Microverse is piloting a stipend program to give more students the ability to participate in Microverse's Full-Time Program and become professional software developers. Our pilot is currently only available for fiscal residents of Mexico or Colombia, and it will only be available for students starting the program as part of the July, August, and September 2019 classes.
What is the Microverse Living Stipend Program?
The Microverse Living Stipend Program is an opt-in program that offers monthly stipends to enrolled Microverse students to help cover basic living expense while participating in Microverse's Full-Time Software Development Program.
Who can receive a Microverse Living Stipend?
During the pilot, only Microverse students who are fiscal residents of Mexico or Colombia may opt-in to the Microverse Living Stipend Program.
What are the requirements to receive the living stipend?
- You must be a fiscal resident of Colombia or Mexico
- You must get accepted into the Microverse Full-Time Software Development Program
- You must not have any other commitment while going through the program (e.g. no part-time job)
- You must show up to all the pair programming and group sessions and dedicate at least 8 hours per day to the program
- You must make consistent progress in the program's curriculum every month at the sole discretion of the Student Success team
What is the stipend for?
The stipends are intended to help you pay for basic living expense, such as rent, food, Internet, electricity, and childcare expenses.
Is the stipend free?
No, the stipend is not free. However, like our tuition, you will never owe us anything for the stipend unless you are employed in an IT field earning at least $1,000 USD/month.
If you opt-in for a stipend, we will ask you to sign an addendum to the Income Share Agreement (ISA) for a higher payment cap compared to the regular ISA.
What are the different stipend options?
We currently offer three payment plans, two of them including a stipend:
- Program + No stipend: You pay 15% of your monthly salary until you reach a cap of $15,000. Read this for more information on our regular tuition option.
- Program + Stipend of $150 USD/month for 8 months: You pay 17% of your monthly salary until you reach a cap of $18,000.
- Program + Stipend of $250 USD/month for 8 months: You pay 18% of your monthly salary until you reach a cap of $20,000.
Is the living stipend a loan?
No, the living stipend is not a loan.
In a loan, you start paying back what you owe immediately after you receive the loan. You must also make your payments independently of whether you are employed or what your income is. Additionally, a loan's interest accrues and compounds annually, which can significantly increase how much money you owe.
If you opt-in to receive a living stipend, you only start paying back when and if you get a job that pays at least $1,000 USD per month. You also will always know the total amount of money that you will have to pay. This means no unpleasant surprises, regardless of how long it takes you to complete the full payment. Since there is no interest rate on the stipend, the total payment will not continue to grow exponentially as it does with a loan.
Loans are not available to many people. However, let's compare the two options in case you want to compare the living stipend to a typical loan.
If you opt in for the $150 per month stipend, you will receive a total of $1,200 ($150 x 8 months) and will end up paying $3,000 on top of the regular tuition. We expect the average student with a salary of $2,400 USD per month to take 50 months—a little bit more than 4 years—to pay this back. Assuming 50 months, you would be paying the equivalent to an annual interest of 24%.
The typical annual interest rate for an unsecured personal loan in Colombia is between 20%-30%, and in Mexico, it can be as high as 60%. Remember that you would have to start paying back to those lenders independently of whether you have a job or how much you are making. Plus, the longer you take to pay it back the more your payback amount increases, and you could easily end up paying 5-10 times the amount that you borrowed.
If you'd like to learn more about typical outcomes after graduating Microverse, please see this article.
Should I opt into the living stipend?
Since the living stipend is not free, you should only opt in if you need it to dedicate yourself full-time to Microverse.
If you have friends or family that can provide free financial support while you study, we recommend that you use their support over this stipend.
We do not recommend that you take out a personal loan over this stipend, for the reasons mentioned above in "Is the living stipend a loan"?
Some of our students have been victims of predatory loans and we want you to avoid these at all costs. This stipend is our attempt to help alleviate financial strains for our students without forcing them to fall victims of predatory loans.
What happens if I drop out of the program after receiving a living stipend?
- If you drop out before week 5 of the program, your ISA will be canceled completely, but you will be required to pay back the living stipend amount that you have received until that point.
- If you drop out after week 4 but before week 15, we will prorate the duration of your ISA. For instance, if you opted for the $150/month stipend and you leave at the end of week 8, you will owe 17% of your monthly income until you reach a cap of $4,800 ($18,000 * 8 weeks / 30 weeks).
- Once you are past week 15, you are responsible for the full amount disclosed in the ISA (e.g. 17% of your monthly income until you reach a cap of $18,000 if you opted in for the $150/month stipend).
How will I receive the monthly stipend?
We will transfer the first monthly payment to your bank account on the second week after you start the program. We will continue making monthly payments for the following 7 months.
How do I apply?
There is no additional application process outside of the application process to enroll in Microverse's Full-Time Software Development program.
If you are accepted into the full-time program and have listed Colombia or Mexico as your country of residence, then you will be given the opportunity to opt into the stipend after attending your acceptance call.
Can current Microverse students opt into the Living Stipend Program?
Yes, any full-time student from Mexico or Colombia may decide to opt-in. Please reach out to Student Success through the Student Dashboard if you are interested.