FAQs

For Career Transitioners and New Students

We are glad you are interested in exploring design as your next career! It is a wonderful field with many opportunities, as you can read up on our Career Paths page. Job growth is optimistic and salary range is on the higher end compared to many other industries.

 

With that being said, you will have to actually learn and work hard in order to find out 2 things - do you like it and are you good at it. No one can tell you if this is for you, but yourself. Our job is to provide the right guidance with our industry expertise and a high-quality pool of instructors.

If you are studying full-time, you can expect to complete our Certificate of Design in less than 6 months. If you are studying part time, you can expect to complete it within 12 months. Of course, because we recommend different course packages to different students as part of our customized education model, completion time is individual to each student. But don't worry, once you applied, you will receive a customized study guide outlining each step that you can follow and know exactly what toe expect! 

 

Unlike many "bootcamps", we do not encourage an accelerated program approach because design is a serious craft that cannot be learned in a few weeks. Rather than fast and furious, we'd rather make sure you learn it well and learn it right.

 

With our flexible financing options, we'd like to make your career transition as easy as possible with full support as fewer financial hurdles.

 

If you need a customized payment split other than what we stipulated in our Afford page, feel free to talk to us by booking an admission call. We are all about helping each student individually!

 

Yes we sure do! We regularly update our student work and success stories in our Outcome page.

Yes, no matter where you are in the world, the language of design is universal. You might find yourself needing to learn a few local customs and practices that are particular to the region you live and work in, but the general principles of design is the same everywhere in the world in the digital space.

While we do not have a job guarantee or job placement due to the reasons we specified in the "Why don't you have a job guarantee like other design schools" below, we do place students to work with startups during the Portfolio School phase in their program to make sure they gain real world experience. This experience will make sure students are well-prepared for design interviews.

General Questions

We actually guide you through the latest design tools in easy-to-understand manners in our courses. We provide a comprehensive suite of software tutorials in the Advanced User Interface Design course, while other courses will focus more on design knowledge and best practices. If you are completely new to design, we recommend checking out Unit 2 of this course first while taking other courses in tandem. This approach provides you with a dynamic learning rhythm that balances practice and theories.

No, you do not have to invest anything upfront, because we are teaching digital visual design, you have the option of choosing to use programs such as Figma that provides a free online version.

 

We do recommend that you get a student discount for Adobe programs (you can simply enter that you are a student in the sign up process) because they are still industry standards and should be used by a professional designer at some point.

 

You don't have to use a Mac. Most design programs have a PC version as well (with the exception of Sketch).

We want to democratize design education. You shouldn't have to break the bank to learn the skills you need. No one should be in debt because they went to get an education (uh-hum, college...).

Design makes everything better. We want to help more people get into the field so that we can make more great and beautiful things.

 

We have a small team that supports a large number of students. We intend to keep our company small so we can best serve our students with the best quality education content without any fluff or markup in operation costs.

 

We also work with trusted partners in education financing that provides multiple ways for you to finance your education. Unlike other schools, when we offer deferred tuition agreements, we set a repayment cap so that you will never have to pay more than that amount. We also work with partners to make sure your repayment is not based on your future salary, which means you know exactly what amount you will be paying back, instead of being preyed upon by exploitative ISA agreements that take a percentage out of your future salary.

 

We also provide simple monthly payments that could help alleviate your financial burden for those who wishes to make monthly payments to save on the total amount they will pay.

 

We are always here to help students work out the best way to finance their education. If you have questions or a custom request, please reach out to us to discuss.

We get the appeal of a degree. It is fantastic if you have the time and money for it, but the design field is unique that employers care more about your portfolio and what you can do than your degree. Would you rather have a stellar portfolio and strong personal brand with no debt than tens of thousands of dollars in debt? The smarter answer is apparent to us, who build creative businesses for a living, but we leave it up to you to decide.

 

The best part is, our curriculum is actually designed by current and former college professors who are tired of the outdated ways universities teach. They brought years of industry expertise and teaching experience to the course design so that students can get the best of both worlds - solid foundational knowledge of design and up-to-date, practical instructions that will help students stand out.

As much as we want "guarantee" in life, there is no such thing. We are aware that many online design bootcamp programs "guarantee" their students jobs after graduation with certain prerequisites. We want you to know the truth behind such "guarantees". It is simply a marketing tactic to put you at ease of enrolling. While a great number of students enrolled in these programs do secure jobs after graduation, there are some who will pursue their creative paths differently.

