In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Merit America, its price, duration, and more.
It is hard to dispute how important it is to have some sort of degree when it comes to applying for a job. Most times it is a non-negotiable requisite and, with applicant tracking systems in place, your resume is out the door before getting to the eyes of the recruiter.
However, not everyone has equal access to higher education. Getting a college degree is extremely expensive and time-consuming. So, what gives when a college degree or diploma is out of the question?
Well, Merit America is here for you, offering short and flexible online courses that will help you get into the tech industry by teaching you in-demand, professional skills in IT, Project Management, Data Analytics, and UX design.
This Merit America review will discuss Merit America programs, the application process, its billing/pricing information, FAQS, and student outcomes.
- So, what is Merit America? 🍎
- What courses are available? 👩🏫
- Requisites to enroll in Merit America ☑
- Merit America Pricing 💵
- Will Merit America help you get a job in tech? 💻
- Merit America Pros & Cons
- Merit America Reviews:
- So, Is Merit America Worth it? 🤔
- FAQ ❓
So, what is Merit America? 🍎
Merit America is a national non-profit organization established in 2018 in Washington, DC. It offers part-time boot camps around the United States, giving Americans without college degrees the opportunity to gain in-demand job skills and break into tech.
Merit America courses are made in collaboration with Google and Tech Elevator. Upon completion, their programs provide learners with Google Professional Certificates and Tech Elevator Certificates respectively. Additionally, The Merit America placement team assists students with job search, career counseling, and job placement aid that help new grads successfully secure an entry-level job.
Most importantly, this organization offers a tuition-free policy that requires learners to pay only after completing the program and landing full-time employment as long as it satisfies minimum standards* (more on this later)
What does it do? 🔨
Merit America creates a road to the otherwise elusive middle class for hundreds of thousands of lower-wage workers by integrating technical training from industry-recognized partners. With coaching and peer support to help you reach your maximum potential, with the flexibility of learning part-time from the comfort of your home.
Their quick and flexible programs train working individuals for careers in IT Support, Java Development, troubleshooting, computer networking, operating systems, systems administration, and Microsoft 365.
What courses are available? 👩🏫
Currently, Merit America offers four online learning courses:
These training programs will help you gain technical and professional skills and can be completed in only 14 to 20 weeks.
Learn IT SUPPORT
IT support is all about helping people easily navigate and set up their technological devices, from computers and cell phones to systems and networks.
As part of your Google IT Support Certificate program, you will learn about computer networking, operating systems, systems administration, and Microsoft 365 administration. Furthermore, you will acquire customer support skills and techniques in order to provide great technical support to users.
You can find the syllabus for the IT Support course here
Learn Java Development
In your Tech Elevator program, you will explore Java, one of the most in-demand languages for software development jobs, and gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become a back-end software engineer. Additionally, you will be introduced to: Spring, REST APIs, SQL, Database Design, and Data Access
Java Development consists of building interactive web applications, mobile applications, software, and testing and debugging code. These abilities are in high demand across a wide range of sectors.
You can find the syllabus for the Java Development course here
Learn DATA ANALYTICS
Data Analytics consists of analyzing raw data in order to help businesses and organizations make data-driven decisions. The company assigns data analytics specialists to analyze their databases for trends and to create data visualizations that present their analysis findings and conclusions.
In the course, you will learn all the necessary skills needed for entry-level data analysts. You will learn how to clean the data, analyze it and conduct any necessary calculations using SQL (Structured Query Language), spreadsheets, and R programming.
You can find the syllabus for the Data Analytics course here
Learn UX Design
UX designers specialize in making products easy, enjoyable, and accessible to users. By learning how to utilize different design techniques, such as journey mapping, storyboarding, wireframing, low-/high-fidelity prototypes, and prototype testing in order to solve user-centric problems,
You will also learn how to use the necessary software to become a UX designer, like Figma and Adobe XD.
This Google course will prepare you for an entry-level job in the sector by teaching you all the skills and primary knowledge needed by Junior UX Designers.
