The US is experiencing a crisis in education finance which is impacting educational access, completion, and the upward social mobility that higher education is meant to facilitate. Job insecurity and a rapidly evolving skills economy during the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the risks of traditional student financing. Moreover, these risks are amplified for low-income and minority students, raising a critical need for a flexible student financing tool that breaks down barriers to higher education enrollment without placing undue risks on student borrowers.
Income Share Agreements (ISAs) are a nascent but promising education financing structure that allow students to fund their education through a controlled share of their future income, aligning repayment with positive post-graduate outcomes. When strategically applied, ISAs can be used to support and scale higher education models that are delivering positive results for underserved student demographics.