Purdue Research Foundation signs letter of intent to explore college funding alternative

November 23, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., and RESTON, Va. - Purdue Research Foundation announced Monday (Nov. 23) that it has signed a letter of intent with Vemo Education, a Reston, Virginia-based financial services firm, to further study the potential benefits of income share agreement (ISA) funds.

With Purdue Research Foundation's assistance, Purdue University becomes one of the first universities in the United States to explore an ISA as an option to help students pay for higher education.

"Through our selection process, we were impressed not only by the Vemo team's expertise in education financing, but also its strong understanding of, and appreciation for, the needs of students," said Brian Edelman, chief financial officer for the Purdue Research Foundation. "We look forward to the guidance they'll provide to the foundation as we continue to evaluate the potential of ISAs as a useful tool for Purdue students."

To ensure multiple perspectives in this endeavor, Purdue Research Foundation also is advised by two non-profits with expertise in this field, 13th Avenue Funding and the Jain Family Institute.

The Purdue Research Foundation program would not replace government subsidized loans, but, if viable, could offer students and their families an alternative to private education loans or PLUS loans, which can entail substantial risks to students if they cannot afford their payments during and after college.

"Vemo’s mission, at its core, is to assist higher education institutions to empower their students," said Vemo Education CEO Tonio DeSorrento. "An ISA program has the power to do just that, and we are ready to work with Purdue Research Foundation to further explore this as a financing option for Purdue students."

ISA agreements are typically designed to give students the option of drawing funds from an investment pool to cover their education costs in exchange for agreeing to pay an affordable percentage of their post-graduation income for a set period of time. An ISA has no principal balance or interest, so its payments adjust with the student's income over the life of the contract. If a student makes less income than expected, he or she is not beholden to the investors for any more than the agreed-upon percentage of actual income earnings. 

About Vemo Education

Vemo Education's mission is to help higher education institutions empower their students by developing customized, value-oriented student financing programs. Providing a full-service approach to its partners, Vemo has invested in the infrastructure required to design, price, originate, disburse and service income-based payment products. Vemo's management team has extensive experience in education finance and the financial aid sector. Learn more at www.vemo.com.

About 13th Avenue Funding:

13th Avenue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was specifically created to offer and manage campus-focused ISA financing programs targeted at students from low-income/low-wealth households. 13th Avenue’s ISA pilot program at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria California represents the first campus based use of ISAs by U.S. students to finance their higher educations. More information about 13th Avenue can be found on its website at www.13thavenuefunding.org.

About the Jain Family Institute

The Jain Family Institute is a New York City-based non-profit founded by Robert Jain. The Institute focuses on non-partisan, economic solutions in a variety of areas, developing projects through research, development and implementation phases. For further information, please contact michael.b.stynes@jainfamiltyinstitute.org.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

Media contacts: 

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Kerry Schneider, Vemo Education, 410-935-7765, kerry@vemo.com

Michael Stynes, Jain Family Institute, Michael.b.stynes@jainfamilyinstitute.org

Laura Miller, 13th Avenue, 312-252-4104, lmiller@greentarget.com

Note to Journalists: Additional resources and previous news coverage relating to income share agreements is available at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/resources-and-news-coverage-about-income-share-agreements.html

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