You can find the syllabus for the UX Design course here
Are Merit America Courses Accredited?📜
Merit America is not accredited, but organizations around the world recognize it. It has support from significant corporations, including Walmart, the Strada Education Network, Amazon, Coursera, Coding Dojo, and Google, which is its most significant supporter.
So, it may not be “fully accredited” like a university, but tech companies have already recognized their courses, and students who complete their program are recognized accordingly..
Requisites to enroll in Merit America ☑
To be accepted into Merit America, you must first complete the screening process and meet the following criteria:
- You are fluent in English.
- You are a minimum of 18 years old.
- You have access to a laptop or desktop with a reliable internet connection.
- You have a high school diploma or GED
- If you have a bachelor’s degree, you are only eligible if both of the following statements are true: You acquired your Bachelor’s Degree over 5 years ago, and your income was under $35,000 in the last 12 months due to lack of employment.
- You must not have a graduate degree.
- You are a legal resident of the USA and must have the authorization to work in the United States. DACA and Temporary residents must have status/visa expiration dates greater than 6 months from the beginning date of the course.
- You will be pursuing full-time work upon the completion of the program.
Merit America Pricing 💵
How much does it cost?
- IT Support, Data Analytics, and UX Design boot camp costs $5,700
- Java Development Bootcamp is $8,400.
Although this sounds pricey, the biggest advantage to Merit America’s programs is that it does not charge upfront.
In collaboration with Ascent, students accepted into Merit are able to help cover their tuition with a 0% interest loan.
Additionally, repayments on the loan won’t begin until 3 months after the course has been completed, the monthly payments will be interest-free and you can defer payments if you are without a job (for up to 60 months)
This means that you can wait to pay tuition until you can get a job that makes at least $40,000 per year.
What is their refund policy?💲
Merit America’s refund policy has specific requirements and conditions,. In order to qualify for a refund as per Merit’s website:
- You’re at least 18 years old and legally permitted to work in the United States
- Pay for the program complete or with an Ascent Funding Zero Percent Loan.
- You have completed the full program and received your certificate on time;
- Complete all Job Success phase requirements established by Merit America, including timely communication (responding to inquiries within five business days), job application, coach meeting, and interview preparation requirements set forth by Merit America, where “Job Success phase” refers to a phase of the program occurring immediately after the last day of the Immersion phase; While the Job Success phase requirements may be updated in the future, those requirements are currently those of Merit America.
- Every month, 20 job applications are received.
- One coaching session per month
- Annually, report your earned income to the Servicer, including an offer letter, a salary stub, a W2, or 1040.
- Within two weeks after receipt, complete the post-program questionnaires, including the six-month and twelve-month post-program surveys supplied by Merit America.
If you still need to get a job that pays $50,000 per year within two years of completing the Immersion phase, you may be eligible for a full refund or debt cancellation.
To request a refund, click the Tuition Refund link on the Merit America Success Sharing Loan page within 180 days of the end of your Immersion phase, and you may be eligible for a full refund or cancellation of your loan. Payment responsibilities are waived after a specified time period (four years for Java Development and five years for IT Support and Data Analytics), regardless of a student’s account balance.
You can read more about Merit’s Refund policy here
Will Merit America help you get a job in tech? 💻
Although there aren’t any direct job placements at the completion of the courses, this doesn’t mean that you will be job-hunting alone.
As part of your program, you will have a coaching phase (known as Job Success phase) where you’ll meet with a professional career coach and receive advice throughout the process, from identifying job opportunities to creating resumes, interview prep, and more.
Check out the image below for the job success brief.
But Why Choose Merit America? 🍎
Merit America’s goal is to produce $1 billion in wage increases by 2025. All by linking lower-income workers to in-demand career routes on a large scale.
Over 1800 learners have completed Merit America programs. Improving their salaries by $19k more than their previous positions.
