capped at a maximum repayment of $30,000, so you won’t pay more than $30,000 under any circumstances.

This is our way of investing in you. We select students we believe will be successful, and cover your tuition until you're in a financial position to pay us back.
What is the true cost of Lambda School for students who elect to use an ISA?
Lambda School tuition is $30,000. You can elect to pay upfront or via an ISA.

Because ISA payments are based on income and the maximum number of monthly payments is 24, any one student who elects to use an ISA might pay less than the full $30,000 tuition of Lambda School.  

If you do not land a high paying job, you do not pay Lambda School anything. If you land a high-paying job, the most you will pay is $30,000.  

If you use an ISA, depending on your income after completing your Lambda School program, you will pay somewhere between $0 and $30,000, in 24 monthly payments based on your income. 

After you reach the payment cap or complete your 24th monthly payment, you are free of obligation under the ISA.

For example, if you get a job paying $60,000/year, you’re earning $5,000 per month. 17% of $5,000 is $850, so you pay $850 that month for your ISA. You make 17% payments on your income every month until you’ve made 24 monthly payments.  The total amount you will pay is $20,400.     

Below is a chart illustrating the total amount you will pay under the ISA payment option in various earning scenarios.  
Can I see an example ISA?
Yes, you can see a template of the agreement we use with Meratas here and a template of the agreement we have used with Leif here.
What are the interest rates for the ISA?
ISAs are not loans so they have no interest.
Is the repayment amount on an ISA calculated before or after taxes?
The 17% is a percentage of your gross income, i.e. before taxes.
When do my ISA repayments start?
Your ISA payments start when you’re earning $50,000 a year (that’s $4,166 a month). If you do not make more than $4,166 a month, the ISA automatically expires after 60 such deferred-payment months.
Who services the ISA? Lambda School?
Meratas is a third party provider who services the ISA on behalf of Lambda School in the United States.  Leif is a third party who services ISAs for some existing students.  
How do you verify my income?
The Income Share Agreement requires you to report your job status and income to Meratas, our ISA servicing partner.
How do I report my income? How can I see how many payments I have left?
You’ll report your income and your job status through your account with Meratas. Meratas also provides customer support to answer more detailed questions.
What if I file a joint tax return?
The Income Share Agreement requires you to submit your tax returns to Meratas. That said, we’re only interested in your personal income. If you provide documentation of your spouse’s income, it won’t be included.
What happens to my tuition if I withdraw from Lambda School?
We reduce the total obligation for people who leave Lambda School, based on completion of sprints. A sprint is one week long.

The timing for when your tuition and/or ISA may be canceled completely, versus pro-rated, versus fully due may vary by state depending on the rules in your state. Please see your Enrollment Agreement for the most up-to-date information. In every state, you can cancel your ISA within 4 weeks of your cohort start date.
Can I pay tuition upfront instead of signing an ISA?
Yes. On the admissions application, there’s a box to check to tell us you’d like to pay upfront, instead of signing an ISA. You can make this election up until the first day of classes.
Do I need to be a US citizen to be a student?
Income Share Agreements are available to people who live in the US who are US Citizens, US Permanent Residents, or DACA recipients. Other people can still attend Lambda School by paying the tuition upfront.

Almost all courses are taught on Pacific time so it's important to think about how you will adjust according to your time zone.
Can I sign another ISA with another school after Lambda?
No. Our ISA requires that you sign no other ISAs. (Also we want to make sure you get a job, not go on to more school.)
When in the month are ISA payments due?
Payments are collected on the 1st of the month.
Am I eligible for an ISA?
ISA eligibility is not determined on the basis of prior income, sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or any protected class. There are certain minimum requirements to be eligible for an ISA. For example, ISAs are only available to people who live in the US who are US Citizens (excluding California residents), US Permanent Residents, or DACA recipients. ISAs are also not available to individuals who already have an obligation to pay under an ISA with another institution.
What agreement(s) will I sign with Lambda School?
To enroll, you’ll sign an Enrollment Agreement with Lambda School that lays out the basics of the program you’ll take as well as key items to know. If you elect the ISA option, you’ll also sign an income share agreement contract prior to starting at Lambda School. Residents of California are not eligible for ISAs.
How can I figure out my cost of living with my ISA payment?
There are a number of online financial tools you can use to calculate this. We recommend using https://2009-2017.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/79700.htm to figure your annual and monthly expenses, and how your ISA payment would affect your budget (you can enter the ISA amount as “miscellaneous”).
What happens to my cost of living if I relocate for a job to a different city and or state?
Using a tool to see how your cost of living varies by location is a great idea. Check out this cost of living index to see how your cost of living would change. http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/cost-of-living-index-by-state/
What options do I have if I experience financial hardship?
The Lambda School ISA has built-in protection for financial hardship. Should you lose your job or should your income drop below $4,166 per month, your payments will automatically be paused after you’ve reported the change. That said, we understand that unique and unforeseeable financial emergencies sometimes occur.

