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.

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.

Lambda School does have some part-time programs that may work better for those that have jobs or are working.

What if I can't pay for Lambda School up-front?

Lambda School students don't pay anything up-front. Instead they pay for Lambda School using an income share agreement, or ISA.

Under an ISA you agree to pay 17% of your post-Lambda School salary for 24 months, only when you're making more than $50k per year (or the equivalent of $4,166.66 per month). The income share agreement is also capped at a maximum repayment of $30k, so you'll never pay more than $30k under any circumstances.

This is our way of investing in you. We select students we believe will be successful, and cover the costs of your education until you're in a financial position to pay us back.

How much will I pay total?

It depends. The ISA is tied to your income, so how much you pay will vary based on how much you're earning. Like many investors, Lambda School takes a portfolio approach, knowing that some students will pay more for their education and others will pay less. This investment approach is how we can make the program financially accessible to everyone. Because the ISA is capped, the maximum anyone could possibly pay is $30k.

How do you verify my income? Do I have to take the first job I'm offered?

As a part of the income share agreement process we'll receive access to view your income taxes, which we use to verify your income. We don't control where you work. If you file jointly with a spouse or have other income (such as from investments, inheritance, etc.), we don't include those as your earned income.

Does Lambda School help me get a job?

We do everything we possibly can! We have a full team dedicated to career development. They 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 are the interest rates for the income share agreement?

The income share agreement has no interest. It's a flat percentage that goes away when it's paid off.

Is the income on an income share agreement calculated before or after taxes?

You'll pay a percentage of your gross salary (before taxes).

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, 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.

For the iOS course, the computer specs are different, as iOS development requires a Mac.

  • Minimum

    • 128 GB SSD (or Fusion Drive)
    • 8 GB of RAM
    • macOS Mojave 10.14, which is supported on the following:
      • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
      • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
      • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
      • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
      • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
      • iMac Pro (2017)
      • Mac Pro (Mid 2010, Mid 2012, and Late 2013)
  • Recommended
    • 2 GHz Processor
    • 256 GB SSD

Income Share Agreement (ISA) Questions

How much does Lambda School cost?

Lambda School students don't pay upfront tuition.

Instead, they pay for Lambda School using an Income Share Agreement, or ISA.

Under our ISA you agree to pay 17% of your post-Lambda School income with 24 monthly payments, but only when you're making more than $4,166 per month (that is, $50k per year). 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, that is for 2 years worth of payments.

If your income ever drops below $4,166 per month, you don’t make a payment that month.

Our ISA is also capped at a maximum of $30k. You'll never pay more than $30k under any circumstances.

You have 5 years after your last day at Lambda School to complete the 24 monthly payments. If 5 years go by, and you haven’t made enough money to trigger 24 monthly payments, the ISA is cancelled.

Can I see an example ISA?

Yes, you can see a template we use here (PDF)

How much do I pay in total?

Your ISA payments are based on your income so it depends:

  • If your income never reaches the $4,166 monthly threshold, you’ll pay 0.
  • If you’re making really good money (congratulations!), you could pay up to the $30,000 cap.
  • You’ll never pay more than $30,000.

What are the interest rates for the ISA?

ISAs are not a loan 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 goes into effect on your last day at Lambda School. It lasts up to 5 years from that date. You don’t pay a penny until you’re earning $50,000 a year (that’s $4,166 a month).

How do you verify my income?

We partner with Leif, a company that handles all of the collecting, reporting, and other administration related to our ISAs.

Leif will contact you to remind you to report your income, but it’s important to understand that the ISA contract obligates you to self-report your income and job status.

If you’re accepted into Lambda School, you’ll go through a signup process with Leif. They connect your bank account and you give them access to view your tax returns for the duration of the ISA.

These are serious requests, and we don’t make them lightly. We offer the opportunity to study at Lambda School to thousands of students for no money upfront. We need to ensure that payments are made correctly on our students’ ISAs.

What if I file a joint tax return?

Leif may ask to verify your income with your IRS tax return but we’re only interested in your individual income. If you can provide documentation of your spouse’s income, it won’t be included.

