Frequently Asked Questions

  • Admissions

    • Is your program 10 weeks or 12 weeks?

      We do 10 weeks of formal instruction which includes a formal curriculum, regularly scheduled lectures and a fully staffed teaching team. However, if you are planning to go into a computer programming job after Hackbright, you should plan to stay for the optional 2 weeks at the end.

    • Why would anyone not attend the optional two weeks?

      Usually because they’re returning to school or already have a job waiting for them when they leave Hackbright.

    • What if I miss the application deadline?

      You are welcome to apply, but interviewing priority will be given to people who applied before the deadline.

    • How do I edit my application once I’ve started?

      If your application is currently Not Submitted, visit apply while logged in, and you can continue to edit your existing answers. Alternatively, there is a link to “Continue Your Application” if you visit the site’s index while logged in.

    • Will you accept someone who wants to go to Hackbright straight out of high school (instead of going to college)?

      To date, we’ve never accepted someone straight out of high school, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t. We expect a level of maturity usually gained from a few years at college or in the workplace, but again, there are some very mature 18 year olds out there. Regardless of age and education, all applicants should be prepared to demonstrate a good deal of maturity, competence and interest learned through relevant work experience.

    • How old do I have to be to attend Hackbright Academy?

      Students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.

    • What is the average age of the students you accept?

      Usually our students fall in the 20’s-40’s range, but we’ve seen exceptions and look forward to seeing more!

    • How long should my application be?

      One of the the things we look for in an application is - did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of her essay answers are only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.

    • Please help! I don’t understand the ‘share in detail’ question.

      This question exists so we can learn how you describe something in detail. The topic you choose is not important to us but rather, the method of delivery. For example, instead of saying I’m an expert at yoga, take some time to explain to us exactly what makes the perfect downward dog.

    • Even though it’s optional, should I do the video?

      We understand that it’s not easy for everyone to express themselves in writing, so we’ve included a video option. If you think that adding a video would help us get to know you better, then this option is for you! The video never counts against applicants, so it’s always a good idea to submit one if you’re on the fence. Don’t worry - if your video is awkward and terrible, we just pretend it’s not there.

    • How am I supposed to complete the coding challenge?

      We know that you don’t have a lot of coding experience, but it should only take a couple hours of online research to be able to answer it. You can do it!

    • What do I need to prepare?

      Not much! Get ready for an atypical interview and bring questions.

    • How many interviews are there?

      There is a maximum of three interviews per applicant.

    • How long until I find out if I’ve gotten in?

      The decision deadline for the cohort you are applying for is the date by which we will notify you if you got in. However, once applicants start the interview process, we respond to them within two weeks.

    • If I get in, how long do I have to tell you if I’m coming to Hackbright?

      About two to three weeks. We’ll include an official deadline on the student agreement.

    • If I didn’t get in, will you provide feedback on my application and interview?

      Unfortunately, we are not able to provide personalized feedback at this time.

    • Is it better to apply earlier rather than later?

      Yes. We do applications on a rolling basis, and the sooner you apply, the better. Sometimes, we do fill up before the application deadline, and it is likely we will continue to do so in the future.

  • Fellowship

    • What is the software engineering fellowship?

      The Hackbright Academy Software Engineering Fellowship for women is a 10 week training program designed to help women become awesome programmers. We teach the fundamentals of modern web development, then introduce you to Silicon Valley companies looking to expand their engineering teams.

    • Who is this for?

      Our ideal candidate has an inspired desire to learn software development. You may have no experience at all, or, you may have some technical experience but want an immersive environment to become a good developer. Maybe you gave a few programming tutorials a try but you’re eager for a little more structure. You may have even took a CS class once in high school or made a mod for your favorite game. We’ve had very good success teaching absolute beginners. What you know is much less important than what you can learn. If you’re a little more advanced, you’re welcome too! You may not need to sit through the early material, but if you want a place to work on a personal project, surrounded by smart people who can keep you motivated, you’ll find that here.

    • When and where?

      The fellowship takes place at 683 Sutter in San Francisco.

