In previous posts like “Let’s Get Academic: Blue Ocean Strategy for Higher Education” and "Rebooting Higher Education" I touched on the subject of higher education and the astounding tuition cost at leading U.S. universities — easily topping USD 40,000 per year according to US News and World Report. As such, education has to be regarded as a business proposition by both students and the schools themselves. Students make an investment to attend in the hope of qualifying for well-paying jobs after graduation, while universities count on continuous donations from alumni to keep themselves going.
Expanding further on ideas for re-imagining higher education, I guide your attention to the story of how one new company is working to align the interests of university students and its alumni.
Via Fast Company:
Social Finance Inc. (SoFi) is one of a handful of startups aiming to change the way student loan debt is handled. Founded by a group of Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni who graduated in 2011, SoFi offers relatively inexpensive student loans via school alumni, who also serve as a network of contacts post-graduation.
"We came up with a way to reduce the cost of education. We get alumni of a school to invest in a fund, and use the fund to give loans to students at lower rate than they would otherwise get," explains Daniel Macklin, co-founder and VP of business development at SoFi. "They also get the benefit of that community that’s backing them. We think it’s a more sustainable model than banks where generally they’re only too happy to give you money, but paying it back--if you don’t have a job, they can’t help you."
[Image via VentureBeat.]