Industry News

Burlington Code Academy Secures $10 Million in Financing from ISA Platform Leif

By Henry Kronk
January 25, 2021

The Vermont-based Burlington Code Academy announced on January 25 it had finalized a deal with the income share agreement (ISA) platform Leif. The coding bootcamp says it will use the resources to scale in order to reach learners beyond New England.

Burlington Code Academy provides software development and UX design coding bootcamps remotely. Its grads also receive career support to help them land their first job. The latest official learner results published by the company refer to 2018. COO Alex Horner estimates that today roughly 91% of graduates gain a job paying around $60,000 on average. Those figures are subject to change and will become available later this year.

Burlington Code Academy Will Expand Income Share Agreement (ISA) Offerings

Leif offers a platform that allows schools, and in turn, students, to fund training via income share agreements (ISA). If learners choose the ISA route, they pay nothing up front. Once they complete the program and land a job, they pay the school a share of their income for a set period of time.

The ISA that will soon be offered by Burlington Code Academy only kicks in once learners gain a job earning $35,000 or more per year. Then, the school draws 13% of their income for 24 months. The total payment is capped at $20,000. Learners also have the option of paying full cost up front or financing it.

The partnership between Burlington Code Academy and Leif will allow the former’s students to use the latter’s platform. It typically takes months, if not years, for students who use ISAs to begin working in the field they train for. Leif provides funding up front in exchange for the later repayment of the agreements.

“This financing option allows BCA to drastically lower the financial barrier of entry for students to attend our courses and land a new career in tech,” Horner said.

Encouraging Growth with Undetermined Outcomes

Proponents of ISA agreements say they expand access to education and do a better job of tying value to a training program than the traditional tuition model.

“Burlington Code Academy has made a demonstrable impact on lives and careers within its local community of Vermont and New England, more broadly,” said Leif CEO Jeffrey Groeber, in a statement. “Their pedagogy and intense focus on strong return on investment demonstrates clear value and ISAs demonstrate their alignment of incentives. We are thrilled to help Burlington Code Academy grow as it expands its presence across the country.”

Income share agreements have grown rapidly in recent years. But because of their novelty, the outcomes of students paying for training via ISAs is not yet clear. According to EdSurge, the early adopter Purdue University has distributed roughly $17.9 million in ISAs to 1,600 learners. Of those, 400 have landed a job and begun repaying the cost of their education.

Featured Image: Gautam Krishnan, Unsplash.