Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Income Share Agreement (ISA)?  

Unlike with student loans, an ISA shares risk between students and educators. The Workforce Partnership provides access to high quality training programs, career readiness and placement services that help you start a career in a high demand industry. In exchange, you agree to pay a fixed percentage of your income for a fixed period of time. Unlike with a student loan, you only make ISA payments when you are employed and earning more than the minimum income threshold of $40,000. 

Why Income Share Agreements? 

ISAs allow us to offer education, coaching and support to those who otherwise could not afford it. Our goal is to create a sustainable program that can offer thousands of San Diegans the chance to launch a new career and secure a better future for themselves and their families. 

Who should apply for the Workforce ISA program?  

The program is currently tailored to those who are interested in a career in the technology industry. In future years, we hope to offer similar ISA-based programs for other fields of study. We also encourage all potential applicants to weigh the features and benefits of ISAs against other financing options available to them. UC San Diego Extension outlines several other potential options here

What are the payment requirements?  

Once you leave the program, you’ll be responsible for paying back a percentage of your income. These payments will not be required until you earn $40,000 a year or more.

What percentage of income would I be required to pay back?  

Depending on your course of study, your income share will be between six and eight percent of your income. 

What is the payment maximum for the ISA?  

Our ISA payment maximum is $11,700, or 1.8x the cost of the program. This means that if you graduated from UC San Diego Extension and got a high paying job, you may make fewer payments than the number of payments in your ISA contract.

How do monthly payments work?  

Monthly payments are calculated by multiplying your earned monthly income and your required income share. You will receive a monthly bill for this amount and you can make your payments online through our servicing platform. 

Following completion of the program, when does the payment plan start?  

After leaving the program, there is a one–month grace period before you’re required to begin making payments.   

Can I pay off my ISA early?  

Yes. You can complete your obligation at any time by paying the payment cap.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the program? 

No. We cannot guarantee you a job, but we’ll do everything we can to help you get one. We have an established track record of serving more than 70,000 individuals throughout the county every year, and a dedicated team that will help you achieve your career goals after graduation. 

What other options are available to pay for a UC San Diego Extension certificate?  

UC San Diego Extension is not able to offer federal loans for their extension certificates. Other ways to pay for the program include personally bearing the cost or taking out a private loan.  

What if I’m interested in gaining similar skills, but I do not want to sign up for an ISA?  

There are many other technology education options for people interested in these careers. The UC San Diego Extension courses chosen are available to anyone outside of this program. And San Diego’s community colleges  offer classes in these subject areas that may be lower cost, or even free depending on your financial situation. 

For more information about enrolling at UC San Diego Extension without using the ISA, please visit their extension website here

For more information and research about labor markets regarding local community colleges, visit the Centers of Excellence website here

For more information about applying for programs at your local California Community College, please click here

Frequently Used Terms 

Important components of your Workforce Partnership ISA. 

Income share:  

A fixed percentage of your monthly income paid back after you leave the program and earn over $40,000 annually.

Required payments:  

The maximum number of months for which you’ll make payments, between 36 and 60 monthly payments, depending on your certificate program. Your obligation is then complete, no matter how much you ultimately paid. 

Income threshold & payment pause:  

You’re only obligated to make payments when you’re making above the income threshold. When you’re making less than $40,000, your payments pause. You’ll resume payments once you earn above the minimum income threshold. 

Payment max:  

If you land a well-paying job soon after graduation, you might reach the payment maximum amount you could pay under your ISA obligation. 

Payment window:

The maximum length of time over which you could make payments. If your payments pause because you’re below the income threshold, you will make up those payments once you earn above the threshold. At the end of the payment window your obligation is over, provided your account is in good standing, regardless of how many payments you’ve made.

Still not quite sure what this all means? Click here to see a sample contract from one of our programs.

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