SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego Workforce Partnership is accepting applications for its income-sharing agreement, which only requires graduates to pay back the cost if they make at least $40,000 a year.
San Diegans have about a month to apply online for the program, which offers certificates in User Experience Design, Database Management, or Java Programming through UCSD Extension. The priority application period ends Aug. 2.
Ellie Solorio is about to complete the program in Front End Development. She just landed a job at Petco, doubling her pay from her prior positions, such as in retail and administrative work.
"I mean it hasn't even sunk in yet really, but it's a complete sense of hope at the end that there are things I need to take care of and now I will be able to," she said.
Participants get access to education and career services, which is paid for through the fund. Then, once they are done, they begin making payments based on their income for 36 to 60 months. Graduates make payments of 6% to 8% of their annual salary only if they are earning at least $40,000. The money goes back into the fund that pays for the next group of cohorts.
"With a student loan you're paying that back regardless of whether or not you are securing a job upon graduation," said Adrienne Chuck, an Income Share Agreement Analyst with the San Diego Workforce Partnership. "With an Income Share Agreement, you only pay it back if you secure a job and get a minimum salary."
No student will ever pay more than $11,800, according to the program's website.
According to UCSD Extension, the programs currently offered cost $2,875 for Java Programming, $3,775 for database management, and $5,400 for user experience design. Those prices exclude textbooks and other course materials.
"We know that upskilling and training in particular fields with a particular skill set is something that industry is willing to pay for, and that really is the role of extension, to ensure that San Diego and California and the nation as a whole, individuals are getting trained for those skills that industry is looking for," said Josh Shapiro, assistant dean of innovation and research affairs at UCSD Extension.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Database Administrators earn a median $93,750; Software Developers $105,000, and a Web Developers $73,760. CNN Money says a user experience designer earns a median $89,000 and called it one of the best jobs in America.