Frequently Asked Questions

  • Admissions

    • Is your program 10 weeks or 12 weeks?

      We offer an intensive 12 week program. The first 10 weeks are formal instruction which includes a structured curriculum, regularly scheduled lectures and a fully staffed Education team. During the remaining 2 weeks students will be working closely with Career Services as they prepare for their job search. This includes but is not limited to: career workshops and hosted career breakfasts, white boarding practice, resume building and interview preparation.

    • What does rolling admissions mean?

      Here at Hackbright, we employ a rolling admissions process. This means that we review, interview and accept candidates on a “first come first serve basis” up until the deadline date or until the cohort is full, whichever comes first. We strongly suggest that you apply as early as possible in the process. Past cohorts have filled before the deadline date. Please note that candidates can only apply to one cohort at a time.

    • What if I miss the application deadline?

      No problem. You can "roll-over" your application to the next term once the application is available. You log-in with the same user name and password and it will auto-populate with your saved information.

    • What does the acceptance process look like at Hackbright Academy?

      When a candidate is accepted to Hackbright, we send them a contract to be signed and returned generally within 2 weeks time to confirm their attendance. (Closer to the fellowship start date, the turnaround time will be a bit tighter.) After we receive the signed contract back, you have another week (7 days) to send the required deposit of $2,500 for the fellowship. Like a traditional college, that deposit secures your space.

    • 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.

    • Do many of the students who take the Intro to Programming part-time course at Hackbright go on to apply to the fellowship?

      Yes. Some of the students who take Intro to Programming go on to apply and are accepted into the fellowship. Please keep in mind that taking a PT class, like Intro to Programming, is not a guarantee that someone will be accepted to the full-time fellowship.

    • 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 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 two interviews per applicant.

    • Can accepted students defer to a later cohort?

      At this time, we do not allow accepted students to defer to a later cohort. You are accepted based upon the applicants within your specific cohort. If accepted and you cannot attend, you are free to decline the offer and apply for another cohort more convenient. Please think carefully about which term you wish to start in before applying to Hackbright. This is a big investment and decision.

    • Can I re-apply to Hackbright if I don’t get in?

      Absolutely! We love to see former candidates come back to Hackbright. If you are re-appying, please note this information on the application and let us know what you have been up to since you last applied. We generally suggest giving yourself 6 months before submitting a new application.

    • Do you accept International candidates to Hackbright?

      Yes. International student are certainly welcome to apply. Please note that securing the travel visa is the responsibility of the student. It can take up to 6 weeks to secure the visa, so we encourage international students to apply early.

      Due to the tight US restrictions around visas, corporate sponsorship post program completion is highly unlikely. However, the skills you gain during the fellowship will be invaluable. Graduates complete Hackbright with an amazing array of knowledge, experiences and project work that will impress employers from around the globe.

    • Do you accept transgender candidates to Hackbright?

      Hackbright Academy is committed to challenging unequal gender dynamics within mainstream society, supporting the intellectual and personal growth of our students, and fostering critical analyses of gender. Admitting trans, intersex, and gender variant students is harmonious with these commitments and is consistent with the underlying mission of Hackbright to support, nurture, and value the voices of those who have been marginalized by gender. Our policy is informed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Full Policy and FAQ

  • 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 little experience, 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 taken 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 Forbes.

    • How much does it cost?

      Effective Winter 2016, tuition is $16,570. 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 scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. For the most recent list of scholarships, visit our Empowerment Fund. 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. What do Hackbright graduates do after the engineering fellowship?

  • 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).

      Employer Sponsorship

      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.

      Sponsoring Scholarship

      If you are an organization or business who wants to sponsor an employee please let us know. Email Stefan Gomez, Director of Finance, [email protected] 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?

      In accordance with California Policy, If you withdraw from the Full-Time Fellowship program in writing by the end of week 7 at Hackbright Academy, you will receive a pro rata refund for the remaining 5 weeks of the fellowship. The date of the student’s withdrawal shall be deemed the last date of recorded attendance. By week 8, the tuition is considered earned and you will not receive a refund.

      Certificates of Completion are only granted to students, who complete all 12 weeks of course work and required projects.

      Part-time Classes:
      In accordance with California Policy, If you withdraw from a Part-Time class in writing by the end of week 6 at Hackbright Academy, you will receive a pro rata refund for the remaining 4 weeks of the class. The date of the student’s withdrawal shall be deemed the last date of recorded attendance. By week 7, the tuition is considered earned and you will not receive a refund.

      Certificates of Completion are only granted to students, who complete all 10 weeks of course work and required projects.

      For refunds, please contact [email protected]

    • What career network is currently available for part-time students?

      Fellowship career services are built around the 12 week program (and a career day that incorporates projects built during those 12 weeks), which means the Fellowship career services and network are currently not accessible to folks outside of the Fellowship, including Part-Time students.

    • Difference Between Fellowship and Part Time Program

      The Fellowship is an intensive 12 week experience that prepares students for a career as a software developer. The Part-Time Program, on the other hand, focuses on giving women who are already employed proficient coding skills to level up on the job.

      Currently, taking Intro to Programming courses is not a substitute for the Fellowship experience, since the Fellowship includes many other benefits besides instruction, including extensive mentorship from industry experts, intensive practice sessions, in depth career support, and so on.

      However, taking Intro to Programming will give you a strong technical understanding that makes it possible to work closely with a developer- a skill which many employers here in Silicon Valley and San Francisco find invaluable for all employees, especially those in leadership roles. Most importantly, the part-time course helps you gauge whether software engineering is a field that you may want to get into.

      For more information on how the part-time courses might help your career, please see the "What can I expect after taking Hackbright part-time courses?" question in the part-time FAQ.

    • Do many of the students who take the Intro to Programming part-time course at Hackbright go on to apply to the fellowship?

      Yes. Some of the students who take Intro to Programming go on to apply and are accepted into the fellowship. Please keep in mind that taking a PT class, like Intro to Programming, is not a guarantee that someone will be accepted to the full-time fellowship.

    • If I want to apply to the fellowship, but am taking Into to Programming first, when is a good time to apply?

      We encourage prospective students to apply to the fellowship after completing the Intro class.

    • Can I get in touch with the part-time staff to ask more specific questions?

      We welcome any questions you might have, so please feel free to Contact Us with any questions!

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships

    • How do I apply for 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?

      Yes! Hackbright Academy offers tuition payment plans. You can see a full list of payment plan options for the fellowship and part-time courses

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

      You can see a full list of current scholarships available on our Empowerment Fund page.

      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.

      Companies, however, do provide various scholarships to students. The Empowerment Fund page is the best source to see what scholarships are currently available.

      To apply for a need based scholarship, students first must be accepted and enrolled into the program. Upon enrollment, students complete a brief application form and provide supporting documentation on their finances. At which time, candidates will be contacted by the Admissions team regarding final selection.

      If you have any questions, feel free to email the Admissions team at [email protected]

    • 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 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.