May 28, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 17

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    International students can now acquire business school loans without co-signer

    By Allan Friedman
    Chicago Booth

    The University has signed a participation letter with the new International Student Loan Program, which will provide loans requiring no co-signer to international students at the Chicago Booth School of Business.

    ISLP, originally conceived and discussed under the convening authority of Graduate Management Admission Council, quickly evolved into a loan program to be provided by a consortium of organizations experienced in the student loan arena. This consortium, led by Deutsche Bank, which expects to provide initial funding, includes Access Group as the program servicer and administrator; Liberty Bank, N.A. as the originating lender; and Moehn and Associates as the program manager. The ISLP was developed with the involvement of Chicago Booth.

    The program will make educational loans available to international students who are not eligible for federal assistance and cannot qualify for standard private loans because they do not have a U.S. co-signer.

    Under the agreements, Deutsche Bank, as initial investor, expects to purchase notes, the proceeds of which will provide financing to international students for an amount up to the total cost of attendance, less any financial aid received. The terms of the program balance student costs and school risk in providing loans for Chicago Booth students. The loans will have terms comparable to private loans available for students with U.S. co-signers. The transaction remains subject to completion of required documentation and regulatory approval, if any.

    “Providing international students with access to a Chicago Booth education is a priority,” said Rosemaria Martinelli, Associate Dean for Student Recruitment and Admissions. About one-third of the students enrolled in the school’s MBA program come from outside the United States.

    “With some traditional avenues closed due to the weak economy, we have gone to great lengths to find creative alternatives so our international students can finance their education. We are delighted to be able to offer a sustainable solution for our international students,” Martinelli said.

    Fred Brettschneider, head of Global Markets Americas at Deutsche Bank, said, “We are aware of the challenges international students are facing and want to use our resources to create and invest in a program that will benefit them.”

    Chris Chapman, president and CEO of Access Group said, “ISLP will help bridge a gap in student lending. So we are excited to offer our expertise in graduate and professional education financing and our top-quality service to this innovative loan program.”

    Kevin Moehn, principal of Moehn and Associates and former executive vice president at Sallie Mae, added, “This program was designed to be school-centric and promises to provide funding for years to come.”

    “We were happy to have played an initial role in stimulating thought among our members and Deutsche Bank,” said Dave Wilson, CEO of Graduate Management Admission Council.

    “Despite the difficult economic climate, the University has stood by its commitment to help qualified students afford a Chicago education,” said University Bursar Michael Kocelko.