Since Nicki Minaj’s spontaneous offer to foot the bill for select Twitter followers’ college tuition and student loan payments over the weekend, everyone has had college tuition bills and student loan payments on the brain. For those who are considering a career in the tech industry, there are ways to bypass this financial headache, and they don’t involve soliciting celebrity aid on social media.
What if you had the ability to obtain the type of training and education necessary to increase your tech aptitude via a program that takes less than four years to complete? And, what if this program, which has been specially designed to prepare students for the ever-evolving tech landscape, also offered scholarships to help ease the pain of tuition bills or potential loan payments?
Here are three programs, which provide students with the coding or entrepreneurial skills needed to excel in the tech industry, that are currently offering scholarships:
1. Draper University
According to Draper University’s website, the curriculum is designed to help students “go from an idea, to a product ready to pitch to [over] 80 venture capital investors.” As a Draper University alumna, I can attest to this myself. In this one-liner’s deference, a product’s preparedness for pitch is ultimately dependent on the student’s effort. However, Draper University staff members are all ready and willing to help students reach that point.
Draper University now offers scholarships to assist students with the program’s tuition. While the program doesn’t publicize these scholarships, I have the inside scoop. Once you apply, ask specifically about your scholarship options. Draper University is on a mission to increase diversity, so now is a better time than ever to enroll.
2. WDCEP, Thinkful.com, and In3
Washington, D.C. is making a major push to increase diversity numbers within the tech industry in the district, thanks in major part to Mayor Muriel Bowser. According to a recent press release, “The Washington D.C. Economic Partnership (WDCEP)—in partnership with Thinkful and D.C.’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator, In3—announce the launch of a pilot program called Pathway Scholars, to prepare underrepresented workers for jobs in tech.”
The first scholarship of its kind, these organizations have pulled together a group of stacked partners—including Byte Back, MEANS Database, and others—to launch the initiative designed to help displaced, adult workers find a job in tech by funding their training.
Here are the deets, according to Thinkful.com:
- Five Pathway Scholarships will be offered—one full scholarship and four partial scholarships—to Thinkful’s flagship, six-month course in web development.
- One full scholarship of $14,000 will go toward the full-time Web Development Bootcamp program.
- Four partial scholarships of $3,000 can go toward either the full- or part-time Web Development Bootcamp programs.
- Each scholar will work with a mentor, who is an expert in the field. These mentors will come from D.C.-based companies, and they will help scholars learn best practices, grow their networks, and prepare them for the challenges of their first tech jobs. The mentorships will take place in In3.
- As an employment partner, MEANS Database will provide job opportunities to graduates of Thinkful’s web development program. At MEANS, graduates will help program a website that has rescued over 100,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have been thrown away.
- Byte Back, the D.C.-based nonprofit and recent top-prize winner of WeWork’s Creator Awards, will help identify potential applicants to support ongoing technology and workforce training, as a result of its partnership.
3. Hack Reactor
Hack Reactor is a coding boot camp that is offering six scholarships, valued at $18,000 each, specifically to people of color.
According to Hack Reactor’s website:
“As part of our mission to increase access to tech jobs for individuals of all professional backgrounds and experience levels, Hack Reactor is proud to announce our $1.3 million Scholarship Fund, for individuals who are passionate about coding.
Hack Reactor believes in a more diverse and equitable tech workforce. As part of its diversity and inclusion effort, it will award at least 50% of all scholarships to underrepresented groups in software engineering; women, people of color, and LGBTQ community members are strongly encouraged to apply.”
Sequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed pop culture.