Promineo Tech Counters Industry Report on Student Financing
Promineo Tech was founded by Nick Suwyn in June of 2018 with a mission to make technology education affordable and accessible so that anyone can change their lives and enter the tech industry. Coding bootcamps started in 2011 to help students land jobs in software development without a computer science degree. These alternative learning paths had lowered the barrier to high paying jobs, but it was not without flaws.
“I looked at the industry and loved the good I saw. I was thrilled to see so many students breaking into careers they previously perceived as blocked off because of the financial barrier to education,” said Nick Suwyn. “The industry was doing so much good for so many, but I wanted to see that good increased while eliminating even more cost so more people could access tech education – so I set out to do it.”
Nick and a few other instructors started offering an affordable coding bootcamp and teaching classes out of their living rooms. Eventually, they outgrew their homes and rented classroom space in Surprise, Arizona. As Promineo Tech’s success in helping students in an affordable way grew, they eventually pivoted from a coding bootcamp to an Education as a Service provider and partnered with community colleges to run co-branded tech bootcamps.
“We found that many of the community colleges had similar missions to ours – to provide affordable workforce training,” said Nick. “They needed help offering quality coding bootcamps, and the socially-cognizant alignment was there. So, we decided to share our mission with colleges, and it’s led to many great partnerships and student success.”
Colleges that partner with Promineo Tech to offer coding bootcamps have program tuitions that range from $2,995 to just under $6,000, with most programs costing students around $3,500. The average coding bootcamp in 2021 costs $14,000 and Computer Science degrees can cost $50,000 or more.
Because of the unique, part-time model that Promineo Tech employs in its bootcamps, they have been able to drive down the cost of education and pass those savings on to students, while delivering quality education.
Despite a socially driven mission and positive student outcomes, Promineo Tech was recently included in an industry report that questions lending practices around at public universities. “The coding bootcamp industry has a mixed reputation, just like the rest of education, public or private. The reason I founded Promineo Tech was to combat some of the negatives I saw in the industry such as excessive tuition and high interest rates,” said Nick Suwyn.
The report was aimed at multiple companies in the industry and included incentive compensation, steering students to preferred lenders, and costly private loans that bury students in excessive debt. “We take these allegations seriously and we continuously evaluate our practices to ensure we are doing what is absolutely best for the students we serve,” said Nick. “However, we strongly believe that the allegations towards Promineo Tech employing predatory practices, or doing anything to harm students, are baseless and missing key details that illuminate the big picture of how we make affordable tech education accessible to everyone.”
The report did not claim that Promineo Tech uses incentive compensation – commissions paid to recruiters for enrolling students – but did imply that companies like Promineo Tech employ such methods. To set the record straight, not only does Promineo Tech not use incentive compensation, but rather takes an active stance against pushy sales. “A point we bring up frequently in team meetings is that we will not be pushy salespeople. Our program sells itself and our recruiting team is only there to answer questions potential students might have. In the end, we want each student to decide what’s best for them without pressure,” said Nick.
In addition to a no-pushy-sales policy, any student enrolling in a program powered by Promineo Tech must pass a cognitive abilities assessment to ensure they have the capacity to be successful in the fast-paced, mentally demanding bootcamp they are considering attending. If students cannot pass this assessment, they are not accepted into the program. With the lack of incentive compensation and the added security of an anti-predatory cognitive ability-based entrance exam, it’s clear that Promineo Tech looks out for students’ best interests.
“Promineo is one of the most ethical groups I have ever worked with,” remarked a representative from one of the colleges Promineo Tech partners with. “I have witnessed first-hand how much you care for students and the work every person puts in to ensure that students are supported.”
A representative from a different college responded by saying that “one of the reasons we are so proud to partner with Promineo is that its values align so well with those of the Community College - high-quality education at the most affordable possible price. I think your responses [to the report] illustrate that students have both and that the more expensive bootcamps out there aren't providing anything of greater value.”
Additionally, the report claimed that Promineo Tech was pushing students towards “risky loans” and “leaving borrowers with unaffordable debt.” This allegation is the most critical and founds the basis of the entire report – it is also the most inaccurate. Promineo Tech’s mission is to make technology education affordable and accessible, and that same mission permeates through to available financing options, as well. Furthermore, offering affordable financing options significantly lowers the barrier to enter the tech field for many individuals. The best way to illustrate this is by looking at the hard numbers.
As we can see by the table above, monthly payments range from a minimum of $249.38 and hit $264.64 at the height. In addition to low monthly payments, the total interest paid for most programs is only a few hundred dollars, with the most expensive being just over $1,100. However, the numbers that paint the clearest picture are the total costs to finance Promineo Tech’s programs; after all interest, the coding bootcamps are all still below $4,700 and the data engineering program is just over $6,600. Compare these final numbers to the industry average bootcamp tuition of $14,000 and CS degrees passing $50,000 – all before financing – and it becomes very clear that Promineo Tech is not “leaving borrowers with unaffordable debt.”
To top it all off, only 5% of students in Promineo Tech programs have used these financing options. While the percentage of people taking advantage of this financing is relatively small, it is possible that without this affordable option, these individuals would not otherwise be able to access vital education to advance their career and change their lives, their family’s lives, and the lives of generations to come. “This is why we do what we do – to help the individuals who truly need it,” said Suwyn, “and countless students have expressed gratitude for what we do. That’s the sincerest affirmation that we’re making a positive impact.”
Promineo Tech’s mission is to make technology education affordable, accessible, and low-risk for everyone so that anyone has the opportunity to improve their lives through learning. We believe in providing quality training programs anchored in student experience and service-oriented interactions.
The reviews we have from our college partners and students are some of the best you'll find. Promineo is Latin meaning "to stand out", and that's what we do.