Hackbright Academy Review

Hackbright Academy Overview


Remote, San Francisco

Disciplines Offered

Software Engineering

Payment Options

Income Share Agreement, Installments, Loans, Scholarships, Upfront

The San Francisco-based Hackbright Academy opened in 2012 to disrupt the status quo in tech by teaching women and non-binary students to code. The software engineering bootcamp emphasizes hands-on learning where students work on computers under the supervision of an advisor.

It takes 12-24 weeks to complete the full bootcamp. Students learn Python for back-end development, Java for front-end work, and PostgreSQL for database programming. Graduates join an alumni network of more than 1,000 people and can take advantage of Hackbright 's hiring partners to pursue jobs at Amazon, Dell, and Intuit.

Keep reading to learn more about Hackbright Academy's coding bootcamp, application process, and payment options.

Hackbright Academy Courses

Hackbright Academy offers a software engineering bootcamp. Students can choose from different formats that suit their needs, including full-time or part-time options and in-person or online delivery. Bootcamps also offer evening and weekend courses. It takes 12 or 24 weeks to complete the bootcamp, depending on if students enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Hackbright also offers a five-week prep course and some introductory courses covering Python.

Software Engineering

Chevron Down
  • Cost: $12,900-$14,900
  • Learning Format: Online and In Person
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time
  • Length: 12 weeks (Full Time), 24 weeks (Part Time)

The software engineering bootcamp teaches students web development and computer science using Python. Whether students study in person or online, they learn and practice through lectures and labs. Full-time students can also pursue mentorship opportunities. The three-module bootcamp divides learning into core programming with lessons covering the command line, data structures and APIs, and web technologies such as HTML and CSS.

View Course

Hackbright Academy Admissions Process

Hackbright uses a rolling-admissions policy that lets students apply until bootcamp sessions are full. Prospective students should understand basic computer science, such as building lists and arrays, creating data types, and conditional logic. Candidates can brush up on the basics through a five-week prep course. Hackbright offers discounts to students who finish the prep course or the online Python 101 courses. Applicants who do not pass the technical interview receive feedback, which can help them if they decide to re-apply.

Hackbright Academy Payment Options

  • Upfront: Hackbright Academy requires every student to pay a deposit in order to hold their spot in the bootcamp. Those who choose to pay for their course upfront must pay $12,900 or $14,900, depending on their enrollment option.
  • Deferred Tuition Plan: Eligible students can qualify for deferred tuition at Hackbright Academy. Students who qualify do not make payments until they get hired. However, these individuals still need to pay a $250 deposit and a $2,899 upfront deferment fee. To qualify for deferred tuition, students must have a bachelor's degree, two years of full-time work experience, and score a 5 or higher on Hackbright's technical interview. Additionally, they must provide a professional reference.
  • Income Share Agreement (ISA): Through the Stride ISA, graduates of Hackbright Academy do not repay their tuition until they start making at least $4,166 a month, or $50,000 a year. They make payments on a sliding scale based on their income. The ISA offers terms of 36-72 months. Applicants may have APRs of up to 21%. Students must attend full time to apply for an ISA. Residents in Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, South Carolina, and Washington do not qualify.
  • Loans: Bootcamp students do not typically qualify for federal financial aid. To help participants pay for its bootcamp, Hackbright Academy partners with private lenders Ascent and Climb to offer loans to students.

    Climb allows students to borrow up to $50,000 with repayment plans lasting 36-42 months. Loans come with base rates of 6.99-14.15%. This lender charges a 5% origination fee of the loan amount. APRs range from 9.55-17.46%. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

    Ascent allows students to borrow up to $40,000, with 36-60-month terms. The company charges a 5% origination fee and offers APRs between 8.25-18.49%. Loan recipients must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients. Qualified applicants must not have defaulted on previous loans.
  • Scholarships: Hackbright students can apply for scholarships after being accepted into the program and submitting their deposit. The Hackbright Changemaker Scholarship provides two awards covering half the price of tuition. Smaller scholarships of $500-$2,500 are also available. Awards cannot go towards living expenses. Additionally, private companies, such as BrightHire, sponsor scholarships of up to $6,450 for students who demonstrate financial hardship.

Hackbright Academy Student Outcomes

Bootcamps do not hold accreditation, but the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) verifies student outcome data for some bootcamps. Students can look at graduation rates, job placement numbers, and salary information reported by CIRR-member bootcamps. However, not all bootcamps are members of CIRR.

Hackbright Academy is not a CIRR member, but it does self-report outcome data. However, potential students should be aware that an independent agency has not verified this information. Hackbright reports that 58.8% of graduates from its full-time software engineering program in the second half of 2020 found jobs in the field within 180 days of graduation. Graduates have gone on to find employment at companies like Airbnb, Bloomberg, Eventbrite, GitHub, and Uber.

Hackbright Academy Student Outcomes

Graduation Rate

Employment Rate
After 180 Days


Median Starting Salary

Frequently Asked Questions About Hackbright Academy Coding Bootcamp

What is Hackbright Academy?

Chevron Down

Hackbright Academy was founded in 2012 to help prepare more women and non-binary people for programming positions. To date, Hackbright has trained more than 1,000 graduates.

The 12-week, full-time coding bootcamp teaches participants web development. Hackbright also focuses on connecting students with hiring companies in the Bay Area, aiming to help students "marginalized by gender" launch lucrative tech careers. Hackbright Academy bases many of its policies on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Is Hackbright Academy worth it?

Chevron Down

According to self-reported Hackbright Academy data — collected from 86 students during the second half of 2020 — roughly 96% of participants in the full-time software engineering program graduated on time. Respondents who shared salary information reported an average annual salary of $100,633. About 66% of graduates found jobs as software engineers. Another 4% became software developers, and the remaining reported having other positions.

However, a student's success and return on investment rely heavily on what they put into their studies and their target career. Full-time students at Hackbright get career support through mentorship opportunities, interview prep assistance, and resume help. Full-time students can also present their capstone project at Demo Night — an event attended by faculty, students, and hiring partners.

Is Hackbright Academy hard to get into?

Chevron Down

Incoming students at Hackbright generally have a few years of work experience or have studied at a community college or four-year institution. The average age range for bootcamp participants is 22-55.

Candidates must complete an interview unless they have already completed the prep course or Python 101 courses. Students from across the country — and abroad —can apply for online bootcamps.

Before applying, students can visit the Hackbright campus in San Francisco and sit in during a bootcamp course to meet an instructor. Eligible applicants must have at least 40 hours of coding experience from online courses or self-taught videos.

Is Hackbright Academy free?

Chevron Down

No. Hackbright Academy charges $12,900 for online bootcamps and $14,900 for in-person bootcamps. Students can opt for different payment methods, such as paying upfront, signing an ISA, or taking out loans.

Hackbright also offers a part-time prep course that costs $249-$500 and a free, six-course introduction to Python.

Feature Image: Evgeniia Siiankovskaia / Moment / Getty Images