EIBR in a Nutshell
- A protection plan to keep student loans affordable for unemployed or underemployed alumni
- Aligns incentives of Make School and its students
- Covers student loan payments as long as eligibility criteria are met
- Caps debt payments as a percentage of income
- Applies to parent plus and private loans as long as eligibility criteria are met
Watch This 5-minute Summary to Learn the Basics of EIBR
A New Way of Ensuring Incentive Alignment
Student loans are often cheaper than Income Share Agreements, but don’t automatically come with the same protections - so we created new protections. We believe that if you are unemployed after Make School, you should not have to pay your student loans. It is Make School’s responsibility to bear the financial burden for students who are not successful after our program.
Make School offers an Extended Income-Based Repayment (EIBR) protection plan to help unemployed and underemployed alumni of Make School keep their student loan payments affordable. All private and parent loans taken out to pay for Make School are automatically covered by the EIBR program subject to the criteria on this page.
The EIBR program is funded by Make School and will be independently administered by a non-profit with transparent financials. Incentives remain aligned - Make School feels the financial pain of unemployed and underemployed graduates and has a final incentive to invest in ensuring students achieve good outcomes.
As Income Share Agreements (ISAs) become a fallback financing option and no longer the default option, the EIBR protection plan works to preserve the student downside protection and institutional incentive alignment tenets of ISAs. It is designed as an extension of the Federal Income-Based repayment (IBR) program to cover Parent Plus and Private loans, and this idea was first proposed in our policy paper published in December 2019.
EIBR creates payment caps on student debt payments as a percentage of income. The EIBR cap limits students’ monthly debt payments (combined federal, Parent Plus, and private) to the corresponding percent of their salary outlined in the chart shown below. Any debt obligation beyond the cap during the repayment protection window will be paid by the EIBR protection plan so long as the student claiming benefits maintains eligibility for EIBR. Those eligibility requirements are outlined later on this page.
As the primary intent of the plan is to align institutional incentives with student outcomes, the repayment protection window ends after a student has been earning $75K/year for more than 18 months.
|Graduate Annual Gross Income||EIBR Cap|
Our Intentions Behind the Eligibility Criteria
The criteria for EIBR protection plan eligibility are based on factors in a students’ control (class attendance, engagement with career services) and help reinforce the behaviors that we have seen correlate to students securing meaningful and engaging work in the tech industry.
If there are documented circumstances beyond your control including medical issues that are affecting your attendance, job search, or ability to secure employment you will be able to petition to maintain eligibility even if you aren’t able to meet the criteria.
Simply put, if students adhere to our curriculum (which we continually improve to ensure the skills we teach are the very skills needed in industry) and our job search process, we believe the probability of success is high. If you stay eligible for EIBR you will most likely not need it, and if you still do, it’s on us and we are happy to have EIBR protect you.
Once initially enrolled in EIBR, students must meet the in-school criteria to maintain eligibility for the EIBR protection plan. Some conditions (e.g. withdrawing from Make School instead of completing the program and graduating) may affect the overall repayment protection window. After a student has left Make School, the out-of-school criteria governs the payment of benefits.
Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis to all criteria below for extenuating personal, family, and medical issues.
Remember that the Course Catalog & Student Handbook contains complete information on the policies that govern your enrollment at Make School including academic progress requirements to maintain good academic standing. The requirements below only govern your eligibility for EIBR. It is possible to be asked to leave Make School while retaining EIBR eligibility.
Which Loans Are Covered Under EIBR?
- Parent Plus and private education loans certified by Make School or Dominican University Financial Aid, not to exceed Make School’s published cost of attendance.
- Loans from family and friends, for personal loans from banks or other sources, or for any debt incurred to pay for other academic programs
- Student loans with repayment terms shorter than 10 years or 120 payments total
- Loans that already have provisions for income-based repayment (including Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal student loans)
If you have an eligible loan, you will be automatically enrolled in the EIBR protection plan. Please review your financial aid award letter to confirm which of your loans are covered under EIBR.
In-School Eligibility Criteria
In-school eligibility criteria need to be met while the student is enrolled at Make School to remain eligible for the EIBR protection plan. This criteria addresses items such as academic progress and actions a student must take when designated “job-ready”.