In this situation please contact your ISA program manager (Leif at support@leif.org) to discuss available options rather than letting your account go into default. While we cannot guarantee your situation will qualify for any changes or deferment, we want you to know that we want the best for you and your family, and will do what we can to help in times of extreme financial hardship.
What is the cost of Lambda School for California residents?
Lambda School costs $30,000 for all California students.
What payment options are available to California residents?
California residents may elect to pay their tuition through either (i) payment of $30,000 or (ii) signing a retail installment contract. A retail installment contract is an agreement which requires you pay Lambda School $30,000 in installment payments. Students who do not sign a RIC are required to pay $15,000 upfront with the balance due after the program is 50% complete.
How does a California retail installment contract differ from an ISA?
The Lambda School retail installment and ISA are each contracts under which you agree to pay 17% of your post-Lambda School salary for 24 months, but only once you're making more than $50,000 per year (or the equivalent of $4,166.66 per month). The main difference between the two contracts is that a student can satisfy a Lambda School ISA by paying $30,000, making 24 payments, or after 60 months of deferred payments. A student can only satisfy a retail installment contract by paying $30,000.
Can I see a sample retail installment contract?
California’s current retail installment contract is available here.
Schedule Questions
What are the upcoming start dates for Lambda courses?
You’ll find the upcoming start dates for each course on our application page: https://lambdaschool.com/apply/
Application Questions
I applied for a course but haven't heard back yet. When should I expect a response?
If all looks well with your application you should receive an email from our admissions team within 4-5 business days.
Can I switch courses?
Students are allowed on a case-by-case basis to switch to a different course within the first two units of the course, or 8 sprints. In order to switch to a new course, you must go through the standard acceptance process including satisfactory completion of all pre-course work.  Students are allowed to switch courses once.
I was a previous Lambda School student and want to reapply, what should I do?
Since you have a previous application on file, please contact us at admissions@lambdaschool.com for next steps in your enrollment. Please note: If you reapply without notifying us, your application may be withdrawn.
What is the CCAT?
Our goal is to make Lambda School accessible to everyone who is ready to make a significant change in their lives. But Lambda School is not for everyone. It is an immersive and fast-paced learning environment that requires 40+ hours every week for 6+ months for our full-time class (or 20+ hours for 12+ months in part time). The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is an aptitude test that measures an individual’s ability to solve problems, digest and apply information, learn new skills, and think critically. The CCAT consists of 50 items; very few people finish all 50 items in the 15 minute time limit.

Applicants must answer at least 23 questions correctly.

Lambda programs cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. While we follow the principle of mastery-based progression, it’s important that students are able to learn and apply what we are covering to be successful. We use the results from the CCAT to project how likely a student is to succeed in learning and applying those concepts. Not sure what to expect? Check out Criteria Corp’s site which has test prep suggestions and sample questions.

We want every student who begins that journey to do so with the full confidence they’ll be successful and this test is designed to help us deliver programming reflective of their needs.
How will my score impact my admissions? Does Lambda School have a minimum threshold that I need to reach to be accepted?
Yes, applicants must meet a minimum score threshold of 23 questions. If you're unable to pass the entrance exam, you'll be able to re-apply and try again after a 3-month waiting period.
Are there ADA accommodations available?
Yes. Lambda School is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at admissions@lambdaschool.com.

For qualified individuals, the Criteria Corp test may be extended to 1.5x the usual length to provide more time for completion. Additionally, a few of the Criteria Corp tests are screen reader friendly.
How can I delete my application, test results, and other data related to my admission to Lambda School?
Email admissions@lambdaschool.com requesting deletion of your accounts. Please make sure to tell us the email address you used when you applied for Lambda School. Deletion requests may take up to 1-2 business days.
I’m stuck on my precourse work or data science challenge, can you help me?
If you're applying to the Data Science program, you must complete a challenge as part of the application process – and sometimes it’s tough! This is intentional and by design.  Learning a new skill is uncomfortable. Don’t fear! Our precourse work will teach you the skills required. 

While we don't spell out how to do everything you might encounter, we do provide you the building blocks and concepts to solve and pass the challenges needed to enroll in school, including a handy data science challenge study guide, which you can find on our blog.

Still stuck? Here are some suggestions for getting unblocked:

Lambda School Precourse Work:
The precourse work has videos that explain all the concepts you’ll face in the challenges. Re-watch or re-read the videos to refresh your memory and master the concepts. 

Rubber Ducky Method:
While it doesn’t have to be an actual rubber duck, developers are famous for debugging their code by explaining it to something (or someone!) out loud. Find your favorite stuffed animal and explain what you’re trying to do. If you think your code is right, but it’s not passing the tests, walk through each line and character. If you are struggling to explain it, there is a chance you don’t fully understand your code.

Google, but be specific:
Being able to Google specific questions that you have is an invaluable skill as a developer. Googling “javascript help” is going to be vague and not get you what you need. Googling “javascript return function undefined” will yield far more specific and helpful answers for you than a broader search.
Ready to hustle?
Apply Now