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Prodigy Finance is not just a student lender

Ricardo Fernandez - September 19, 2017

Prodigy Finance is not just a student lender

Over the past decade, Prodigy Finance has lent more than $350M to more than 8000 students around the world. Currently, we work with more than 200 top international schools.

To find out more, click here

While we celebrate our ten year anniversary, more international students are discovering that talent has no boundaries; if you’re accepted to a top business or engineering school, you will find a way to fund your education.

Twelve years ago, I studied at INSEAD and didn’t consider all the changes that came with moving from New York to Paris, leaving my job, getting a loan to study, getting a car, and leaving my girlfriend behind. It was a huge change, and I had no help. I didn’t even know who to ask. I did the best that I could; but looking back, there are many people I should have talked to that would have saved me hundreds of hours.

As the number of students pursuing higher education internationally grows, the questions they have grow in complexity. They need answers just as I did – perhaps even more; we’ve become dependent on certain technologies and immigration policies haven’t become any easier for the majority of students (they’ve become more challenging). 

Sorting finances is just one of the many challenges international students face. Most are:

  • leaving their jobs,
  • moving to a new country (and, many times, a new continent),
  • parting with their families and friends,
  • leaving their comfort of their surroundings, and
  • meeting hundreds of new people from all around the world.

It’s a bigger change than most realise. The questions they must answer range:

  • Where will I live?
  • How do I send money to a different country
  • How will I get my visa?
  • Do I need health insurance?
  • How will I stay in touch with everyone back home?
  • What do I pack?
  • What is this networking all about?
  • What do I do during the first week on campus?

As a truly international lender our objective is to solve all issues with cross financial movements for talented individuals. Student loans are just the beginning.

We began by offering Prodigy Finance Info Sessions in countries around the world. They’re a chance for students (and parents) to ask questions about schools, interest rates, application processes, and other practical matters. In 2017 alone, we’ve held more than 50 in-person events and more than 50 virtual sessions.  

Find out more; check out our events 

Prodigy Info Sessions

It’s especially tough for students coming from emerging economies to study in the USA or UK. I was lucky; I had both American and European citizenship - but most people aren’t as fortunate. Getting a study visa is one of the most challenging processes that students go through. There are deadlines, restrictions, and plenty of papers to prepare. It’s nerve racking for students - and their parents, and in some cases, it can take months. When students aren’t properly informed, they may arrive late to campus and, in some extreme cases, they aren’t able to attend at all due to visa complications.

It’s one of the aspects of international study that concerns everyone on the Prodigy Finance team. After all, we strive to make it possible for talented individuals to attend top programmes. To make it a little easier, we work with universities to offer specific guidelines that simplify the process.

That’s just the beginning of the list that Prodigy Finance has put in place. One of my biggest concerns at INSEAD was accommodation. And, I hear the same questions from prospective and admitted students today:

  • Where will I live?
  • What are the best options?
  • Will I find a roommate?

Again, I was very lucky. But, it was sheer luck versus knowing the options and it drives our team to work harder to assist students with their journeys. We’re working with companies around the world to facilitate housing discounts.

We’re also excited to announce an exclusive partnership with ATT to provide discounts on mobile phones. This straightforward process makes getting a phone in the USA as simple as it is in other countries although a deposit and a credit check are typically required to secure a phone in the USA.

We apply the same attention when students arrive on campus. Our relationship management team visit campuses to meet and greet all Prodigy Finance-funded students when they arrive. While there, Prodigy Finance organises networking and info sessions for new arrivals; it’s a chance to ease into their new lives while meeting others, and getting answers to pressing questions.

Meet and Greet

It’s a critical time on both the financial and personal fronts. The last thing any international student wants to worry about is loan dispersal; our team is on hand during this time to ensure everything runs smoothly. Our relationship managers work directly with the financial aid and admissions offices in each support school. And, that means we’re on hand to meet one-on-one with new students to tackle any issues.

At the core of our business are commitments to helping students reach their academic goals; and our investors want to make the same impact; they’ve made it possible to offer scholarships to our community of borrowers. These awards are how we choose to celebrate our tenth anniversary – and they’re still open – and you can learn more about the opportunities here

Vishal Kulkarni
Kaushiki Dutta
Jason Noronha
Jaydeep Soni

Prodigy Finance scholarship recipients

Prodigy Finance is not just a student lender. We are much more. And, the feedback we’ve received has been incredible. As we work to reach more international students, we’re also continuing to grow the list of free services we provide for our borrowers. Over the next year, we’ll be announcing more new, exclusive borrower services as we seek to provide additional assistance from the early stages through the end of each student’s master’s education.

No other student lender offers such services – and the feedback has been incredible and now we’re working to reach more international students.

It’s exciting times at Prodigy Finance – and we don’t want it to end! If you have additional suggestions, we want to hear from you! Just drop us a line at info@prodigyfinance.com

Ricardo Fernandez is Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Prodigy Finance based between London and New York and studied at INSEAD in 2005.

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