 

We design our curriculum with a goal that is different from most other schools - we want you to learn solid foundations while being trained to not only be qualified job candidates but equipped with strong business skills so that you can pursue any creative career, including starting your own business. Simply put, we don't believe in fluff and marketing tactics that paint a rosy picture that isn't always realistic. We want to train you to reach your highest potential, but we want you to know the truth.

We have a Career Paths page dedicated to explaining the most popular career options after our programs.

For one-time payment, the drop out policy is as follows: 90% refund of your entire tuition if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund of your entire tuition if you drop out after 1 week; 25% refund f your entire tuition if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund of your entire tuition after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

For deferred tuition agreement, the dropout policy is as follows: 90% refund of your down payment if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund of your down payment if you drop out after 1 week; 25% of your down payment refund if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund of your down payment after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

For monthly payment plans, the drop out policy is as follows: Based on the total monthly payment you already submitted, you will receive a 90% refund if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund if you drop out after 1 week; 25% refund if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

To reference our complete financing and refund/dropout policies, please refer to the Afford page for all details.

School of Design Questions

We design each individual course with multiple levels in mind. We start each course with introducing the foundation, which provides a much-needed refresher for even the seasoned designers if they have been away from theory for a while.

 

We then go into intermediate to advanced topics for deep dives, where multiple levels of designers might find them helpful.

 

Our goal is to make the course as approachable as possible while still getting into advanced topics for students who are ready to take the leap.

It depends on how much knowledge you already have in each topic. We recommend filling out our email form above to obtain the full syllabus and schedule a call with us if you want to get the full picture of the entire course. We make every effort to recommend the right level of courses to each student so that they get the most out of the learning experience.

Books are great! We will never say don't buy a book. However, design is a highly practical field. Reading books will give you the surface level understanding. You need more examples, interactive demonstrations, exercises and personalized feedback from expert designers to achieve the level that you need for your career. These other components can only be obtained from a well-designed educational program. Books are great supplements for your courses.

YouTube is a great platform. We say go watch as many YouTube videos as you'd like, but we have yet to find a complete series of courses that go in to so much details and depth as our course on YouTube. While YouTube can provide a surface level foundation for you, it isn't likely to help you get to the level you need for your career. We recommend scheduling a call with us if you are interested and ask questions to make your informed decisions.

Absolutely! We believe in learning by doing. That's why we designed exercises for each unit with intention. Students are expected to complete every exercise and quizzes in order to complete the course. This is not a passive learning experience - it's active. We also wrap up each course with a portfolio-level project, so you can be sure to take away with you a polished piece from every course you finish. If you enroll in our School of Design certificate program with the 9 full course workload, you will have 9 portfolio projects at the time you graduate - a portfolio project number unmatched by any other programs.

Yes! If you enroll in our School of Design certificate program, you will be saving compared to enrolling in each separate course.

 

For those who may want to enroll in multiple courses but not all of our courses (as included in the School of Design certificate program), please use the "Apply to Enroll" button at the top right corner of our main navigation menu to tell us about your needs so that we can get back to you with a custom enrollment recommendation as well as course bundle discounts. We at Path Unbound believe that education should not be an assembly line - it should be customized, individualized and guided.

It depends on your needs. If you are already working as a designer and would like to uplevel your skillsets, we recommend taking individual courses as you need.

 

If you are a new designer looking to break into the field and get your first job or client as a designer, we recommend our School of Design certificate program - you do not want to show any knowledge gap in your interview and portfolio.

 

That doesn't mean you always have to take every course - we make custom recommendations for students who come from a variety of backgrounds with different learning goals. Use the "Apply to Enroll" button at the top right corner of our main navigation menu and tell us about yourself so that we can recommend a customized course bundle for you.

Portfolio School Questions

Yes! While we provide suggested completion time for each track, we understand the diversity of our student's schedules. Once you are enrolled, you will have access to the course material with no expiration date. You are assigned a set number of coaching sessions so unless you have used up all of them, you can always come back when you are ready to pick up where you left off. We suggest the amount of completion time based on our research on the capacity of students actively working towards completion, but we understand everyone is different.

You should expect to produce a visually-polished and completely customized portfolio website with at least 3 portfolio projects that have been reviewed, critiqued and iterated during your assigned coaching sessions.

