Tuesday , May 11 2021

To pay for their studies, the Americans pledge to share their wages

In the United States, where student debt continues to climb, some prefer to avoid bank loan anywhere by choosing a new solution: prepaid school in exchange for a fixed percentage of their future salary for several years.

If they can not find a job or their wages remain below a certain threshold, the repayment can be suspended.

The "Income Sharing Agreements" (ISA) are currently offered only by a number of private universities and training centers.

But in a full discussion about the burden of student debt, which costs the country to $ 1.5 trillion hitting years and budgets of many Americans, they are arousing growing interest.

Partly as a result of this program, Paul Laurora will be on May 11 as a chemical director at Purdue University, Indiana.

Despite the country's subsidized loans, savings and the contribution of his parents, the 22-year-old ran out of money after only two years of schooling, around $ 40,000 a year.

– Students without documentation –

When the bank refused him a new loan, he started selling items on eBay and was considering dropping out of school to take a semester job, or through his parents' retirement savings when he had a GSS.

"I did not want to stop halfway because I had no financial means," he told AFP. The university has advanced about $ 30,000 and will pay back by paying 9.6% of his salary for a period dependent on his income level.

Purdue University was the first major public institution to offer the ISA, and since 2016, $ 9.5 million has been transferred to 759 students.

Other institutions have followed suit, with their own privacy. For example, Colorado Mountain College maintains this program for undocumented students who can not access government sponsored loans.

Private training centers have also adopted this system, such as the General Assembly, which offers intensive computer training for three months at $ 40,000.

Students who sign the Shin Bet do not pay anything, but undertake to pay 10 percent of their salaries for four years if they earn at least $ 40,000 a year, up to one-and-a-half times the amount of studies.

"They know that if they make a good living, they will have to pay back more," said Tom Ogltry, who is responsible for keeping the school accessible to as many people as possible. But "there is always unforeseen", and if necessary, for personal reasons, family or health, "they can suspend payments."

Because the school does not receive full tuition until the student has fulfilled his contract, it is better to ensure his professional success, says Mr. Ogltry.

Some institutions "fund the GSS themselves, while others use grants, managers and investors," says Toniu Sorrento, founder of a company that helps schools design and then follow their contracts.

– Wall Street on the lookout –

This new system, which also exists in Latin America, is not a miracle solution, warn some experts.

Some institutions may use them to attract more students, for the risk of entering a tuition explosion.

The Shin Bet also reinforces inequality, says Jessica Thompson of the Institute for Graduate Access and Success: Financial conditions are more convenient for students engaged in a more profitable innovation.

These new contracts have in any case opened a new market acclaimed by Wall Street.

A new platform, Adley, allows qualified investors to gamble on pre-selected college programs. It has already raised $ 2 million for the Holbroton Computer Engineering Center in San Francisco.

For investors looking for new investments, the Shin Bet offers a relatively attractive yield, says Edley's founder, Charles Trabton.

The legislation surrounding the Shin Bet is unclear, although the texts are discussed in Congress and in some countries, but "once the institutions and investors really know the rules of the game," Mr. Trabton predicts, "the Shin Bet's popularity will accelerate."

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