    • What will I learn?

      Here is what you will learn. Some words you may not understand when you start, but will when you finish:

      - How to build a web app
      - Pair programming
      - Git and source control
      - Interview skills
      - SQL and ORMs
      - Regex
      - HTML, CSS, Javascript, AJAX
      - Deploying to cloud services such as Heroku or - Amazon EC2
      - Terminal shells, grep, and other *nix command-line fu
      - Computer Science data structures such as linked lists, dictionaries, and trees
      - How to work with APIs (such as Google Maps or Twitter)
      - Basic networking concepts / how the internet works
      - Other programming concepts and tools such as message queues, batch processing, distributed processing, NoSQL, and web sockets

    • Why women only?

      In short, we hate the Dave-to-Girl Ratio in software development. We want to do our part to equalize this imbalance, and we felt that a program exclusively for women was a good place to start. For the record, there will only be 1 Dave in the classroom.

    • What's it like?

      The Hackbright Fellowship is a life changing experience. We create an optimal learning environment with everything you need. The first half of the program includes an accelerated in depth teaching of the Python language, then covers the elements of a modern web application stack with guided projects. For the remainder of the program, students work on projects they’re passionate about. Meanwhile, we’ll bring in guests from great companies and have talks and breakout sessions exposing students to as many sub-disciplines as we can manage. We believe in pair programming as a powerful teaching tool. Having another person sitting next to you watching you code can be harrowing, but nothing keeps you focused like a second set of eyes. Pair programming encourages knowledge sharing, rapid brainstorming, and keeps you from checking Facebook too much. Students will pair as much as possible during the program. We won’t lecture too much. We believe fully immersed engagement is the best way to learn. We provide the curriculum and environment to produce optimal learning. This means maximizing hands-on time in front of computers and providing smart people who can answer all of your questions. Here’s the experience described by one of our Alumna, featured in

    • How much does it cost?

      Tuition is $15,000. If you receive and accept a full-time job offer from one of the companies in our network then we will refund $3,000 of your tuition. If the program doesn’t meet your expectations in the first 2 weeks, we’ll give you your money back (less your down payment).We offer a partial scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. These are need-based scholarships. If you are an organization who wants to sponsor more students, please let us know.

    • Why Python and Web Development?

      Python is an important part of the tech ecosystem. It’s an excellent teaching language, indeed, it’s the language of choice for both MIT’s and Berkeley’s undergraduate curriculums. More importantly, it’s a commercially used language used by giants and startups alike. We like it a lot, and we think you’ll like it too. Software Development is changing. Within the last ten years, the web has gone from being a second-class citizen to the primary way software is distributed to people. Aside from toys, there is almost no marketplace for software without a network component anymore, and modern web development was critical to that change. Even if you go on to build mobile applications, you’ll need to interface with a web component. Web development is a bit of a misnomer, too. We teach you how to architect and build multi-user network applications. Then, we show you how to make it pretty in a web browser.

    • And after?

      Our goal is to help you get the job you want. We will provide training on both the technical skills and soft skills you need to make your way into the industry. We host a “Career Day” at the end of the 10-weeks where select companies come in and meet all of our graduates. “Career Day” includes speed-interviews and networking. While we don’t guarantee job placement, we have strategic relationships with companies that we’re excited about and are excited about us, and are recruiting from the program.

  • Part-time Courses

    • Are the part-time courses women only?

      Yes, at this time all of the courses at Hackbright Academy are for women only.

    • How much does do the part-time courses cost?

      The total cost of tuition is $3,000 ($250 non-refundable deposit due upon enrolling).


      In the past, employers have sponsored their employees to take Hackbright Academy courses. Dedicating time outside of the office is an effective way to skill up. Ask us for a template letter to send to your manager if you’d like to request employer sponsorship.


      If you are an organization or business who wants to sponsor an employee please let us know. Email Stefan Gomez, Director of Finance, for more information.

    • Can I apply for one of the scholarships to cover the cost of the part-time course?

      Unfortunately no, the offered scholarships are for the 10-week software engineering fellowship only.

