The following is an archived article that was originally published on March 12, 2019. As of January 2020, we are not currently accepting new applications for the Living Stipend program, but hope to be soon.
Today is a day I’ve been looking forward to since before Lambda School started, and one I wasn’t sure would ever come to fruition.
It also feels very, very personal to me.
When I came to Silicon Valley from Utah I didn’t have much to offer the world. I had no skills, no credentials, and practically no money. I didn’t even have enough to pay for a single month’s rent.
But I knew I had to be a part of the future, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. So I packed up a few of my things, gave the rest away, and lived in a two-door Honda Civic in Palo Alto. I learned how to be discreet in wealthy neighborhoods, how to store food to not rot in the hot interior of a car, and most of all I learned to cope with the sheer desperation of being a breath away from destitution while continuing to fight for a better future.
We started Lambda School for people like me - believing that if we could invest in people to make them more successful it wouldn’t be hard for them to pay the investment back.
Despite the concern of nearly every finance mind we could talk to and anyone who had ever started a school, we created a world-class school accessible from anywhere and free until hired. Now we’re watching the effect that has on thousands of students, many of whom are just as brilliant and hard-working as any of the billionaires I’ve met in Silicon Valley. After years of our entire team struggling day and night it’s actually working.
But even as we expanded access to those folks, we found that for too many the $0 tuition was only a start, there was the question of how to pay bills while going to school full time. Parents, providers with mouths to feed, and folks everywhere who couldn’t buy enough time to learn the skills that would make their time more valuable in the first place.
Today we’re excited to remove yet another barrier for yet another set of people.
Starting today, we’re going to pay students accepted for the stipend $2,000/month for 9 months so they can learn the highest-paying skills in the world.
And they will only pay us back if they land a job that pays $50k/yr or more.
When they do secure that kind of income, they’ll pay Lambda School 10% of their income for 5 years, so we can continue to pay it forward to the next student.
This means Lambda School is now offering world-class instruction, deep curriculum, a community of fellow learners, industry mentors, career coaches, hiring partners, interview sources, and now we’re going to begin giving people cold hard cash.
We’ve been piloting this successfully at a smaller scale, and while we still won’t be able to serve everyone who stands in need we’re excited to watch this change the lives of many people.
As we continue to prove that this model works we can begin putting millions (and hopefully soon billions) of dollars behind it.
**Please note that we are not currently accepting applications for Living Stipends as our waitlist is full, but hope to open the program again soon.**
Lambda School will be offering both current and prospective students the opportunity to apply for a total of $18K USD in financing to support their living expenses while they are enrolled as full time Lambda School students.
Our goal at Lambda School is to help our student really succeed to the best of their ability and to remove the barriers that are currently preventing more people from being able to access a high tech education - and the career, financial, impact and other benefits that come with it.
We know that one of the hardest parts of deciding to go back to school is figuring out how to make it work without a full time salary.
By launching this Living Stipend Pilot Program, we are looking at how we can create more products and innovative ways to help support our current students - and to expand who can become a Lambda School student.
Students who are selected will receive $18,000 USD paid in nine monthly payments of $2,000 USD for the duration of the full time nine month program.
To continue to receive the stipend students have to maintain full time status and the 100% sprint pass rate expected from all Lambda School students - regardless of whether they are receiving a living stipend.
This program is open to current and prospective full time Lambda School students who are living in and eligible to work in the United States.
Yes, this is a stipend and not a scholarship.
Upon completion of the nine month program students will be required to pay 10% of their salary for 5 years. The stipend is built into that amount.
The Lambda School tuition Income Share Agreement has students on a repayment plan of 17% for two years.
For students who receive the living stipend as well, this becomes 10% of their salary for five years and replaces the model above.
We will not be looking at student financials or credit scores.
Instead the applications will be screened using the following questions:
Why do you need this living stipend to be successful as a Lambda School student?
Tell us a bit about the unique part of your story that will make you a valuable addition to both the Lambda and tech community?
Tell us why we should bet on you?
Our current Lambda School admissions team will be handling these stipend applications.
This is a limited and selective pilot program and to launch we will be looking for our first 50 recipients.
Yes, stay tuned for more details.
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