While there are undeniable advantages to studying abroad, and a real business demand, there are also more complications. MBA curriculums change at pace to keep ahead of the disruption occurring in the business world, but most funding systems for students—loan providers and banks—have not kept up.
For international students travelling to a country where they have no credit history, this can cause real problems. Banks are reluctant to lend internationally. New and innovative funding platforms are required. Enter: Prodigy Finance.
Prodigy Finance was started in 2007 by three INSEAD MBA grads who’d had difficulties financing their own international degrees. In response, they launched the borderless, peer-to-peer lending platform to give international MBA and master’s students access to the funding they need to study abroad.
Prodigy Finance has lent more than $505 million in loans to over 10,300 students globally. Those loans have enabled international students such as Alex Brack, originally from Brazil and a recent MBA graduate for The F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, to thrive.
As Alex recalls: “I was very much focused on venture capital and technology, so the US was the natural place to be. With Babson College being the number one school in entrepreneurship, it was a perfect choice. My time here has been amazing.”
As Alex entered his second MBA year, he suffered a blow. His friend—the co-signer for his first-year student loan—had a financial issue and his credit score was hurt.
“After asking some other friends to be my co-signer—a very awkward ask to make—and seeing some resistance, the alternative I had was bringing money from my country and suffering a very strong exchange rate penalty due to a momentary economy crisis in Brazil,” Alex explains.
“Prodigy Finance—which doesn’t require a co-signer—presented itself as a great way to avoid these awkward conversations and a better financial alternative to pay for my MBA,” he continues. “Without Prodigy Finance it would have been very difficult to conclude my course.”
Unfortunately, Alex’s kind of story is all too common. Prodigy Finance was established on the belief that finance should never be a barrier to education.
With MBA students wanting international exposure more than ever, alternative payment platforms give more professionals the chance to pursue further management education, and careers, abroad.
Now, Alex is moving to Austin, Texas, where he’ll join Dell Technologies MBA Development Program.
“I started my MBA with two goals, secure a post-MBA experience abroad and switch industries to technology,” he explains. “I'm very glad about this outcome, and certain that Prodigy Finance was a key asset in the pursuit to achieve my goals.”