    • Does Hackbright Academy have a withdrawal/refund policy?

      A student has the right to withdraw from Hackbright Academy at any time. If the student withdraws from the course, Hackbright will remit a pro-rata refund for the unused portion of the tuition less the non-refundable down payment paid. The amount of the refund is determined by deducting the non-refundable down payment from the total tuition charge, then dividing the remainder by the number of days in the course to calculate the daily charge. The refund is the amount in excess of what the student owes for total days of instruction completed. The date of withdrawal is the date of cancellation and is determined as the date the student notifies the school of the decision to cancel. The student will be charged for all hours attended.

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships

    • How do I apply to financial aid?

      All financial aid applications and decisions are considered after a student has been accepted and enrolled in an upcoming Hackbright fellowship session. Decisions regarding financial aid are made after review of all information provided in the financial aid application, which is distributed after a student is enrolled in the program. Applications for financial aid are submitted online and resemble the FAFSA application.

    • Are there payment plans?

      Hackbright Academy offers tuition payment plans through our social lending partner, LendLayer. Our payment plan allows students to pay their tuition back over a period up to 36 months at a low interest rate. More details on the payment plan can be found here: LendLayer Payment Plan.

    • What types of scholarships are offered for Hackbright Academy fellows?

      Hackbright no longer offers full scholarships that cover 100% of the tuition. We offer partial need-based scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. These scholarships are awarded to the students who demonstrate the greatest financial need.

      Due to the typical volume of financial aid applicants and the limited amount of funds available, we cannot make any guarantees of aid, but we recommend all interested students apply. The typical award ranges anywhere from $500 to $2,500.

      To apply for a need based scholarship, students first must be accepted and enrolled in the program. Upon enrollment, students complete a brief application form and provide supporting documentation on their finances.

    • How much is the deposit to attend the Hackbright Academy Software Engineering Fellowship?

      Currently, the deposit is $2,500 to secure your spot in our program.

    • Do you award financial aid based on academic, work experience or any other student performance?

      No. All financial aid awards are based on financial need.

    • Do I have to be accepted into Hackbright before I can apply for assistance?

      Yes. Please note the scholarship deadline for submitting your admissions application online. This can be found in your application.

    • What is the scholarship deadline?

      It is the date by which you need to apply to be eligible for consideration for any Hackbright financial aid. It is possible that applications received after the scholarship deadline will be considered for financial aid, but if you require financial assistance to attend Hackbright, be sure to apply before the scholarship deadline.

    • How will I know if I qualify for assistance and the amount of my award?

      We assess the need of each applicant. Financial aid decisions will be sent out around one week after the financial aid application deadline.

    • When can I apply for Financial Aid?

      Students are able to apply for financial aid once we have received your Signed Agreement back for the cohort you are attending.

    • What is the maximum family income you can make in order to qualify for financial assistance?

      As the applicant pool changes each cohort, it’s difficult to identify the qualifying income from one cohort to the next. Normally, families whose yearly combined income is over $60,000 do not qualify for assistance.

    • If I qualify for assistance, when do I receive my grant?

      Your award is automatically credited on your tuition account.

    • If I receive a Hackbright Partial Scholarship, am I able to apply that towards living expenses or deposit?

      No. Any partial scholarship that you are awarded will be directly deducted from your outstanding tuition balance. We do require all students to pay a deposit upon accepting their space in the cohort.

    • If I enroll in the LendLayer Payment Plan, do I still need to pay the Hackbright Fellowship deposit?

      Yes. All students are required to pay a deposit in order to reserve your spot in the Fellowship program.

    • Can I pay my tuition using a Credit Card?

      Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard or American Express. A 3% transaction fee applies.

    • I can’t afford to fund Hackbright’s tuition or deposit at this time, what are my options?

      Students who are not able to afford the deposit for Hackbright’s Fellowship may defer to the following cohort upon request.

      For any additional Financial Aid or Tuition related questions, please feel free to direct your questions to Laura Gillen, Staff Accountant, .