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Celebrating the growing number of Prodigy Finance-supported universities

Prodigy Finance - June 11, 2018

Prodigy Finance international student loans

A couple of INSEAD students met over a drink, lamenting the difficulties of financing their studies towards a reputably high-earning degree at one of the world’s top institutions. They had been offered seats after a competitive application process, but local banks couldn’t fathom the value of their education.

If only there was a way to make it easier for international students to obtain post graduate student loans to pursue their MBAs at top universities.

In that moment, Prodigy Finance was born.

Why was it so difficult to find MBA financing?

Traditional lenders use credit history to assess risk which varies from country-to-country and is rarely transferable. When someone moves internationally (for school, work, or any other reason), their credit history does not and cannot follow them.

The problem is two-fold for students from emerging markets, who have assets and earnings in soft currencies, yet need to budget for tuition and living expenses in hard currencies.

Exploring solutions to international lending

Unable to transform the assessment metrics employed by traditional lenders, the Prodigy Finance founders looked for solutions that circumvented the way financial institutions assess risk.

The key to moving ahead was a borderless risk algorithm, using home credit history while incorporating the future earning potential and other data points to create a holistic profile of every borrower.

To reach applicants across the world, the process required secure online systems. Given the dependence of visa applications on finances, the ability to provide conditional loan offers within five days became crucial.

Ensuring repayment across countries and continents brought the unique role community plays in the Prodigy Finance model. Community enforcement and transparency incentivise repayment by graduates, develop networks across the platform, and offer alumni the chance to invest in their alma maters and brilliant new talent.

Growing the Prodigy Finance community

The initial seed money for Prodigy Finance came from a win at the 2006 International Venture Capital Investment Competition at INSEAD. By 2007, the company was formed and the first loans were issued.

INSEAD was the first business school to accept Prodigy Finance international student loans from qualified applicants, but the list of supported schools grew in 2012 to include London Business School, Vlerick Business School, Oxford Saïd Business School, and Cranfield School of Management. 

Over the next five years, Prodigy Finance extended to new countries and new programmes, including engineering, law, and public policy.

Today, Prodigy Finance supports international students at 328 schools at 155 universities across the world. Recent additions to the portfolio include California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, Princeton University, Virginia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and University of California Santa Barbara.

Prodigy Finance has helped over 10,300 students borrow approximately $505 million for graduate education. When those students meet their classmates at the local pub, they can concentrate on solving other problems and transforming the world in sustainable ways. 

Take a look at our journey to see just how far we've come:

Prodigy Finance story

Want to become part of the Prodigy Finance community?

If you need an international student loan to attend your dream university, take a moment to consider your options by seeing if your school is already part of the Prodigy Finance community - allowing you access to all the benefits that come with it.

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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