Affording Watson

As college tuition nationwide increases each year, we at Watson recognize that this is not a system that has the best interests of students at its core. Through generous financial aid and innovative financing options, we are committed to making sure finances are never a barrier to a Watson education. Here’s how we do it.

Tuition Breakdown

While a Watson education is an extremely personalized experience – from weekly mentor meetings to workshops and one-on-ones with renowned entrepreneurs – we strive to keep tuition as low as possible and offer generous scholarships and financing options to make Watson accessible to students from different economic backgrounds. While tuition remains similar at both the Boca and Boulder locations, room and board is specific to each institute.

Health Insurance: All scholars are required to have health insurance, which is offered through Watson at cost if the scholar does not already have insurance.
Other Expenses: Students should also budget for travel to and from Boca Raton or Boulder, transportation while enrolled, as well as entertainment costs.
Housing: Living on campus is mandatory.
Required Technology: Wireless internet is included in the residential fees, however, having a laptop is essential to your learning at Watson.

Income Sharing Basics

Watson offers an innovative income sharing option for select candidates. Income sharing is a new way of financing higher education which ensures our alumni can both afford Watson and  graduate without debt.

Here is how it works >

Only once scholars graduate from Watson and start earning a decent salary for their work, they begin paying back approximately 5% of their income for 6 years for every $10,000 in unpaid tuition.

Such a structure means that Watson is truly accountable to our alums in the future – our success is based on your success. What is more, income sharing gives our alumni the flexibility to build their ventures, travel, and create their ideal career without being burdened down by debt and growing interest payments from the day they graduate. We are looking for select students who want to pioneer this new model of financing higher education with us.

Note for International Students: Currently, the income sharing platform is only open to US students (citizens and permanent residents). If you are an international student, you are welcome to apply for the Boulder Semester program or the Boca Raton Degree program, and are encouraged to apply for financial aid, merit scholarships, and full fellowships, which can be submitted during the second round of the admissions process.

For international students and for US students who choose not to opt in to the income sharing program, we remain a tuition-based institution and strive to make Watson an affordable option through merit and need-based scholarships, work-study, and crowdfunding.

Income Share Agreement (ISA) Table

Students who choose to Income Share a portion of their tuition can choose the amount that best suits them. Move slider to see ISA range.

Here's what our alumni have to say about ISAs

“I never would have attended Watson without the income sharing model because my family could not afford the upfront tuition. The most comforting part of the program was re-payment was tied to my income; I didn’t have to choose between education and healthy eating or owning a safe vehicle. The best part is: I felt Watson believed in me from the get-go. They trusted I would have the ability to repay the income sharing agreement, completely tying their financial success to my business success.

-Patrick Mateer, Fall 2014 Watson Scholar and Founder of Seal the Seasons

Watson’s income sharing model provided me the flexibility to optimize my early career decisions for impact, and not compensation. It allowed me to focus less on making loan payments, and more on deciding what path out of Watson is most aligned to my passions and desired impact. Baked into this model is accountability: if alumni aren’t successful, then neither is Watson.”

-Ryan Singh, Fall 2013 Watson Scholar and Associate Director of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


In addition to our unique financing options, Watson also offers scholarships for both merit and financial need.

Merit Scholarships: Watson selectively offers merit scholarships for scholars with exceptional track-records in the social impact space and ground-breaking ventures and venture ideas. All applicants are automatically eligible for all merit scholarships and do not have to submit additional information.

Need-Based Financial Aid: On top of awarded merit scholarships, Watson offers need-based financial aid for accepted applicants upon completion of our internal Financial Aid Application and accompanying documentation. This application will be made available to Watson finalists.


Watson offers five full-ride fellowships each semester that include full tuition and housing. All finalists will be invited to apply for these fellowships.

  • The Enlight China Fellowship: For applicants from greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • The Enlight Women Fellowship: For applicants working to increase access and quality of education for women and girls
  • The Luff Peace Fellowship: For applicants working to promote peace globally
  • Lakota Fellowship: For Lakota youth applicants
  • Middle East Fellowship: For applicants from the Middle East or of Middle Eastern descent

Work Study

Watson selectively offers a work study program for exceptional scholars with financial need. Work Study Scholars work 10 hours per week with the Watson team while enrolled and are awarded a $2,500 scholarship per semester to go towards their tuition for this work.


All scholars are given the option to finance part of their tuition through the Watson crowdfunding platform to allow their contacts to support them through their donations.