 

Unlike many other programs, we emphasized on individualized coaching for portfolios. We hold students to the highest standards in terms of their work, especially the visual quality, the case study presentation and the storytelling of their personal brand.

 

Expect to have a stunning portfolio that wows anyone who comes across it, but you have to work hard under our guidance to achieve that.

We require that students either 1) already completed a design education program at another institution or by self-study, or 2) complete our School of Design certificate program first before enrolling in Portfolio School. You cannot produce the level of portfolio that we require for this program if you are starting from 0. Luckily, we have the exact design education program to help you meet the requirements of this program.

If you already have at least 3 finished portfolio projects, we recommend the Portfolio Express track where you spend 6+ weeks learning no code website building tools, working on your personal brand, designing your portfolio website, building it yourself and receiving rigorous feedback for iterations.

 

If you do not yet have any portfolio projects, or if you are unhappy about your current portfolio projects and want to work on new ones, we recommend the Portfolio Kickstart track, where you have an additional 6-7 weeks to work on new projects under our guidance. You will also receive the bonus opportunity to be paired up with a startup founder for an optional month-long startup project if you choose to.

School of Design is our main design certificate program where we take students from 0 to 100 on learning how to be a great digital-first designer. We created a well-rounded curriculum that builds a solid foundation for students who do not yet have experience in design. The certificate program includes 9 courses with in-depth focus on topics that are most relevant to becoming a successful designer. We recommend students who have no design background to enroll in the full program and take all 9 courses, but if you already have some experience in design, you may choose to skip over some courses. We will help you determine your custom course package once you apply to enroll.

 

Each course in the School of Design program can be taken individually for students who would rather build their skillsets one topic at a time, but remember that you will pay more per course if you take courses individually rather than enrolling in the certificate program.

 

If you decide to enroll in our certificate program and receive a reduced workload recommendation from us, you will also receive a reduced tuition rate accordingly.

 

Portfolio School is for students who have either 1) completed School of Design or 2) completed another education program from another school or through self-study and now wish to create a uniquely outstanding portfolio to be competitive in their career search.

 

For most students who completed another program from another school, you probably feel unfulfilled or unsatisfied with the outcome of your portfolio, if you are looking at this page. If that is how you feel, then yes, you will benefit from this program. In fact, a large number of our students are in the same shoes as you! We specialize in "filling in the gaps" and helping students work on parts of their portfolio that they are not confident about.

We do not abandon our students after they graduate! We are always open to hearing your career journey after you completed the program. You can always purchase additional coaching sessions a la carte if you need more support after the program. We would also invite those students who want to share their stories with prospective students back for events, workshops and even as our podcast guests! So don't be a stranger.

For one-time payment, the drop out policy is as follows: 90% refund of your entire tuition if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund of your entire tuition if you drop out after 1 week; 25% refund f your entire tuition if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund of your entire tuition after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

For deferred tuition agreement, the dropout policy is as follows: 90% refund of your down payment if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund of your down payment if you drop out after 1 week; 25% of your down payment refund if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund of your down payment after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

For monthly payment plans, the drop out policy is as follows: Based on the total monthly payment you already submitted, you will receive a 90% refund if you drop out within 1 week; 50% refund if you drop out after 1 week; 25% refund if you drop out after 2 weeks and no refund after 3 weeks of enrollment. Exceptions with customized refund will only be granted with proof of extreme financial hardship, which requires a separate application and review process.

 

To reference our complete financing and refund/dropout policies, please refer to the Afford page for all details.

Scholarship Questions

We process scholarship applications in the order we receive them. While we cannot guarantee a set number of dates, we generally process them within the same week that we receive your application. If you do not hear back within 2 weeks, please feel free to follow up with us.

Our scholarships are need-based instead of merit-based as we are committed to providing an equitable path to creative education.

 

However, we also look at your commitment to completing the program you applied for as well as how complete your application is. Please do not respond to questions with only one or two words.

 

If you submitted a well thought-out application and can provide documentation to prove your financial needs (diversity scholarship does not need proof), your application would be regarded as qualified.

We currently do not have additional scholarships yet, but we are working on a new system to reward students who produce excellent work during the course of their study. Stay tuned!

We only accept scholarship applications before enrollment at this time.

If you are financing your education through deferred tuition agreement, you will not qualify for a scholarship due to the risk we will take on for this type of financing.

