Preston Cooper
November 2018 | Forbes

Americans go to the polls today to vote in one of the most contentious midterm elections in recent memory—but partisan divides aren’t everywhere. On Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats have joined forces to promote a new way to pay for college. Representative Luke Messer’s (R-IN) Investing in Student Achievement Act now has 19 sponsors, roughly evenly divided between the two parties.

Messer’s bill would make it easier for students to use income-share agreements (or ISAs) as an alternative to traditional student loans. Instead of promising to pay a set amount every month, students pledge to repay a share of their income for a set period of time, in exchange for an investor funding their education upfront. The upshot: students are always guaranteed an affordable payment, while those who go on to earn high salaries pay back more to compensate funders for losses on less fortunate students. The concept has gained popularity in recent years, as prominent universities such as Purdue have introduced ISA programs for their students.

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