ISA : A Revolutionary Financial Arrangement Set To Change The Face Of The Education System


Access to quality education has always come with a cost, posing the
challenge of affordability and making for an uphill climb for many aspirants. It is for this very reason that many see education loans as a relief for students. In fact, the 2019 Indian students’ debt statistics showed that the loan dispersed to students in that year amounted to 22,550 CR. However, this is not the case for many well-deserved students who come from less affluent backgrounds. There are many facets to education loans that make it difficult for these students to avail loan facilities and eventually get admitted into reputed institutions. Addressing this challenge is the Income Sharing Agreement or ISA as it is popularly known which is key in opening up multiple learning opportunities for aspirants across various strata of society.

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What is ISA and how does it work?

The Income Share Agreement (ISA) is a financing mechanism in which a learner signs up for a program free of cost, and later (i.e. once the learner gets a suitable job) pays back the service provider the required sum of the course fee. The revolutionary financial arrangement ensures that the learner does not face the burden of sky-high course fees while at the same time gets sufficient time to fulfil the clauses of the ISA.

How is ISA different from a loan?

• A loan is taken before starting the program, therefore implying a full commitment to repayment – irrespective of the education outcome

• A loan has to be repaid, whether or not you get a job

• ISA payments only begin when you get a job in the same field as
your studies and that too above a certain threshold

The benefits of ISA at Masai School

At Masai School- a military-style coding bootcamp, every student who opts for a deferred payment – signs an ISA on the completion of 4 weeks of the program (only if the student chooses to continue with the same). The ISA model here states that once a student completes the course and gets placed, and only if the student bags a job with a salary package of a minimum of 5 lakhs per annum, the student needs to pay Masai School 15% of their monthly salary for the next 3 years. However, the total sum to be paid back is capped at Rs.3 lakhs. With this ISA (Income sharing agreement) model, a new ray of hope awaits all aspirants.

Thanks to the ISA, Masai School this year has witnessed more students from economically weaker sections (EWS) of society benefitting and getting the opportunity to enrol for the programs. Out of the total students enrolled so far, 60.5% of the students are from EWS background.

What are the programs being offered by Masai School (through
ISA) and what is the criteria to enrol?

Masai School is reinventing the education space by being completely
transparent. The curriculum and the student’s submissions are all open source and available for anyone to access for free online.

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Masai School offers 6-8 month long intensive coding programs that are holistic in nature by including soft skills and analytical thinking training in addition to the tech skills, keeping in mind the requirements of an employer.

Currently, we are offering courses in Android Development, Full-Stack Development and Backend Development. We are planning to launch Frontend Development, Data Science, User Experience design (UX), Frontend & UI Development, Product Management and more programs over the next few months.

Our selection process is transparent, fair and simple. It is based only on talent and motivation and doesn’t require any educational degree or programming experience. To be eligible for any program the student must have cleared the 12th standard under CBSE/ICSE or any other boards recognised under the Indian education system and must be above 18 years of age.

Since our courses are very intensive and demanding, one of the major attributes that we look for is “motivation to learn and earn”.

Finally, should one enrol into an Income Share Agreement?

Most institutes that offer ISA as a mode of payment also have an option for an upfront payment. Students can choose between the two depending on their economic background and personal preferences. We have seen majority of students opting for the ISA model because of the various benefits it offers , and strongly recommend this as an option.

Prateek Shukla, Co-Founder & CEO, Masai School


Prateek Shukla is the Co-Founder & CEO of Masai School – India’s first coding school. He started Masai School in June 2019 with an aim to revamp the Indian education system from a degree-based to a skill set-based system, having identified the need-gap for industry-relevant skill sets, rather than a college degree to ensure that the new working class is job ready from Day 1.

Hailing from the pink city of India – Jaipur, Prateek is a B.Tech graduate from IIT Kanpur, specialized in Materials Science and Engineering. He has been in the start-up industry since 2013, having founded Grabhouse, just after his graduation.

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Prateek loves to play Poker and Cricket. A passionate backpacker, he has visited 16 countries so far, and has set himself a goal to visit 35 countries before he turns 35.

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