The ISA contract specifically says this:
”Earned Income" includes all income reported on a joint income tax return, minus, to the extent documented to our satisfaction, any income earned solely by your spouse.

How do I report my income to Leif? How can I see how many payments I have left?

Leif handles all of this on their site where you create your account. You sign up with Leif as soon as you’re admitted into Lambda School.

You’ll report your income and your job status through your account on their site. They also provide customer support to answer more detailed questions.

What if I need an ISA but don't have a bank account?

If you don't have a bank account, you'll need to open one.

Do I have to connect my “main” bank account?

Whatever bank account you use to receive your income is the account you must connect to Leif.

Will Lambda School help me find a job?

Yes. Lambda School is for people who want to get a job in the technology industry.

We offer an integrated program called Lambda Next to help you do just that. Read more about it here.

That said, getting a job is a lot of work and you have to do that work yourself. We have hiring partners and provide a full team dedicated to help you land a job but we can’t learn the material for you and we can’t apply to jobs for you either.

What happens to my ISA if I withdraw from Lambda School? What is your refund policy?

We offer a refund policy for people who leave Lambda School:

  • If you drop out in the first 4 weeks your ISA is cancelled completely.
  • After week 4 you become responsible for 40% of the ISA. This means instead of paying 17% for 2 years, you'd pay 6.8% for 2 years. (40% of 17% = 6.8%).
  • Each week thereafter you become responsible for another 10% of the ISA. After 10 weeks you're responsible for the full ISA.

The 5-year life of your ISA starts on your last day in class.

Your graduation date will be counted as your start date at your job.

Can I pay tuition instead of signing an ISA?

Yes. Tuition for our courses is $20,000. On the admissions application there’s a box to check to tell us you’d like to pay upfront, instead of signing an ISA.

Do I need to be a US citizen to be a student?

We accept students from all around the world.

Income Share Agreements are available to people who live in the US who are US Citizens, US Permanent Residents, or DACA recipients, or people who live in the EU who are EU Citizens.

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 decide halfway through class that I’d prefer to pay tuition instead of my ISA?

You’re welcome to pay tuition in lieu of your ISA at any point before graduation. Contact our finance team in Slack once you’re enrolled an in class. They’ll help you take care of this.

Who “owns” the ISA? Lambda School?

When you sign your ISA, we are the owner.

After a student graduates, based on their credit score and other factors, we will sometimes sell their ISA to Leif, our ISA partner.

When does the 5-year ISA period begin? When I sign?

No. The ISA begins on your last day of school. (To be clear: the life of the ISA is 5 years, meaning we have 5 years to collect payment. But once you’ve made 24 monthly payments the ISA is complete.)

Can I sign another ISA w/ 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.)

Once either your ISA is paid off or the 5-year ISA term has ended you can sign another organization’s ISA

When will my 1st payment be?

Payments are collected on the 1st of the month, and Leif gives a 28-day starting grace period to Lambda Students.

For example, if you start a job on August 15th, the 28-day grace period would bump you past the September 1st payment. Your 1st payment would then be the next month, October 1st.

Schedule Questions

What are the upcoming start dates for X course?

You’ll find the upcoming start dates for each course on our application page:

I work full time but really want to join Lambda School. What options do I have?

We offer part time courses for some of our tracks. Part-time course hours are Monday-Thursday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific, Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 noon Pacific.

I want to take the part time course but have to work some Saturdays. Is it okay to miss class?

Live instruction and real time interaction with classmates is an integral part of learning at Lambda School. Students must attend 95% of course hours.

Missing class isn’t an option.

Application Questions

I applied for X 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.

I signed up for X intro course but haven't heard anything

Make sure to check your spam folder as often our first email finds its way there!


Are you going to offer a part time class for X new course?

After we've run a few iterations of the full time course, we may decide to offer a part time track depending on the level of interest. Be sure to check back on our application page.

Where can I view the recordings for X intro course?

Intro course videos are posted to our YouTube channel.

I need help on an intro course assignment.

Our Prep Slack is the best place to find information, guidance, and support for all things related to the intro courses. Ask your question there and an instructor, PM, or fellow classmate will help you out.