 

If you plan to make monthly payments, you will still be qualified to apply for scholarships.

Financing Questions

Extended programs include School of Design and Portfolio School are eligible for financing (in addition to scholarships). Individual courses are not available for financing or scholarships.

No, individual courses only offer the one-time payment option due to their lower costs.

We want to democratize design education. You shouldn't have to break the bank to learn the skills you need. No one should be in debt because they went to get an education (uh-hum, college...).

Design makes everything better. We want to help more people get into the field so that we can make more great and beautiful things.

 

We have a small team that supports a large number of students. We intend to keep our company small so we can best serve our students with the best quality education content without any fluff or markup in operation costs.

 

We also work with trusted partners in education financing that provides multiple ways for you to finance your education. Unlike other schools, when we offer deferred tuition agreements, we set a repayment cap so that you will never have to pay more than that amount. We also work with partners to make sure your repayment is not based on your future salary, which means you know exactly what amount you will be paying back, instead of being preyed upon by exploitative ISA agreements that take a percentage out of your future salary.

 

We also provide simple monthly payments that could help alleviate your financial burden for those who wishes to make monthly payments to save on the total amount they will pay.

 

We are always here to help students work out the best way to finance their education. If you have questions or a custom request, please reach out to us to discuss.

We partner with Meratas, a trusted provider for deferred tuition agreement for students in the US. For UK residents, we have partnered with Knoma, a provider of 12-month split payment plan with 0 interest.

If live outside of the US or UK, or you'd like to simply make even monthly payments, you have the option of choosing our in-house Monthly Payment plan financing method. Your method of payment will be charged a recurring monthly payment (see monthly payment column in the financing table for your program on this page). If your payment fails for any given month, your enrollment may be terminated. You will be given a 5 day grace period to resubmit your payment after our courtesy notice to avoid enrollment disruption.

Deferred Tuition Agreement is a form of tuition financing that allows students to attend educational programs without upfront payment. The agreement is that once a student secures employment or hits a predefined grace period after graduation (60 days in our case), they will start making the agreed-upon monthly payment until the maximum payment cap is reached.

 

Our deferred tuition agreement plan is designed to maximize benefits to students without the exploitative nature of similar plans from other schools. There is a down payment required to mitigate our financial risks. In turn, you will not be paying more than the maximum payment cap, nor will your payment amount be based on a percentage of your salary.

 

Due to the nature of this type of financing, students will be paying the most amount in total using this option compared to upfront payment or even-split monthly payment.

 

This financing option is currently only available to students in the U.S. To apply for Deferred Tuition Agreement financing for either the School of Design certificate program or the Portfolio School Kickstart Track, please submit your application here.

Monthly payment plans work like subscriptions that have an expiration date. You are splitting the total amount of tuition evenly over a number of months. Auto payment setup is required and failure of payment methods in any given month will result in termination of enrollment after 5 days of grace period has passed. This financing option is available to students worldwide.

 

Compared to deferred tuition agreement, students will be paying less with this option in total but will be paying more in total compared to upfront one-time payment.

 

Students on deferred tuition plans make a down payment on their tuition. No other payment is required until they graduate with a job and that the job hits the minimum salary floor or once they hit the predefined grace period (in our case, it is 60 days after graduation).

 

Students on a monthly payment plan immediately starts making even-split monthly payment as soon as they enroll.

We partnered with trusted financial providers to provide deferred tuition agreement solution to our students. They will reach out to you regarding all the financial documents you need to provide.

Due to the fact that monthly payment plan is available to students worldwide, we do not conduct credit check as each country has its own system. However, as it works like a subscription plan with an expiration date, if payment is not submitted on any given month, enrollment will be terminated after a 5-days grace period.

We partner with trusted financial providers for your deferred tuition plan process. We have no access to your financial information. Our partner has their own privacy policy - please discuss with representatives from our financing partner to learn how they handle your financial information.

If you fail to make a monthly payment for the Deferred Tuition Agreement, you will need to refer to the terms listed on the contract when you apply with our financing provider. They will list the options in the contract - make sure you read through them carefully and arrange a call with them in case anything is confusing. We do not get involved in the collection process directly.

 

If you fail to make a monthly payment for the monthly payment plan financing, you will be given a courtesy notice. After 5 days of grace period, your enrollment will be terminated until your payment is provided to us again.

For sure, we are always happy to answer questions! Simply reach out to us to set up a discussion.

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