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BPro Funding Tips

Grads share tips on how to pay for
the Certified Biomimicry Professional program


The Certified Biomimicry Professional program is an investment.

It’s an investment in your future, your career, and in the impact you want to have. By applying, you’re making a commitment to step up to work to make the world a better place. It also means you’re committing to a monetary investment. “How do I pay for BPro?” is an important question we’re often asked.

The good news? There are many options when it comes to paying for BPro. From scholarships from Biomimicry 3.8, to ASU student assistance, to grants. Our grads are some of the most creative people out there, and they recently shared a host of other ways they used to pay for BPro.

With a full-time job and limited savings in my bank account, I knew the BPro program was going to be a huge investment in time and money. Every minute and every dollar was worth it.
~Ayla Kiser, Johnson & Johnson’s post doctoral scientist in biomimicry (BPro 2016–2018)

Student loans 

  • I took out student loans during the semesters when I took 5 or 6 credits to pay for the BPro. I also had tuition support through ASU, which was a huge help.
  • With regards to managing tuition and BPro immersion fees, I took out an education loan in Singapore.

Professional development funding

  • I was able to undertake the (Master’s of Science) and BPro as professional development. All of my courses and training, as well as travel and expenses (including books and subscriptions), constitute an educational expense. Many professions have a requirement to maintain professional development for licensure, engineers, architects, educators, etc.

Local funding and crowdsourcing 

  • Looking for local funding opportunities is essential! If BPros have a large community/social media presence and desire for an outlet to document and invite others to join in the experience (I wish I had thought of this beforehand) with some kind of social reciprocity/return to their supporters via a blog, vlog, or artwork that they could whip up as a result of each excursion, this type of funding could be ripe for a Gofundme campaign or Patreon. Those platforms are especially great for supporting creatives.

Tuition contribution plans

  • I helped (my former employer) set-up its first tuition contribution program… I wrote a whole proposal and plan for my employer that explained biomimicry, the how the program would benefit the company.

Bootstrapping and private funding 

  • I looked at the investment in BPro as the most awe-inspiring, career-advancing weeks ever. Because we went to amazing habitats that I might only go to on vacation, I set aside several years of vacation funds and devoted them to BPro instead. It was so worth it, and the best “vacations” I ever took!
  • For me, I took a little bit from a lot of places. Student loans, less recreation, I still worked but scaled back to 80 percent time to free up some daylight hours for schoolwork.
  • I’ve been lucky enough to have very supportive parents. I might put that down as “family/parental support.”
  • I took on more freelance/coaching opportunities to cover travel expenses. Saving up those travel rewards and points for these trips is a must as well!

Other ideas, in our own words 

  • Received 100% coverage from her company after her boss decided it was the most innovative professional development program that ever had come across his desk.
  • Waited until the U.S. dollar was at the best exchange rate and “pre-bought” dollars to help them stretch.
  • Got family and friends to pitch in frequent flyer miles to cover all the flights.
  • Gave presentations at several different design firms, one for each immersion, in exchange for sponsorship.
  • Utilized the multi-year payment plan with Biomimicry 3.8.
  • Took out a home equity loan.
  • Did a barter exchange for some tuition for Biomimicry 3.8 (available by invitation only).

Beyond these creative funding ideas, Biomimicry 3.8 is offering a limited number of $5,000 scholarships to accepted applicants that qualify for financial aid. Scholarships will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Information about ASU scholarships and work study programs can be found at biomimicry.asu.edu.

Don’t forget! The application deadline for the Certified Biomimicry Professional 2018-2020 cohort is April 18. Learn more and apply here.

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