Who will you be learning from? 🧑🏫
In Merit America, you will be handled by your career coach, who will work with you to map your career path and develop the professional skills required to succeed in the labor market.
Additionally, your team comprises talented individuals like you, and you will collaborate with them to complete coursework and generate projects.
Your job success expert will assist you in locating work possibilities that are a good fit for your interests and talents. We also have an employer partnerships team that sources opportunities specifically for Merit America alums straight from employers.
Merit America Pros & Cons
- It is supported and recognized by numerous companies
- Time required to complete the courses is short (14-20 weeks)
- Fully online, and live meetings are only 3-5 hours per week.
- You can wait to pay tuition until you have gotten a job that pays you at least $40,000
- You are able to request a 0% interest loan
- Offers secondary career and job-hunting support
- Committed to your success
- Real wage increases from the skills acquired in the courses.
- Device eligibility
- There is no Merit America scholarship
- Limited seats. The college will only approve the Candidature based on merit and seat availability.
- It is not necessarily easy to get in.
- Limited course selection
Merit America Reviews:
Merit America alums, students, and applicants rated their experience 4.5 out of 5 stars.
According to a study, over 80% of graduates from Merit America had a compensation boost within three months of graduation. From an average pre-program salary of $24,000 to an average post-program salary of over $50,000 – a $26,000 average wage gain.
Here are a few real-life testimonies that may help inspire you to decide whether Merit America is for you.
“Great program for getting the fundamentals of IT support. Perfect if you are thinking about a career change, and it has an immersive job preparation and transitions program, including mock interviews with actual industry hiring managers.”Google IT Support by Google on Coursera, a former student on August 30, 2021
“I had no tangible qualifications to put on a resume and couldn’t afford training and exams for the IT certifications that I knew of. Merit America provided everything that I was looking for.”Yves, IT Helpdesk Technician
“I learned Networking IT Security Binary code I learned from Coursera online. I like the flexibility of the coaches and my people who are studying the same course; they are very supportive.”IT Support from Merit America, a former student on May 14, 2021
“Programs like Merit America allow you to open a door that otherwise you would not be able to.”Sandra, IT Consultant
So, Is Merit America Worth it? 🤔
Is Merit America legitimate?
Yes, Merit America is a legitimate nonprofit organization.
How much do you pay Merit America?
- IT Support, Data Analytics, and UX Design boot camp costs $5,700
- Java Development Bootcamp is $8,400.
Merit America’s programs are offered at no cost to eligible participants. They offer a tuition-free training program to help individuals prepare for and find skilled jobs. If
Does Merit America get you a job?
Merit America provides training and job placement assistance, but they cannot guarantee job placement. However, their programs are designed to help individuals gain in-demand skills and connect with potential employers.
How much do merit america graduates make?
Merit America graduates can earn salaries ranging from $40,000 to $70,000 per year, depending on the field they enter and their level of experience.
Does Merit America work?
Merit America’s programs have been successful in helping individuals gain new skills, secure employment, and improve their financial stability. However, success may vary based on individual circumstances and commitment to the program.
What is the cost of merit America?
As mentioned previously, IT Support, Data Analytics, and UX Design boot camp costs $5,700 and the Java Development Bootcamp is $8,400.
How long does the program take?
The length of Merit America’s training program varies depending on the specific program and the individual’s level of experience. Programs can range from a few months to a year or more.
Does merit America offer scholarships?
Merit America’s programs are tuition-free for eligible participants, so scholarships are not necessary. However, they do offer a range of support services to help individuals succeed, including coaching and job placement assistance.
What is like working for Merit America?
Merit America has a 4.9 out of 5-star rating based on over 40 anonymous employee evaluations.
96% of employees would recommend working at Merit America to a friend, and 96% are optimistic about the company’s future.
Merit America salaries range from $24,641 for Site Director to $83,033 per year for Partnership Manager. The hourly rate at Merit America ranges from about $12.01 per hour for Entry Level CNC operators to $37.42 per hour for Entry Level Java developers..