Students must enroll in the standard course load of 4 classes or more per term unless pre-approved for fewer courses due to accommodation or graduation requirements.
Students with > 2 classes with unsatisfactory attendance in one term are placed on an Attendance Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and must meet satisfactory attendance the following term to maintain eligibility for EIBR.
At the beginning of each academic year, Make School will publish a Job Readiness rubric for that year. The rubric will output a score based on a student’s academic performance, performance in mock interviews, the state of their project portfolio, and other factors. A score cutoff to be considered ‘On Track’ will be published at the beginning of each academic year.
- The Job Readiness score is first measured in the spring of a student’s first year at Make School. Students must be ‘On Track’ to maintain eligibility for EIBR.
- The Job Readiness Score is measured again in the Fall and Spring of a student’s second year at Make School. Students must be ‘On Track’ to maintain eligibility for EIBR.
- Students who are “Off Track” will be placed on a Job Readiness PIP and must meet the timeline outlined in their PIP to return to “On Track”, typically one month.
- The Job Readiness rubric is designed to include factors largely in a student’s control like building a strong resume and personal website, attending mock interview practice sessions, and maintaining projects on their Github account. It is not our intention to exclude students from EIBR if they are working hard towards all requirements.
The Job Readiness rubric contains a score cutoff that determines when a student is “Job Ready”. When the student earns the “Job-Ready” status and is within 6 months of their projected graduation date, they must:
- Apply to at least 10-position appropriate jobs each week, unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum, tracking all job search activity using Make School’s provided Job Tracker or an approved alternative, and produce this resource at each of your coaching sessions.
- Attend at least 2 networking events (such as a meetup) each month unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum - these events may be virtual/remote.
- Send 5 LinkedIn “connect requests” each week to people who can be found using the following search strings: “we’re hiring”, “software engineer”, or similar contacts, expressing your interest in a role at their company, unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum.
Students must reply to faculty, staff, the Make School Outcomes Team, and any employer introductions made by Make School within 1-2 business days. Students who repeatedly fail to respond to written communications may be placed on a Communications PIP and must restore a pattern of responsive communication to maintain eligibility for EIBR.
Repayment Protection Window
The standard repayment protection window is the life of the covered loans or ten years, whichever is fewer. When a student has earned at least a $75,000 annual (or annualized) salary or contracting income for 18 consecutive months, coverage expires.
Additional conditions will affect the length of the repayment protection window.
Withdrawal from the program prior to graduation for an internship at any salary, contract work with milestone-based pay, or contract work/employment with an annualized salary under $75k/yr:
- EIBR coverage will terminate. Coverage can be reinstated if the position converts to a full-time position paying more than $75k/yr within 6 months of starting or if the student returns to Make School within 6 months.
- Reminder: This policy covers withdrawals only. If you do an internship during your time at Make School lasting 6 months or fewer and resume studying full time afterward you will not lose eligibility.
- Students who withdraw from Make School for a contract or internship role prior to completing the program are at higher risk for a sub-par outcome. Because of this, we strongly recommend that students remain at Make School until graduation, or, under certain conditions, until a full-time offer is secured.
If a student is employed by a startup they have founded for more than 1 year without making an annual (or annualized) income of $50k+, coverage will expire. We do not intend to disincentivize students from pursuing startups. However, we believe that viable startups should be able to start paying the founders at least $50k/yr within a year of founding.
If a student lives abroad for more than 6 months while receiving EIBR coverage payments, coverage will expire. This is due to international salaries being significantly lower than domestic salaries.
If a student decides to change careers and no longer pursue employment in tech, coverage will expire.
If a student has previously left Make School in good standing and desires to resume attendance, the coverage window resets to the standard coverage window. Retention criteria and overall plan guidelines still apply.
Exemption: If a student is at risk of losing coverage due to one of the above conditions, but the situation is outside of a student’s control due to documented extenuating personal, family, and/or medical issues, students may submit a petition to maintain their EIBR coverage window.
Out-of-School Eligibility Criteria
Benefits are not available while you are enrolled full-time in another school - check with your specific loan servicer for built-in deferment options for full or part-time school attendance.
