Bootcamps like Highway that provide ISAs—where the student does not pay until / unless they get a job—provide a great service to students: you only incur the cost if you receive the benefit (and pay that cost little by little, over time).
But this approach introduces a lot of risk for programs like Highway. In a traditional model, the commitment of the student is clear: having paid tuition up-front, they have a clear financial motivation to partake in and complete the program. But with an ISA there is no such commitment up front: bootcamps like Highway run the risk of having students enroll, take up seats from other students, utilize the time and resources of the program, but then decide to leave and not complete the program.
For this reason, bootcamps that provide ISAs usually require a deposit. For example, you can see here how Galvanize requires a $2,000 deposit on their ISA.
Similarly, Highway requires students to pay a deposit of $2,000. Here's how the deposit works:
1. When you successfully obtain a job, Highway applies your deposit to the payments owed as part of your Outcome Driven Tuition.
2. The deposit will be returned to you if you attend and graduate the program and are not able to secure a high-paying job (salary of $55,000 or greater) using your Highway training within the first nine months after graduation. So while we require a deposit, we still maintain our pledge that you owe us nothing if you do not successfully obtain a job through Highway.
3. If you change your mind about the program and decide to drop out or decide marketing operations isn't for you, you forfeit your deposit. Only those who are committed to the program should enroll into it.
One important thing to know: we keep your deposited funds in a separate account and do not move such funds until you obtain employment (when your deposit is applied to your overall tuition cost) or if you graduate but fail to obtain employment after nine months (when the deposit is returned to you).
For additional reassurance that your deposit will not be used unless they obtain a job (or unless they become no longer committed to the program), we can arrange for your deposit to be kept and administered by a third-party (i.e. not Highway), Escrow.com. This option is more complex and requires more work from the student, but is available as an option for those concerned about the security of their deposit funds.
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