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Income-sharing tuition agreements possible alternative to student loans




It's easy for parents and students to get lost in the college loan and debt jungle. Yet another plan aimed at helping students reduce debt burden takes effect this month. Will it help?
It's easy for parents and students to get lost in the college loan and debt jungle. Yet another plan aimed at helping students reduce debt burden takes effect this month. Will it help?
Andrew Bossi/Flickr/Creative Commons

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Purdue University will be the first American university in recent years to take an unconventional approach to funding student education.

Incoming junior and senior students at the university can add an income-share agreement (ISA) to their list of tuition financing options this fall. “Back a Boiler” is a unique alternative to loans in that the ISA possesses no interest rate. Brian Edelman, the project manager at “Back a Boiler” said an income-share agreement is similar to owning stock in a company.

Funds distributed are based on the projected income a student’s major is expected to yield.  For example, a student majoring in chemical engineering would qualify for more funding than a liberal arts major would.

With so many students crippled in debt, could this new approach help alleviate repayment-related stress? Would you be willing to opt for an ISA if you needed supplemental tuition funds?

Guests:

Brian Edelman, Chief operating officer, Purdue Research Foundation and project manager of the Back a Boiler, an income-share agreement fund

Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and and vice president of strategy at Cappex.com, a free website that connects students with colleges and scholarships; he tweets from @mkant