Vittana is the first organization in any sector (education, microfinance, non-profit or for profit) to focus solely on creating education microcredit programs across a global geography; we're also the first to crowd-fund student loans using our own peer-to-peer platform. That said, Vittana's most important innovation is the expertise we've acquired to create successful student loan programs around the world.
Although we tailor our model to take into account each individual country's particular target market and although we work closely with our microfinance partners to make sure we're constantly improving our strategy, there are a few key ingredients that make our student loan model successful:
Vocational education or last one to two years of college. Although we know that a four-year college education produces higher earning potential for students, there is a much higher drop-out risk associated with students with several years of education remaining. Focusing on vocational education and the final year of college enables students to earn significantly higher wages (291% estimated income increase) while also minimizing that risk. Once our partners have developed a track record with these loans, we work with them to offer loans to students who are beginning their college education. Parent or close relative as a co-signer. Unlike traditional microfinance, where loans are often made to a close-knit group of women who promise to guarantee each other's loans, there is no long-term cohort of students that can do this for college loans: students are often more mobile, often leaving their hometowns to attend college and then leaving college to get a job. Having the student's parent (or other close relative) serve as a co-signer is one way to establish accountability for repayment. – less–ZoomInfo