A bold proposal: You go to college for free, then pay back the school after graduation—but only if you get a job in your field of study and make a high enough salary to afford it. It’s called an income share agreement, and Austen Allred, the CEO and cofounder of Lambda School, thinks it’s the future of education.
Student debt currently stands at more than 1.5 trillion dollars, which makes it the second-highest consumer debt category behind mortgage debt. The crisis has saddled much of a generation, with far reaching effects. Income share agreements, or ISAs, have been put forth as an alternative to the current system. Put simply, an ISA is an agreement between a school and a student for the student to pay a defined percentage of income to the school, for a particular period of time, up to a certain cap. It’s a seemingly simple conceit with complex design considerations, and it’s spurring debate across media and politics.
D'Arcy Coolican Prior to joining a16z, he co-founded Frank, a social lending platform that used behavioral economics to make it easy to lend and borrow money with friends and family. He began his career at McKinsey & Co, where he was an engagement manager in the TMT practice.
Lauren Murrow is the Head of Special Projects at a16z, leading multimedia editorial packages and new initiatives in audio, video, newsletters, and digital design.
The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.