The EFI Pilot Program

We develop and validate income share products that address both the needs of students and their respective higher education institutions. EFI will launch a pilot program to (i) validate the societal benefits of EFI structured income share agreements and (ii) confirm the viability of funding such agreements through private investment, school financial resources or capital markets.

Process and Product Development

Pilot Launch and Operations

External Funding

Bridging The Gap Between Early and Mainstream Adoption

The EFI pilot eliminates the barriers for schools interested in exploring income share agreements for the benefits of their students.

EFI Pilot Overview


EFI seeks to develop a pilot program to:


(i) validate the societal benefits of EFI structured income share agreements and

(ii) confirm the viability of funding such agreements through private investment, school financial resources or capital markets.


The EFI Pilot makes it easy for schools to explore the benefit of ISAs for students.


For the purposes of the pilot, we intend to eliminate the barriers for schools interested in exploring income share agreements.  For selected schools, we will provide the resources needed to incorporate ISAs into the financial aid process and also provide external funding to the school on behalf of the student.  These resources include training, digital tools, financial literacy and call centers.


EFI does not have a commercial interest in the pilot.


EFI is a 501c3 not-for-profit, not a commercial provider of services, and does not charge schools fees for participation in our ISA pilot program nor generate profits that benefit our organization. EFI believes that there is a window of opportunity to properly define and launch ISAs that will create momentum for widespread adoption. The pilot provides an opportunity to expedite a substantive evaluation of ISAs. EFI’s ISA prototype will be based on input from students, student proxies and a diverse group of significant stakeholders. EFI is unaware of any pilot of a similar size, scope, and purpose.



Pilot Objectives:


  1. Establish the data foundation for sustaining ISA programs on a broad national basis

  2. Establish a process and operating framework for integrating ISAs into the mainstream college financial aid process

  3. Provide the benefits of income share agreements to thousands of students attending selected pilot schools – (helping students as the pilot runs its course!)

  4. Create a high level of visibility, positive discourse, and transparency regarding the potential of properly structured income share agreements


Selected Schools:


EFI will determine, at its sole discretion, the participating colleges and universities. However, EFI is committed to having a mix of schools that represent the broad spectrum of four-year schools including graduate programs.  EFI will select representative schools that demonstrate good student outcomes, which include but are not limited to schools that significantly impact social mobility and/or serve special missions. EFI believes participating schools will benefit from the visibility of being in the pilot and helping to solve the student loan debt crisis (or helping to develop an alternative to student loans )

Interested colleges and universities can contact: Bill Leith at




  1. EFI, in collaboration with its Advisory Board and other stakeholders, develops a prototype income share agreement that addresses identified use cases for students and schools

  2. EFI confirms financial viability of the pilot based on the prototype and the contemplated investment structure. The investment structure may involve de-risking elements in order to balance pilot funding interest with the lowest possible share rate for students

  3. EFI selects and confirms a broad mix of schools to participate in the pilot

  4. EFI raises sufficient funding to initially allocate to each school. Schools will access ISA funding for up to 200 students

  5. Participating schools determine student eligibility based on their financial aid practices and student use cases. EFI will set broad guidelines but will not be involved in the selection of students

  6. EFI will provide resources and online tools to train and educate school staff and other items that provide students and families with a comparative understanding of ISAs and alternative options

  7. Schools will disburse the funds using existing internal processes

  8. EFI will provide, through commercial vendor support, the infrastructure to manage the ISAs from disbursement through the duration of the agreement




EFI will launch the program in order to provide students ISAs for the academic year 2020-2021. This will provide sufficient time to (i) develop a product that offers the best possible terms for students and (ii) raise the funding required. The timeline will also allow EFI to:

  1. Provide proper support resources and training for schools

  2. Allow schools the realistic planning windows to align their enrollment processes

  3. Provide appropriate financial literacy tools for students and families

  4. Conduct soft launch to test interfaces and operating platform.


Research Analytics: The pilot data will provide critical longitudinal and latitudinal data that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. It can also be used to develop adjustments to the prototype required for a broad national launch. The data will provide the basis for determining risk/return and the long term attractiveness of private capital or schools self-funding on a post-pilot basis.


EFI, along with other research organizations, may examine the impact of various interventions or environments on student performance/outcomes. The magnitude and diversity of data will provide a statistically significant body of work. The data and reports will be made available to the participating schools.


New York:

601 Lexington Avenue Fl 17,

New York, NY 10022

District of Columbia:

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 900

Washington,  DC 20004

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