Meratas at Lendit Fintech 2022

Posted on May 13, 2022 by Anna Klawitter

And our platform provides the full-service solution to this rising problem.

With an average annual growth rate of nearly 25%, the financial technology industry is among the fastest-growing worldwide. The latest fintech statistics suggest that the sector should hit a value of almost $310 billion by 2022 if this positive trend continues. 

In a couple of weeks, the Meratas team will join some of the biggest names in fintech at the Lendit Fintech conference, which brings together leaders in Fintech for a multi-day summit on the future of financial technology.  We will be LIVE & in 4K ? in New York on May 25 – 26th! 

 The keynote stage features Christ Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime, and Dave Girouard, co-founder & CEO of Upstart, among others.

We’ll be exploring the complexities of our rapidly changing world through insightful sessions focused on the most critical trends in fintech and lending technology.  

We’re the multi-tenant platform to originate and service ISAs and other incentive-aligned tuition programs. 

Our configurable, Learn Now Pay Later platform is provided to institutions within a consumer-facing cloud application that streamlines the end-to-end process of originating and servicing a loan.

We’re excited to join some of the biggest names in Fintech at the Lendit Fintech Conference.  

As a leading provider of flexible financing solutions, we’re looking forward to sharing our insights with the Lendit community and connecting with other like-minded individuals shaping the future of finance. 

Like much of the economy today, financial services are experiencing a rapid upheaval. We are seeing a multi-decade transformation where fintech will take center stage as everything becomes digital. We’re excited to join the leaders in the space to discuss and share insights at LendIt Fintech Digital and join the community for in-depth learning from others.  

Now more than ever, strategies to reach students where they are and give them the confidence and knowledge to succeed in their journey are essential. 

There’s never been a better and more exciting time to be in financing services. If you’re attending the conference, schedule a meeting through this link with our team Darius Goldman, Paul Dhaliwal, and Cole Reynolds at Meratas.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Posted under: News and Updates, School Resources

A Thought Piece on Racial and Gender Differences in Income Share Agreement Repayment Patterns

Posted on April 29, 2022 by Darius Goldman

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives the transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all.

Findings from their report shine a light on the racial and gender differences in Income Share Agreement terms that can significantly impact how much students prepare for college.

The findings in Jobs for the Future’s report present opportunities as Income Share Agreements gain momentum. I think this report shows a bright future for Income Share Agreements and alternative financing and will help bring about a much-needed change to the student lending system.

Limitations of the report 

It’s important to note that the report outlines some caveats and limitations to their findings. They mention that additional research is needed.

Income share agreements (ISA) have garnered significant excitement as a new tool to finance postsecondary education.

Using a proprietary data set of ISA contract holder records, JFF analyzed differences in contract terms and repayment patterns across demographic groups, finding no consistent or significant favorability toward one racial/ethnic or gender group over another.

While this data set is far more granular and detailed than what has been used in past research, it still has limitations that require JFF to present its findings with significant caveats. They acknowledge that more research is needed,  such as better data about students’ prior income, the amount financed in the ISA, the length of the intensity of educational programs, and other characteristics. 

ISAs showed no significant favoritism towards any one group 

According to the report, ISAs appear to neither disproportionately advantage nor disadvantage any racial and gender groups. In addition, they tested the relationship between contract terms and education providers and differences between various student groups focusing on race/ethnicity and gender. 

“We did not find any consistent and significant relationships in contract terms or differences in student repayment patterns across racial/ethnic and gender categories that would imply a positive or negative impact on racial/ethnic and gender equity.”

JFF Report

This spells a positive and equitable future for ISAs and alternative financing. ISAs can be a great way to open access to those that are a part of marginalized groups and balance the risk and reward of higher education between schools and students. 

Quality Education Matters

While ISA program design and quality of education matter, this report from JFF indicates a very bright future for ISA recipients and alternative financing borrowers. 

If you’re interested in offering a fair and worthwhile Income Share Agreement at your institution, download our brochure on our partner’s page. 

Posted under: News and Updates, Income Share Agreements

Meratas Educational Financing Platform 2022

Posted on April 21, 2022 by Darius Goldman

Nearly 1 million fewer students have enrolled in college since the beginning of the pandemic.

Between tuition costs and student loan debt, would-be students struggle to see the value in a degree. Yet, at the same time, more companies are hiring workers straight out of high school or from certificate programs amid an ongoing labor shortage.

Nationwide, fewer students went back to school again in 2022, dragging undergraduate enrollment down another 3.1% from 2021, according to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Traditional private education financing is extended as “principal + interest” styled loans, which has led to a massive student debt crisis.

