Working as a software developer is arguably the best job available in technology. It’s well-paid and offers opportunities for career growth as expansive as the Internet itself.
Although starting out in software development can be intimidating, enrolling in a top-ranking bootcamp like App Academy will leave you ready to become a software engineer. In this review, we’ll go over everything you need to know about attending App Academy, from course offerings to tuition prices.
App Academy is one of the most respected coding schools in the country and is known for pioneering a deferred tuition payment model, now known as an income share agreement (ISA). The school offers two programs in software engineering, which take either 16 or 24 weeks to complete.
At the academy, students don’t need to start paying their tuition until after they have graduated and landed a job. If a student who has chosen the deferred tuition option still does not have a job within three years after leaving school, App Academy will waive their debt.
|Location||San Francisco, New York|
|Tuition||$17,000 to $31,000|
|Financing Options||Upfront Payment, ISA, Loans|
|Start Dates||Rolling Start Dates|
|Program Types||Online, Full-Time|
App Academy’s campuses are located in San Francisco and New York City. Previously, courses were held at both locations, but due to COVID-19, all classes are currently taught online.
The upfront payment for the full tuition fee of the 16-week software engineering course is $17,000. The 24-week software engineering course costs $20,000 upfront. With the ISA, the price of the courses rises to $28,000 and $31,000, respectively.
App Academy offers students a variety of ways to cover their tuition. Paying for a coding bootcamp might seem like a big commitment, but the ISA, loans, and more offered at the academy should make paying easy.
App Academy’s Access Scholarship provides $5,000 toward tuition for women, members of the Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American/Alaskan Native communities. This scholarship is App Academy’s way of showing its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity in tech.
You can also apply for other coding bootcamp scholarships, especially if money is tight.
This is the famous “pay no tuition until you’re hired” model. At App Academy, students are still required to put down a $3,000 deposit if they’re attending the 16-week program, but no deposit is necessary for the 24-week program.
The student will then pay back a portion of their salary for 36 months after they’re hired, or until they have paid back $31,000. The repayment doesn’t kick in until students are making at least $50,000 per year.
App Academy has partnered with Climb Credit to offer loans. Besides tuition, students can also apply to receive a loan of $8,500 for living expenses.
App Academy does not allow students to pay for their course in installments.
App Academy currently does not accept the GI Bill.
App Academy offers an online and on-campus version of its software engineering course, both of which follow a very similar curriculum. No prior programming experience is required for either program, but students must keep up with their course. Students who fail two assessments during their program will be expelled.
Other subjects covered in this course include basic design principles, CSS, HTML, jQuery, SQL, and user experience design. The on-campus classes can include 50 to 80 students, with two or three teaching assistants also present to help.
The online version of this course is also conducted full-time, from 8am to 5pm PST, Monday to Friday. The online track offers the same subjects as the in-person track, with the addition of MongoDB, Docker, GraphQL, Redux, React.js, Node.js, and Express.js.
For 24 weeks, the course is conducted through live lectures, daily video demos, live Q&As, white-boarding, and other virtual methods.
One of the coolest features of App Academy is the free access to its entire curriculum. Students can access more than 1,500 hours of coding material at any time, and can even use it to help them prepare for the academy’s admissions process.
App Academy has a low acceptance rate, as do all prestigious coding bootcamps.
The acceptance rate at App Academy in 2020 was less than five percent. Students can reapply after six months if their first application fails. App Academy encourages students to enroll in Bootcamp Prep to increase their chances of getting in.
Getting accepted at App Academy isn’t easy, but luckily, the application process is. You can apply by following these steps.
App Academy will then review the entire application process to decide whether the prospective student should be admitted.
The non-technical interview is similar to a job interview. An aspiring student’s performance in this coding bootcamp interview can make or break their application. App Academy’s non-technical interview includes the sections listed below.
App Academy is worth it for three reasons. First, it accepts students based on merit and skill, rather than on their ability to pay tuition. Second, the school keeps up with changes in the tech industry, adjusting its curriculum to make sure graduates are prepared when applying for jobs.
Lastly, the school shows that it’s committed to students’ success by allowing them to pay tuition only after they have found a well-paid job.
According to App Academy, most of its graduates land a job within six months of graduation. More than 2,000 App Academy graduates work at top-tier companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Slack. The median salary of graduates from the school’s San Francisco campus is $101,000, while New York graduates make $90,000 on average.
App Academy doesn’t offer a job guarantee, but it does waive tuition fees for students who do not find a job within three years.
If you want to become a software engineer but don’t have the resources to pay for tuition upfront, App Academy is an excellent choice.
Unlike many other coding bootcamps, the school emphasizes on-campus learning. However, its strict application process means you may have to apply more than once to get in.
If you do get accepted, in just 16 to 24 weeks, you will be prepared with the skills and the professional portfolio you need to get hired.
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The course is intense but well worth it. I’ve probably learned as much in the several months of this course as I did in 4 years of college.