To receive EIBR benefits once out of school, we require:
- No outstanding bill balance with Make School
- All loans that offer an income-based repayment plan must be enrolled in the income-based repayment plan if it would reduce monthly required payments relative to a 10-year repayment plan
Total student loan payments (Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, eligible Parent Plus, and private loans as described above) exceed your EIBR percentage cap based on annual (or annualized) income
- Income from all taxable and non-taxable sources is considered for this calculation
- If you are collecting unemployment you will need to provide a copy of your unemployment benefit documents
Have an initial meeting with a member of the Make School Outcomes Team to develop your personalized job search plan, and meet with an Outcomes Team member regularly (the frequency of these meetings will be set in your personalized job search plan)
- If, during your initial meeting with a Make School Outcomes Team Member, it is determined that your technical/soft/etc. skills are not sufficient to secure gainful employment, you will need to take the appropriate steps to improve your skills and job readiness. If you have not yet graduated from Make School, this may include re-enrolling at Make School. If you have graduated, these steps may include auditing classes, studying, participating in mock interviews, and any other steps that a Make School Outcomes Team Member determines is necessary to improve your skills to secure gainful employment.
- Apply to at least 10-position appropriate jobs each week, unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum, tracking all job search activity using Make School’s provided Job Tracker or an approved alternative, and produce this resource at each of your coaching sessions
- Attend at least 2 networking events (such as a meetup) each month unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum - these events may be virtual/remote
- Send 5 LinkedIn “connect requests” each week to people who can be found using the following search strings: “we’re hiring”, “software engineer”, or similar contacts, expressing your interest in a role at their company, unless your personalized job search plan sets a lower minimum
- Reply to the Make School Outcomes Team and any employer introductions made by Make School within 1 business day
Note: These requirements still apply if you are employed but earning a low enough salary to require EIBR coverage. We require you to be proactively working to improve your economic situation to receive coverage, and that includes applying for higher-paying jobs if the Outcomes Team determines staying at your current job is not your best path towards salary growth.
Exemption: Students employed in public service work or in technology-related positions at non-profit organizations will not be required to apply for higher-earning positions to continue receiving EIBR coverage.
Applying for Benefits
- Applications are processed twice a month. To receive benefits for any month or half-month, you must submit an EIBR benefits application at the beginning of the month or by the fifteenth of the month that you seek to receive benefits. After your application has been received, we will review your information, process your request (or request additional information), and schedule you for an intake meeting with a member of the Make School Outcomes Team.
- You may apply before the 15th of the month for a payment due on the 1st of the next month to receive funds before payment is due. If you apply later than this, you will have to make the payment out-of-pocket and will receive reimbursement from the EIBR plan.
- Proof of good standing from servicers of all outstanding student loans at the time of application for benefits will be required.
- Prior to payment of benefits, you will be required to provide a W-9.
- You will receive an IRS Form 1099-MISC for any Repayment Assistance paid to you. You should consult your own tax advisor about tax treatment and your specific circumstances.
- If after you have received benefits it is later determined that your annual (or annualized) income for any given month in which you received benefits was different than what you reported, or if you ultimately did not meet criteria for benefits, then any overpayment will need to be returned. Failure to return overpayment will result in termination of your repayment protection window.
- Annually, after the end of each calendar year, to finalize your application for benefits for that year, you must provide a copy of your federal tax return and supporting documentation no later than April 30th of the following year for confirmation and verification of the income information that you previously provided.
- If you have already received an EIBR benefit payment, you will need to provide suitable evidence to Make School to show that funds provided under the last payment went directly toward paying down your loan balance.
Ready to get started? Apply for FAFSA - the Make School code is 001196.
EIBR Application Checklist
- Have you submitted your EIBR benefits application?
- Have you submitted a W-9 within the calendar year?
- If you are underemployed, have you submitted proof of your current income?
- If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits, have you submitted your unemployment benefit documents?
- If you have received EIBR payments in the past, have you subsequently submitted evidence that the funds provided went directly toward paying down your loan balance?
- If you have received EIBR payments in the past calendar year, have you submitted a copy of your federal tax return and any requested supporting documentation by April 30th of the following year?