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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

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