Tuition-free technology training and professional development that prepares Americans from underserved communities for life-changing careers in IT and creates on-ramps to businesses in need of their talents

Location Served
United States


Partner Since

Choose your preferred method of giving:

Credit Card Check Wire Transfer Donor Advised Fund Stock Donation

Programs Offered


The Per Scholas IT career training program consists of several core classes that prepare unemployed or underemployed adults for entry-level jobs in the tech sector. Each training session offers full-time coursework, plus nightly homework, designed to give participants the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to pass certification tests sought by local employers. Curriculum consists of 80% IT training and 20% career coaching, financial counseling, and soft skills development.

Per Scholas attributes its high graduation rate to a thorough admissions process. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and pass a basic academic assessment test administered by Per Scholas. Those who do not pass are referred to cooperating social service agencies for remedial classes and encouraged to return. Applicants take part in multiple interviews to screen for fit and to assess what support services, such as transportation and childcare, would be helpful to their success. In addition, all must be fluent in English, able to work in the U.S., and commit to attending classes full-time.


Per Scholas Customized Training is a more advanced training program, mainly for students (including National Program alumni) who already have some technology education and/or experience. The program is an earned revenue strategy, where companies pay Per Scholas to develop customized curricula, recruit and train students and provide access to graduates before trying to place them with other companies.

Graduates receive direct job placement assistance through a specialized Per Scholas business solutions team that collectively manages 500 employer accounts. Per Scholas also provides graduates with two years of alumni services–including online and/or evening upskilling courses, career coaching, and advancement placement–and connects them with additional, free educational opportunities such as coding boot camps and local community college programs.


For students not yet ready to enter courses, Per Scholas offers bridge trainings to help them effectively gain baseline knowledge and skills to complete full-length classes. Per Scholas is also developing pilot programs with high schools to recruit and prepare graduating seniors for both the National and Platform training tracks.

Historical Results

Per Scholas trained more than 2,800 students in 2021 and plans to train at least 20,000 additional learners by 2025. Since 1995, Per Scholas has helped more than 17,000 graduates launch successful careers in tech and has achieved the following impressive national averages:


  • 90% people of color
  • 30% women
  • 30% young adults


  • 85% of students graduate
  • 80% of graduates land jobs
  • 75% of graduates retain employment for at least one year


  • 400% increase in post-training income
  • 15% increase in wages after one year of employment

In 2017, nonpartisan social policy and education research firm MDRC released three-year results from a Per Scholas study in The Bronx. The randomized control trial confirmed strong improvements in income and revealed consistent impact across other important domains. Per Scholas participants experienced a decrease in material hardship, reduced reliance on public assistance programs, an increase in overall life satisfaction, and were three times more likely to enter the IT field.

Use Of Funds

  • $1,000 supports the placement of five graduates into jobs.
  • $2,500 provides financial security coaching for 25 students.
  • $5,000 provides certification test vouchers for 20 students.
  • $10,000 provides in-classroom technical training for three students.
  • $50,000 funds all alumni, career development, placement and supportive services for an entire class.
  • $100,000 funds all technical training, and job placement for at least 50 students. This investment alone will return over $1,300,000 in newly earned wages by graduates in their first year on the job.

Path to Credibility

Per Scholas has been the subject of many newspaper and magazine articles, and its model has been replicated and proven to work in multiple cities across the country. Among its many supporters and partners are dozens of prestigious foundations and multinational corporations, including: The Robin Hood Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Clark Foundation, the United Way Worldwide, Barclays, Google, Cognizant, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, AT&T, Symantec, and News Corp.

In July 2016, Per Scholas was recognized as a top-performing nonprofit in WorkAdvance, a multi-year federal study of workforce development programs. Independent, third party data demonstrated that program participants earned significantly more than the control group. The large replicated earnings effects were very unusual and, later that year, led the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to feature Per Scholas as one of the most effective employer-driven, sectoral approaches to workforce training in its national “What Works” Showcase.

In 2018, Per Scholas President & CEO, Plinio Ayala, was invited to speak on a workforce solutions panel to an audience of legislators, congressional staff, and business people. The event was organized by Results for America, a national advocacy organization focused on evidence-based policy, and included a screening of Solutions to America’s Workforce Crisis, a recently premiered independent documentary highlighting Per Scholas as an evidence-based model increasing income and reducing public assistance for graduates.

Focusing Philanthropy conducted months of due diligence on Per Scholas looking into all elements of the program. In addition, staff members have conducted site visits in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Columbus, and Dallas.

More Program Partners

Giving a voice to children alone in the foster care system.

Learn More

Empowering homeless and disadvantaged individuals to achieve self-sufficiency.

Learn More

Improving health, education, and opportunity through clean and safe drinking water.

Learn More

Empowering young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy decisions.

Learn More

Providing one-on-one literacy tutoring to struggling readers in elementary school.

Learn More

Providing lasting solutions for the world’s most vulnerable refugees.

Learn More

Preparing young women with limited resources to be the first in their families to attend college.

Learn More

Transforming lives through sight-restoring surgery.

Learn More

Combating gender inequality and extreme poverty in urban slums.

Learn More

Increasing high school graduation rates of at-risk middle school students.

Learn More

Expanding access to consistent, quality healthcare to patients in underserved 

Learn More

Helping hard-working subsistence farm families gain food security and economic opportunity.

Learn More