Students want to better themselves through education, but many don’t realize that interest begins accruing during their studies and forbearance periods. This leads to negative amortization and increasing loan balances despite making minimum monthly payments. As a result, too many students quickly find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt. 

We know that tuition payments and student enrollment are at the heart of your institution, so that’s why we created the solution.

The Solution – Your All-in-one Cloud-based Tuition platform

Imagine a platform with robust APIs that can facilitate your entire student journey from start to finish. With Meratas, we deliver a comprehensive suite of software tools so you can control your processes. 

Our solution is turn-key, enabling you to launch your own full-service, scalable solution in two weeks. Including:

Our Learn Now, Pay Later tuition solutions are structured with either capped interest or income-correlated repayments, such as with ISAs, to help students’ repayments stay manageable and avoid the cycle of mounting debt.

Our platform is provided to institutions within a consumer-facing cloud application that streamlines the complete end-to-end process of originating and servicing a loan. We host a configurable, multi-tenant cloud application that integrates seamlessly into your school’s existing technology systems. Our highly configurable platform allows your institution to define your own credit policy and determine the significant parameters of your own lending program. 

We help institutions increase access by offering students flexible tuition options with adaptable, Learn Now, Pay Later tuition plans that remove the financial barriers from upskilling.

Full Data Transparency for Better Underwriting  

When an institution outsources its lending program to third-party vendors, they only get pre-approved applicants on a blind basis.  

This means the school is unable to learn from its portfolio, unable to make more intelligent decisions over time, and is constantly reliant on the third-party lender for its applicant pool.

By contrast, using our sophisticated underwriting tools, your institution gains full data transparency into its applicant profiles, allowing you to admit more students over time while also decreasing your credit risk.  

We call this the Merit Score.

Our Merit Score is based on the aggregate platform usage from all our partners. It is designed to turn recurring transactions into valuable and actionable insights, enhance underwriting, and assess creditworthiness. 

A Better Payment Experience For Your Students

Your students’ financing journey can be complicated, with many stops along the way.

Our student support team is there for them every step of the way. From guiding them through the application process to setting them up for success before their first payment, all with less than a 24-hour response time, you can rest assured that your students will never feel lost.

Your tuition solution’s student support team should treat your students as well as you do. The Meratas support team acts as an extension of your team, providing your students with your own messaging and standards of communication. Better student support means better outcomes for you and your program.

Fully customizable and Scalable

The Meratas Platform allows you to fully customize your tuition plans and offer LNPL financing that fits your students’ needs. In addition, we support flexible institutional loans and ISA programs while also giving you the ability to create a customizable payment experience for your students.

With Meratas, your tuition offerings will have unparalleled scalability. Adding new financing options is quick and easy and integrates seamlessly into your administrative dashboard without disrupting your existing workflows. 

The student debt crisis has ballooned out of control due to principle + interest style loans. While a great educational experience is important, giving students more payment choices that better fit their lives is the real way to increase enrollment. Learn Now, Pay Later tuition options to give students those choices. if that sounds like something that would benefit your school and students, check out our partners page to schedule a time to speak with a Meratas platform specialist! 

Posted under: News and Updates

ASU + GSV Summit 2022 Key Takeaways

Posted on April 15, 2022 by Darius Goldman

This past week education leaders gathered in San Diego for the annual ASU GSV Summit.

The ASU + GSV Summit features a diverse lineup of thought leaders who shared firsthand stories of inspiration and innovation. This conference brought together entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts eager to start the dialogue necessary for success. From K-12 to Higher Ed, it was cool to see so many people partner together to find solutions to problems. My team and I were thrilled to join everyone, learn from each other, and share the unique insights that building Meratas has given us. 

A Brief Background

The ASU GSV Summit is one of the leading educational technology conferences and started in 2010. The summit is a collaboration between ASU (Arizona State University) and GSV (Global Silicon Valley). With 12 years of conferences, the summit always connects some of the brightest minds in the EdTech space.

The summits are full of actionable insights, human-centered connections, transformational experiences, and unexpected discoveries. The attendee list grows every year and boasts an average of 15,000 attendees. With so many thought leaders in the education space in one place, there was a lot we took away from this conference.

Make Financial Aid Make Sense

Why are stories like these so common?

“I didn’t know what to expect the first time I stepped foot in a college financial aid office. I assumed it would be the easiest part of college. Who knew I would be bawling in front of a stranger, telling them about one of the most humiliating and heartbreaking experiences of my life?” – Lizzy Shoben

“My financial-aid officer didn’t understand why I worked so many jobs or why I picked up even more hours at times.” – Anthony Abraham Jack

We don’t just need to help students have a better financial experience; we need to find ways to teach the people in the financial aid offices how to better present the options students have and how to use the tools at their disposal. For example, students today are confused when they are signing up for loans. They’re tired of trying to make ends meet, and they’re tired of the stress of not knowing what exactly they’re signing up for. So we need to re-educate educators to explain financial aid in a way that clearly presents its value.

