Income Share Agreements: The Future of Education Finance

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time




55 Hudson Yards

New York, NY 10001

View Map

Event description
Demystifying income share agreements at the intersection of finance, impact investment, and philanthropy.

About this Event

Income Share Agreements (ISAs) are quickly gaining prominence as a mechanism to finance postsecondary education and workforce training with appeal to students, institutions, and bipartisan political support. Recent reports and media coverage have characterized ISAs as an innovative alternative to entrenched, complicated, and often costly private student loans. Philanthropies and impact investors are, similarly, investing in ISAs (as opposed to scholarships) in ways that can promote “renewable” financing strategies for upskilling in an increasingly dynamic world of work.

However, as is often the case with new models and solutions in higher education, the growing role of ISAs has led to some confusion about the specifics of income-based financing. Investors, philanthropies, higher education and workforce leaders, and commentators are grappling with the appropriate language to both describe — and effectively implement — this new approach to student finance.

University Ventures, NYC EDC, Cooley, Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, and Whiteboard Advisors will convene a half-day event in New York, the heart of the finance, investment, and philanthropic communities on January 21, 2020. The event will feature a series of short-form talks and interviews by ISA experts, focused on demystifying the concept and explaining risks and opportunities to an audience of investors, financial analysts, commentators, and other stakeholders.


1:00PM - Introduction

Sheila Bair, former FDIC Chair

1:15PM - The Current State of ISAs

A brief history of ISAs: what exactly are they, and where are they currently being implemented?

John Culhane, Ballard Spahr; Alison Griffin, Whiteboard Advisors; Aanand Radia, University Ventures

1:40PM - The Philanthropic ISA

Pursuit empowers adults with the most need and potential to become software developers, launch careers in tech, and raise their salaries from $18K to $85K. Wall Street legend Tony Davis has funded ISAs at Pursuit for over 4 years. Tony and Pursuit CEO Jukay Hsu will discuss the impact of the ISA program as a means of expanding access and opportunity.

Tony Davis, Inherent Group; Jukay Hsu, Pursuit

2:05PM - Creating Student-Friendly ISAs

As the ISA landscape continues to expand, it will be increasingly important to ensure, in both policy and practice, that ISAs offer favorable terms to students and have appropriate consumer protections in place. In this conversation, Ethan Pollack of the Aspen Institute's Future of Work Initiative will talk with ISA providers about their ongoing efforts to create student-friendly ISAs, lessons learned, and what schools, investors, and ISA designers should keep in mind.

David Cooper, Purdue Research Foundation; Adam Enbar, Flatiron School; Ethan Pollack, Aspen Institute

2:30PM - Scaling the ISA Model: Can the San Diego Miracle Happen in NYC?

In 2019, a unique partnership brought together the San Diego Workforce Partnership with UCSD Extension to create the first-ever workforce development ISA, funded by Google and Strada Education Network, among others. Learn from San Diego program leaders and NYC EDC about how this approach could be replicated by institutions across the country.

Cynthia Centeno Garcia, San Diego Workforce Partnership; Ana Ariño, NYC EDC; Rick Buckingham, Strada Education Network

2:50PM - BREAK

3:20PM - ISAs and Accelerated Training

This panel will discuss the effective implementation of ISAs at accelerated training providers, with a focus on the first-of-its-kind social impact ISA currently being launched by General Assembly and Social Finance.

Tom Ogletree, General Assembly; Cheneyere Williamson, General Assembly; Jake Edwards, Social Finance

3:45PM - Designing ISAs

This panel will focus on explaining the design process of ISAs, from the financial mechanics (payment caps, minimum income thresholds) to the role of schools and education providers in customizing their own ISA programs.

Kate Cody, Vemo Education; Andy Davis, Education Equity; Vince Sampson, Cooley

4:10PM - Structuring ISAs

This panel will bring together investment experts from the social impact and finance spaces to discuss the development of a financial structure of ISAs.

Jacob Haar, CIM; Charles Trafton, Edly; Brian Dubin, KLIM

4:35PM - What Would It Take to Securitize ISAs?

Given that ISAs are still a nascent approach to education finance, the market still lacks clarity as to the financial engineering that would be required to securitize the model. Panelists will discuss benefits, drawbacks, and potential approaches to navigating the process of ISA securitization.

Matt Zhang, Citigroup; Martin Akguc, Credit Suisse; Chris Ricciardi, Edly

5:00PM - What’s Next

How can investors and philanthropies access the ISA market today? What needs to be done in the coming years to accelerate the implementation of ISA programs?

Eric Clement, NYC EDC; Vinice Davis, Omidyar Network; Jason Cavnar, JFF

5:20PM - Closing

Share with friends

Date and Time



55 Hudson Yards

New York, NY 10001

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved