Catalyst: Learn Now, Pay After You’re Hired
How Catalyst Works
Got your eyes set on a future in full-stack development, user experience design, or data science? Available at select GA campuses*, our Catalyst program can get you in class and on the road to your career goals — without emptying your savings account.
Focus on Class, Not Costs
Tuition Payment Cap
Bank on Yourself
Our team is available to answer your questions about how GA’s Catalyst program can help launch your new career.
Kickstart Your New Career Today
Apply for your course, and ask your Admissions representative about participating in our Catalyst program.
Become an indispensable asset. Leverage machine learning, Python, and other key data tools to make pivotal business decisions.
User Experience Design
Launch a future building seamless digital experiences. Gain skills in research, prototyping, wireframing, user testing, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Catalyst program?
Catalyst is an income share agreement (ISA), a contract in which a student receives educational funding in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future income over a defined period of time.
This means students won’t pay anything upfront. They’ll first complete our User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI), Software Engineering Immersive (SEI), or Data Science Immersive (DSI). Then, only once graduates have landed a job earning at least $40,000 annually, they’ll start paying back 10% of their income over 48 months.
What benefits does this program offer for students?
Catalyst provides a different way to pay for our full-time programs (UXDI, SEI, and DSI). As part of the program, if participants make more, they pay more, and if participants make less, they pay less. If participants don't get a job after the program, they don't pay anything at all.
Catalyst payments will not begin until after employment is secured, and only if total income is at least $40,000 per year. The percentage of the income participants pay stays the same, but monthly payments may go up or down depending on salary. If graduates earn a high income, a total payment cap will limit how much they are required to pay. No participant will ever pay more than 1.5x the cost of tuition.
Who is eligible to apply for Catalyst?
GA’s Catalyst program is available to:
- Incoming Software Engineering Immersive, User Experience Design Immersive, and Data Science Immersive students starting in Fall 2018. Catalyst is only available at GA locations in the United States. Catalyst is not currently offered at our New York City campus.
- Students with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
- Students 18 or older at the time of contract execution.
Once students are deemed eligible, they must complete the following additional application steps in order to be approved:
- Complete UXDI, SEI, or DSI pre-work.
- Complete the Outcomes pre-work.
- Take and pass a skills assessment.
What is the application and approval process?
Our Admissions team will provide application links for our different financing options after students have been accepted into their program of choice. The Catalyst application is a simple online form that takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Students should have the following information available in order to finish their applications as quickly as possible:
- The program to which they have been accepted.
- Their financial need (the tuition amount you’ll request).
- Two references/communication contacts.
After students submit an application, they will be invited to complete GA's internal application process. Students must complete course pre-work, pass the assessment, and complete Outcomes pre-work in order to be certified. Once GA certifies a student, they are sent a final round of disclosure documents to sign. Once students sign these documents, their ISA contract will be finalized. This entire process from start to finish takes at least two weeks.
When do participants start making payments?
After the course, graduates have a three-month, payment-free grace period. Most Catalyst recipients start paying in the fourth month after they graduate. In total, most students will have a six-month payment free grace period.
If students don’t secure employment before their grace period expires, they must reach out to our servicing partner, Vemo Education, for an extension. Vemo will start their payment period once they find a position and are making at least $40,000 per year or $3,333.34/month. This threshold to begin payback applies to both jobs in and out of field, full-time and part-time.
What happens if it takes three years to find a position earning at least $40,000 per year? Or if a participant is laid off and has to leave the workforce in the middle of the payment term?
While students pay off their Catalyst agreement over a four-year term, our servicing partner can collect payments over eight years. This is beneficial for participants because it allows GA to pause collections if personal circumstances change and increases the likelihood of successful payment outcomes.