The Leif Blog

The Future of Education Finance

How Vocational Schools are Leading Innovation in Career-Minded Education
May 21, 2019

In the last several years the number of people that have received a college degree swelled to just over a third of the U.S. population —a significant increase over the previous decade. For many, it probably seemed as though the best bet to secure a good, high-paying job was to get a college degree and seek out white-collar opportunities, especially as manufacturing jobs steadily declined. Yet…

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A Better Path Forward: Why Colleges and Students Should Share Outcomes Risk
Apr 09, 2019

When more people can afford to earn college degrees, we all win. So why do students alone shoulder the risks of financing their educations? People who have bachelor’s degrees contribute $381,000 more in taxes over their lifetimes than they receive in government benefits. College-educated citizens are less likely to become unemployed and less likely to live in poverty. People with college degrees…

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Upskilling Workers Calls for New Educational Models. ISAs Can Help.
Mar 08, 2019

Whether reading about breakthrough innovations, disruptions in business models, or shifting consumer habits, there is one theme in the news that seems omnipresent: the pace of change has radically accelerated. Not only are businesses struggling to keep up, workers need to update their skills continually to stay competitive and employed. An often-quoted assertion from the book A New Culture of…

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What Matters Most to Today’s Students?
Feb 20, 2019

Today’s college students are different from their parents or even their older siblings. With the oldest members of Generation Z now beginning to enter and even graduate from college, the needs and priorities of students are starting to shift. The core of what college is will not change, of course. A great education that challenges students, broadens their horizons, and prepares them for the…

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Leif’s Mission — A Note From Our CEO
Jan 29, 2019

In the past few months, there has been an upswell in conversation around Income Share Agreements (ISAs) from the media and educational institutions alike. As ISAs gain ground, we believe it is a good time to reflect on why we founded Leif, what we are doing now, and what we hope to accomplish in the future. Although Leif was founded in 2016, the origins of its mission took root years before. I…

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Can ISAs Help Close America’s Talent Gap?
Jan 11, 2019

The headlines keep coming: a worldwide labor shortage is looming. Some say it is already here. According to Manpower Group , 46% of companies report they are struggling to find qualified workers. Other surveys report numbers as high as 68% , and in June, a report by NFIB Research Center noted the percentage of small businesses not able to fill open positions was at a record high. The aging…

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Leif's Social Impact in 2018
Dec 20, 2018

Leif is proud to be the only all-in-one platform that powers ISA programs for some of the most innovative education programs: from non-profits to career accelerators, to traditional accredited universities. Our partner schools have succeeded in providing quality education to thousands of students at an affordable cost — with proven results. Thousands of students will have a brighter 2019 because…

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Traditional Financing Doesn’t Work for the Average College Student
Nov 16, 2018

More than 60% of Americans think the average college student is 20 years old, according to research by the New America Foundation , and the majority believe that most students go to school full-time. Those of us who work in higher education know that the reality is completely different. The typical college student today is actually 26 years old. Only half of all college students attend full-time…

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Do Income Share Agreements Increase School Applications?
Nov 05, 2018

Despite the intense policy interest surrounding income-based financing for higher education, there has been little to no causal investigation whether these solutions actually increase participation in educational programs. Most income-based financing is broadly simple. Students receive value, either through funds or educational services, and in return they pay a defined percentage of income until…

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The New Deal in Higher Education
Sep 18, 2018

A few years ago two economists at Princeton did an experiment. They wanted to see how thinking about money affects our intelligence. Does thinking about money make us dumber? It turns out, it doesn’t. Except for people with low incomes. When low income individuals were prompted to think about a large car repair cost their IQs dropped a full 10% during tests. That’s the equivalent drop of going an…

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