The languages and sheer number of technologies they put into the program really leaves you well rounded and prepared for the job market, not to mention how much effort they put into coaching you and getting you set for the job hunt itself. The instructors were also simply stellar, a well-rounded cast to be sure and are shockingly patient, composed, and positive everyday of class.
Most of the apps and projects are a lot of fun, and each of them demonstrates multiple core principles. Everything builds on material from the previous day. Tests are challenging but are 100% covered by the material you learn and you’re always given ample time to study and ask questions if you’re feeling uneasy.
My background was in physics and mathematics prior, and I have to admit strong mathematics skills can really help, not to mention a lot of the prior coding experience I had. But don’t let that get you down, the aces of our cohort either disliked math and/or had no prior experience in programming and still ended up coming out on top!
My only complaint is that the course felt a little rushed towards the last few weeks. Luckily by that point you’ll be a veteran and have no problem using the skills you’ve picked up to fill in the gaps.
This program is rigorous and will genuinely consume your life when you’re in the midst of it, but it’s well worth your commitment.
July 4, 2019
This course was very tough, but in the end I’m very happy that I took it. It was such a rewarding experience and I have learned many valuable things throughout the course. All of the TAs I have met were super friendly and highly knowledgable in the curriculum. If you’re ever struggling (which I have been many a time), they take the time to sit with you and walk you through what you need help with. There is plenty of material for you to go through and study, and they also provide a lot of resources for you to use. By the end of the programming you’re building your own websites by yourself and with a team. The satisfaction of creating your own functional website from scratch is very satisfying, kind of like the cherry on top of the program. If I could complain about one thing, it would probably be the amount of videos we had to watch during class on certain days. I feel like the in person cohort would have been better when it came to those days. However, that being said, my overall experience has been wonderful and I have learned so many things here at App Academy.
July 10, 2019
Great program that will really test your resolve and push you to new limits. All of the time estimates that you see in all of these reviews are indeed accurate. Loved working with my fellow students and teachers (TA’s). Reflected with my co-workers on how far we have all come in this relatively short amount of time. Highly recommend!
July 10, 2019
App Academy is a 3 months (5 if you’re taking the online portion) web development boot camp with a very low acceptance rate. The program is 8 hours of new materials everyday with 6 assessments sprinkled in to test you. The curriculum is pretty good for the most part and the projects you do a good job of testing what you learned for the day’s material. The peers you work with from the Teacher Ids to your peers are all great people to work with.
Some of the curriculum material could use an update/ be fleshed out better.
July 13, 2019
App Academy was an amazing experience for me. The main factor that drew me to the program originally was the fact that it had an online option that still included the rigor and attention of a classroom atmosphere. I knew that I wanted to have a structured experience that would push me to continue learning the material at a regular pace. App Academy is definitely a challenging experience. There are a lot of concepts that are covered, but it is all presented in a way that allows you to absorb the material through application. The emphasis on pair-programming reinforces your understanding of the material by both constantly having someone else to bounce ideas off of as well as providing an opportunity to explain your thought process and code to another person. Participating in the program takes your full dedication, but is extremely rewarding in the amount of knowledge gained and the new doors that open up for a career in web development.
July 20, 2019
I worked in regulatory compliance for about 4 years before I became bored with it. I didn’t think I was smart enough to get into App Academy after hearing about their rigorous admissions process, but I gave it a shot anyway and found myself accepted into the first Online Cohort.
In terms of the energy that you’ll put into this program: say goodbye to your life. You will be eating, drinking, sleeping, coding, and that’s it. Be prepared to spend over 100+ hours a week on this course, or you run the risk of failing out. I had to give it everything I had to make it through.
The exams are difficult, but the came and went and I found myself able to push higher and deeper into the material. Concepts and technologies that initially stymied me became second nature. App Academy quickly chiseled me into a lethal programmer in a matter of months.
If you’re looking to change your career and your life, I can’t recommend App Academy highly enough. Just be prepared to lose touch with everything else for the period of time that you’re in the program!
August 13, 2019
I’ve never learned as much about proper coding as I had with App Academy. Being accepted to the online course allowed me to work and grow without having to move to Northern California or New York. I wish I could have met some of the other students, but the bonds I made with my online co-hort are close-knit and invaluable to me.
May 3, 2020
After working 7 years as a Mechanical Engineer/Controls Engineer, I decided to take 24-weeks to study Web Development at AA. I joined the program last January (2019) and was part of the App Academy’s first Online Cohort. We were a group of 8, spread across the US and even had a classmate living abroad, eating and sleeping on US Eastern time.
The program is very intense in terms of time commitment, where I spent every hour of the day and night studying (100hrs+ /week). But the more time I committed to study, the more I understood about each topic and learned. Each hour spent was worth it.
If you really enjoy programming, you will love this program! You will have access to great TA/instructors, well-thought and detailed ressources. And learned all the skills you will need on the job.
