Back in 2016, Learn Enough ran an experiment. Based on user feedback, we knew we had a great curriculum that helped people learn valuable skills and improve their lives. We also had a sustainable business model that involved selling both content and course subscriptions.
But we knew that even the relatively modest prices we were charging still put our courses out of reach for some people. Some of these people were between jobs. Some were students. Some lived in countries with terrible exchange rates. Some even lived in countries where credit cards aren’t allowed.
We wanted to help these people, too. So we decided to launch Learn Enough scholarships. But how does one go about doing that?
We didn’t really know how to run a scholarship program, so we started with the simplest thing we could think of: a text area on the Web. Just an empty box, with a simple request: tell us a little about your situation, and why you want a scholarship.
Nothing fancy, no big time investment, and 100% confidential. What would happen? Would people make up stories, or submit gibberish just to save a buck?
Ha! Not even close.
The stories, in fact, were amazing. In fact, so many people applied that we had to temporarily turn it off just to figure out exactly what we were going to do with all the applicants. Because it was an experiment, you see, we actually hadn’t even implemented the back-end needed to make it happen!
Because of the overwhelming response, we knew we were onto something. So we knew we had to write the software needed to make it happen. The result was a range of scholarship pricing ranging from deep discounts to 100% free. All up to the applicant.
And you’d be amazed how many people don’t choose the free option, because they want to show their appreciation even if it hurts a little. At the same time, we ask that no one ever apologize for using the free option. That’s why it’s there!
Even though our application process is 100% confidential, we do make an optional request. Anyone who gets a scholarship is invited to share a picture of themselves, preferably someplace meaningful—their office, their yard, their village, wherever.
The response has been inspiring.
So far, Learn Enough has awarded more than 2,500 (!) scholarships to aspiring developers around the country and around the world. Maybe the next one could be you!