1. Find a company that offers loans in exchange for a stake of the student’s future earnings.
Funding comes from investors or from the firm itself. They commonly take between 3% and 10% of the student’s income for a set number of years, usually about 10 years. They may also provide some mentoring or support to the student to protect their investment.
Some examples of these types of firms are Pave and Upstart.
2. Fund education through micro-financing
Students can ask for small donations from friends, family or their local community.
Some examples of these firms include Give College and GradSave, which cater to parents, and Campus Slice and BrainFund, which help students solicit donations. Note that fees are expensive.
3. Secure loans from alumni
Students can try to secure loans from alumni.
Some firms, like SoFi and CommonBond, are connecting students with benevolent alumni who would rather directly finance student loans than contribute to the school’s general fund. Students can get a lower rate than they would at a private lender, and the scheme appeals to charitable investors who want to feel like they’re supporting a good cause.
Currently, those providers are only available at a few institutions.