There are fewer and fewer students going to college, and when a student’s financial aid is confusing and if they aren’t options that work for their specific situation, they will drop out. There has to be better financial literacy training for students. It could be at the high school level or offered as a free college pre-requisite class or training. Either way, students need to fully understand their financial options and which is the best option. Part of the issue with alternative options to student loans is that students aren’t familiar with them, so students are confused and aren’t set up for financial success.

If students are well prepared for their financial journey, they will be better set up for success in their academic journey.  No student should have to forgo higher education because they’re confused or worried about affording their payments.

Broadening access to education and enhancing career mobility for all students is crucial so we can better prepare workers for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. 

Students Need to be Career Prepared and have Access To Additional Options

“ A national labor shortage has benefitted workers in the form of higher pay and greater agency in choosing an employer. In turn, employers —especially those with urgent shortages in essential roles— are seeking to differentiate. “They realize the difference they can offer to workers are skills, and workers don’t ask for skills. Instead, they ask for career advancement,” –  Romer Carlson explained at the Summit. 

The demand for career advancement drives a need among working adults to acquire new skills and competencies. At the same time, institutions are working to fill their seats. By meeting that demand together, employers can strengthen talent attraction and retention, articulate career mobility pathways, and address skills gaps by offering access to education through better financial options.

Romer Carlson also pointed out that this is a key area where major employers can make a huge difference. “…the striking thing that we find in our work with employers on one side and university partners on the other is that, at some level, the average CEO now has more insight into the skills we need five years from now than then a university president has access to and that’s a problem. We need to get that data available to everybody.”

Students Need More Options

Offering students more options to pay for their education at your institution is crucial to both schools’ and students’ success. The more options students are given and the better they understand these options, including which is the best option for where they are in life, the more likely they are to pursue their education of choice and have a better overall experience. 

The ASU GSV summit allowed me and my team to learn from the innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and changemakers from around the country, and I’m thankful for that. By gathering the top minds and leading companies from across the industry, untapped potential is discovered, trends are identified, and innovators find inspiration for changing the future of their business.

 My team and I at Meratas are on a mission to unlock opportunities for those looking to upskill or start a new education. If you’re interested in helping your students do this, check out our Partner’s Page to learn more!

Posted under: News and Updates, Tuition Options

Shift Summit 2022 Key Takeaways

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Darius Goldman

My team and I were at Shift Summit to discuss “Shifting the Student Experience” within institutions. Financial barriers are the leading reason students do not pursue or complete their degrees. 

At Shift Summit, we were able to explore new ideas and solutions to create an ideal student experience through Student Financial Success. As well as learn how to surpass strategic enrollment, retention, diversity, and graduation goals. At Shift Summit, my team and I joined other leaders in enrollment, recruitment, financial aid, diversity, and student affairs to explore solutions to these financial barriers. We were able to pull some great perspectives from others that helped us to feel strong about our mission as a company.

If you couldn’t make it to this year’s conference, or you attended but couldn’t clone yourself and be present at the multiple breakout sessions, here are some of our key takeaways.

1. You Need More Than A Strong Student Experience

A strong student experience is integral to your program. It will help students go through your program effectively, and in a way, they’ll enjoy and find valuable. 

That being said, we learned that a strong student experience and success is not enough. Most schools are solely focused on building strong student success teams, investing in their student experience, and improving student outcomes. 

While it makes sense to invest in these things, schools aren’t seeing massive ROI with these changes. Enrollment is still declining, and students are dropping out of their programs even more consistently.

While student experience is an unquestionably important pillar of any institution’s overall growth strategy and should be invested in, they need more than that. 

2. You Could Have the Best Education Program in the World, But Financing Determines Your Success

More and more students choose to forgo their college careers or end their higher education journey due to financial limitations.

These barriers happen at the beginning of the journey, during enrollment, and at various points that affect retention. Many institutions may think that once a student is enrolled and has their first round of tuition covered, that’s it. But the issue goes beyond that.

Students are met with more financial barriers each semester, causing too much friction between them and higher ed success. This forces them to end their student journey earlier and more often than they otherwise would. 

3. The Answer is a Better Financial Journey

In the same way, schools and institutions are investing in their student experience, they have to support their students in their financial journey too.

Students don’t just want better options; they want more of them. 

They might want to make a few upfront payments and then spread out the rest of the cost over time or link their tuition repayment to their income. They want more options that fit them and their needs. Choices that will meet them where they’re at and give them the flexibility to pay on their terms.

