ISA provider 13th Avenue, which is currently talking to several institutions about setting up ISA pilot programs, has found that funding is a key challenge. “The schools are interested, but they are reluctant to fund the program so we are busy trying to raise money,” says Casey Jennings, chief operating officer.
The ISA concept, which many describe as selling stock in yourself, is now an emerging hot topic within the higher ed financing debate.
An income-share agreement (ISA) is an alternative to using student loans to finance higher education. Rather than a loan, a student agrees to pay a percentage of their future income for a set number of years back to the investor, which could be a university that funds its own ISA or a pool of investors that has launched an ISA.
In Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities (2017, Johns Hopkins University Press), James Martin and James Samels bring together higher education leaders to discuss how institutions might cooperate with their competitors to survive.
“The last thing colleges want to do is put a former student in collections,” says Harrison Wadsworth, executive director of the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations. But when internal efforts to collect tuition don’t work, it’s important to have somewhere to turn for help.