Our initial cohort had Live Lectures from our instructor, where I was able to ask tons of questions to really understand very deeply each lecture. A minus point for future Online Cohorts, is that it may no longer be true as more recorded lectures started to get used right after our cohort. Even though, AA breaks it down so you can still ask questions every 45mins or hour. Staying engaged and awake while watching video lectures was never my strongest point.
I have no regret though, the education was fantastic! Please give it a try and see whether it’s for you!
June 22, 2020
App Academy is a fast-paced program for getting you practical experience with many different relevant technologies in a very short amount of time. Right off the bat once the immersive portion kicked into high gear, we got exposure to Git, data structures, and we were pair programming daily through the day’s projects. The curriculum is well structured for layering in new technologies, and before you know it you’re familiar with relational databases and doing a deep dive into the inner workings of Rails. Things move at a bewildering pace, and it’s very easy to get caught off guard by this early on if you’re not careful.
The looming thought of getting kicked out over failing two assessments can be extremely unsettling, but this risk/reward setup also puts the entirety of the cohort into a hyper focused mindset. And it creates a unique environment for learning if you can sublimate the anxiety of it. Even through the online setup, it was surprising just how much there was a sense of community. You spend hours every day with your classmates, and even through a computer screen I felt like I got to know a lot of them really well. I don’t know how they’re able to isolate so many brilliant people into these cohorts, but they clearly have very efficient and calculated screening mechanisms in place to ensure they’re taking quality people into the program.
The TA’s are fantastic. The student to teacher ratio is very favorable for student teacher interactions, and they were consistently pivotal in getting me on track with the material on pace to get through the assessments. It’s a lot of information so be 100% prepared to have no life while you’re working through the curriculum. I thought 100 hours a week would be an exaggeration but I was consistently logging 95-100 hours each week studying the material straight through the weekend.
You get to build your own full stack project using the core stack of the curriculum, as well as other projects with additional technologies that you learn past the React portion of the course. They’re in a re-vamping phase with their curriculum with less of a focus on Ruby as far as I understand, so this is something to bear in mind moving forward. I’m confident that however they re-structure the curriculum will be just as effective as the current setup they have in place and I’m sure it’s necessary given the industry’s trending away from Rails, but any large scale overhaul of a curriculum carries with it at least some amount of risk.
App Academy’s deferred payment plan was a strong draw for me personally. I felt that this established them as an institution willing to take on a lot of risk investing in the people they take into the program, and shows that they’re confident their curriculum will get people placed in well-paying positions upon finishing. I’d honestly like to see more institutions of higher education adopt a similar financing approach. There are pros and cons to deciding on doing the online setup instead of an in-person setup, and I do believe an in-person setup would have been very fulfilling. Some people would say the in person setup is vital to the whole App Academy experience. But I do like that the online setup at least had a longer space of time for absorbing the material. You get a month prior to the official immersive portion of the cohort to get solid with software engineering fundamentals. And the TA’s were always readily available to answer any questions I might have, so at least on the learning side there was nothing lost in translation going this route. An in person bootcamp really wasn’t feasible for me personally, and I would expect it’s not for many others planning on applying.
All things considered the past 24 weeks have been a grueling yet highly rewarding experience. You get out of it what you put into it, and you have to put a lot into it if you want to get through the totality of the curriculum.
July 2, 2020
Before App Academy, I worked as a Developer to create training materials where the best part of my day was writing a couple lines of code to make the course look better. While I studied Computer Science briefly in college, I lacked the practical experience for building full stack modern web apps from scratch. App Academy was instrumental in giving me that experience and now I have four awesome projects I have added to my portfolio that I am truly proud of.
Do not underestimate the time you need to spend in order to succeed. I missed multiple important family events in order to ensure I passed the upcoming exams. Being EST time in the Online Cohort left me with virtually no free time during the day for myself since the day was from 11AM – 8PM. My life revolved around App Academy. However. I’d also like to stress that you’re not alone. The TAs do an amazing job providing a support system and I would have felt comfortable at any point reaching out to them and telling them that I was overwhelmed. However, if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be to trust the material because it helps you get where you need to be in order to succeed.
I always felt prepared for the exams. There were never any “trick” questions. I definitely felt that they wanted me to succeed, but as I stressed earlier, I prepared my butt off for them.
I felt not so positively about a few things.
1. Towards one point in the curriculum, live lectures with your TAs got taken over by instructional videos. Even though we paused the videos to go over any questions, it was degrees of magnitude less engaging compared to when we were live doing it all together.
2. As soon as we got into the Career Quest portion of the curriculum, things seemed to have derailed in terms of organization. Our TAs didn’t seem to know what was on the schedule, especially towards the beginning of the Career Quest curriculum.
3. Add a search functionality to the curriculum materials!! Especially during full stack projects, I needed to refer back to materials on how to do one specific thing and it was so difficult without a search.
4. The strike system made me feel like I was back in elementary school and not trusted to handle my responsibilities. However, I can understand this necessary evil.
Overall, extremely recommend to anyone needing a fire underneath them in order to learn these things quickly and gain practical experience.
July 5, 2020