A strong student experience is essential, but it won’t give you a strong ROI without an equally strong student finance experience. Schools being more involved in their student’s financial journey by offering more payment options is essential. A better financial journey is what will open more doors, invite more students in, and help improve their long-term retention. Without it, not only will students continue to face the financial barriers they’ve been facing for while now, they will also be less likely to stick to their programs and see them through. 

Students need a better higher ed finance experience. Shift Summit helped me realize that even more people share our mission of making education more accessible through more and better student tuition options.

Posted under: News and Updates, School Resources

Colorado Mountain College & Meratas Partner to Help Students Fund Their Education

Posted on October 12, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. –  Colorado Mountain College (CMC), a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), is proud to announce the launch of its Rural Nursing Success Fund Income Share Agreement (ISA) program in partnership with Meratas.

The new program at CMC gives nursing students the opportunity to pay for college using incentive-aligned income share agreements. With an ISA, students do not pay upfront tuition. Instead, they pay a fixed percentage of their income after graduation for a set period of time. Nurses trained by Colorado Mountain College will be able to participate in an ISA that has no interest and caps the total repayment at the amount borrowed. Income share agreements give students a chance to get a great education without the barrier of upfront costs or high student loan debt.

CMC students earning a bachelor’s degree or associate degree in nursing with a financial need are eligible to receive up to $3,000 per year through the CMC Foundation Rural Nursing Success Fund Income Share Agreement opportunity.

This program was specifically created for CMC nursing students and further provides a 25% incentive for CMC graduates to stay and work in Colorado Mountain College’s Rocky Mountain region.

CMC is one of the most affordable bachelor’s degree-granting institutions in the nation and demonstrates a continuous commitment to providing an affordable and high-quality education that helps students graduate with less student loan debt.

“We are always seeking ways to grow the pipeline of nurses in our mountain communities and give them the tools needed to succeed,” said Kristin Heath Colon, CEO of the CMC Foundation. “We believe CMC is uniquely well-positioned to recruit and educate diverse candidates in a high-need service area.  We are additionally interested in providing an example of innovative financing that could be replicated in other environments.”

“This program is combating the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Meratas is honored to support CMC in helping students gain access to the transformative effects of higher education,” said Meratas Founder and CEO Darius Goldman. “As a first-generation American, I recall stories of my mother immigrating to America in her early teens.  It was through continued education that she was able to assimilate and advance.  I like to think about her journey when considering the generational life-changing impact that this program will provide.”

About Colorado Mountain College

Founded in 1965, Colorado Mountain College provides a diverse range of learning opportunities at its 11 campuses across Colorado’s rural mountain resort communities, and online. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, CMC serves over 14,000 undergraduates and community members each year offering over 125 certificates and degrees. Recognized for its commitment to accessibility, excellence and workforce training relevant to Colorado’s outdoor, tourism and knowledge-based economy, Colorado Mountain College is among the lowest-cost institutions in Colorado and has one of the most affordable bachelor’s degrees in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

About Colorado Mountain College Foundation

Founded in 1985, the CMC Foundation builds sustainable community support for the needs and strategic priorities of Colorado Mountain College and its students. The CMC Foundation is governed by an independent board of directors and has $28 million in assets under management.  Learn more: https://coloradomtn.edu/foundation/ 

About Meratas

Meratas is the leading ISA program manager, providing a full-service, turnkey, platform to design, originate, and service incentive-aligned tuition products. Universities and skills-training institutions partner with Meratas to achieve clear strategic objectives: improved retention, increased enrollment, and better outcomes tracking. With Meratas, schools can quickly and cost-efficiently launch a fully customized ISA program with best-in-class scalability and an unparalleled emphasis on provider and consumer benefits. Learn more at www.meratas.com

Posted under: News and Updates, School Resources

The Weekly Roundup: Colleges Reverse Reopenings, WeWork’s Ed Shift, and College Sports This Fall

Posted on August 12, 2020 by Anna Klawitter

Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week’s stories: 


Posted under: News and Updates

The Weekly Roundup: Workforce Education in a Pandemic and Mounting Pressure For In-person Classes

Posted on August 19, 2020 by Tyler Hawk

Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week’s stories: 


Posted under: News and Updates

The Weekly Roundup: The Future of K-12 Edtech and Rising Cases Among Universities

Posted on August 26, 2020 by Tyler Hawk

Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week’s stories:


Posted under: News and Updates

The Weekly Roundup: Teach for America Prepares for New Year and SEL in Distance Learning

Posted on September 2, 2020 by Tyler Hawk

Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week’s stories:


Posted under: News and Updates

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