Risk (Income) Sharing Agreements

Income share agreements (ISAs) are a type of financial arrangement in which students receive funding for their education in exchange for agreeing to pay back a percentage of their income after graduation. There are both pros and cons to using ISAs as a way to finance education.

Some pro’s and con’s are set out below. Overall, while ISAs can be a useful option for some students, they may not be the best choice for everyone. It’s important for students to carefully consider the pros and cons of ISAs and other forms of financing before deciding how to pay for their education.


ISAs can provide students with access to funding for their education without requiring them to take on debt.

Because students only have to pay back their ISAs if they are able to secure a job and earn a certain amount of income, ISAs can be a more flexible and manageable form of financing than traditional student loans.

ISAs can also be a useful tool for helping students afford programs that may not be covered by traditional forms of financial aid, such as vocational training or professional certification programs.


ISAs can be difficult for students to understand and compare with other forms of financing, such as scholarships or student loans.

Because ISAs are not widely available, students may have limited options for choosing an ISA provider or negotiating the terms of their agreement.

If a student’s income does not reach the agreed-upon threshold, they may end up paying more under an ISA than they would have under a traditional student loan.

ISAs may also be less flexible than traditional student loans in terms of repayment options, such as income-based repayment or loan forgiveness programs.