Katie Astrauskas

"Starter School is accelerated in the best way, and the challenging moments make me more motivated to work hard and keep up. Also, there's no one kicking your ass to come to class and do the work. You have to do it because you want to do it."

  • What Problem She's Solving: Providing theatre companies with a more effective casting process.
  • First job: File clerk in her stepfather's office
  • Next bucket list item: Visiting Tokyo
  • Katie in three words: Fearless, inventive, magical

See how Katie is helping casting companies hire actors.

Why are you at Starter School?

I wanted to learn how to make my ideas a reality. I wanted to learn a powerful way to make a difference and make something that people will remember.

What's one thing that you have been surprised by at Starter School?

I can't believe how much I've learned in such a short period of time. Also, everyone is pretty cool!

Is there one experience that stands out for you at Starter School?

Our last hackathon. Not only did I get an insane amount of work done but got to hang out with the other starters until the early hours of the morning.

What makes Starter School different than other classes/schools you've been to?

The pace. Starter School is accelerated in the best way, and the challenging moments make me more motivated to work hard and keep up. Also, there's no one kicking your ass to come to class and do the work. There are no grades or quizzes. You have to do it because you want to do it.

What are you building right now?

I'm building an app to streamline the process of submitting materials for theatre auditions.

What would you say to someone interested in joining Starter School?

I mean, do it.

What's one thing you can't live without?

My friends and family. That's two things, but they're all people. I'm lucky to have so many incredible and supportive people in my life, I certainly wouldn't be here without them.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I think I'm most inspired by the people in my life. I'm from the performing arts world, and my friends are such talented dynamic compelling individuals, I'm constantly being inspired by their thoughts and their capabilities. We've also recently discussed in class the idea of features that bring 'delight' to a product, meaning they don't contribute to the ultimate functionality, but they are simply there to delight. I think my sense of delight inspires me because I am very drawn to the 'delight'ful aspects of the world around me.

What's something you've done in your life that you're most proud of?

  • Getting my BFA in Musical Theatre and coming out of it (mostly) unscathed.
  • Leaving the arts world behind to pursue a career in tech by coming to Starter School.


Tuition for Starter School is $12,000 per quarter, excluding housing, materials, and personal expenses. A refundable deposit of $3,000 will be required in order to confirm your acceptance. One week before the start of each quarter a payment of $12,000 must be made. For example, the Winter quarter begins on January 6, so a payment of $12,000 would be due no later than December 30.

Cost Breakdown
Fall quarter -$12,000
Winter quarter $12,000
Spring quarter $12,000
Total $24,000

Do you offer loans and scholarships?

Currenty we don't offer loans or financial aid. However, we are actively working with loan providers and the government to make Starter School more affordable. In the meantime, please reach out to us at support@starterschool.com so we can learn more about your situation.

How have other students financed their tuition?

Our students have creatively raised funds for Starter School in numberous ways. They've sourced online donations, secured company sponsorship, created friends and family loans, and even sold their cars. The students who have given up the most tend to get the most out of the program. They treat it like a serious, life-changing investment— which is exactly what it is.

A New Way to Pay For Starter School

We are excited to announce a partnership with Upstart, a platform that allows individuals to get financial investment to pursue their dream careers. This partnership allows current students and future Starter School students to raise funding for Starter School tuition.

Here are the requirements to qualify for Upstart:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident currently living in the US
  2. Be at least 18 years old;
  3. Have a valid e-mail account;
  4. Have a verifiable name, date of birth, and social security number
  5. Have graduated from a 4-year (bachelor's degree) accredited college in 1995 or later or be accepted by and soon to enroll in a 4-year accredited (bachelor's degree) college;
  6. Have an account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number; and
  7. Meet our minimum credit requirements.