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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Agreements in which students pay a share of their income after they graduate and secure a job are being offered at some colleges and coding schools as alternatives to traditional student loans.

What's happening: The Trump administration has discussed experimenting with federal Income Share Agreements (ISAs), and legislation to develop a legal and regulatory framework for the agreements has been introduced in Congress. ISAs are a small part of the higher education financing market and whether students will benefit from them is unknown.

  • Austen Allred, whose Lambda School offers ISAs to students, told Axios this week between meetings on Capitol Hill that oversight is needed.

How it works: Rather than pay tuition up-front, students agree to paying a portion of their eventual income back to educators.

  • There can be minimum salary requirements and limits on how many years students have to pay back their tuition.
  • For Lambda School students, tuition is $20,000. If a student opts for an ISA, they agree to re-pay 17% of their salary for two years, so long as they are earning $50,000. The payback amount is capped at $30,000 and ends after 5 years, regardless of whether the tuition amount has been covered.
  • ISAs are being offered in bootcamps, a handful of colleges and universities — including Purdue, the University of Utah and Colorado Mountain College — and through workforce development programs.

Supporters say they provide financing for students who have maxed out their aid or can't access assistance through the government system.

  • And they argue ISAs force accountability on higher education institutions because if a student can't find a job to pay back their tuition, it is a signal that the institution's programs aren't aligned to the labor market.

But others worry that because high earners effectively cross-subsidize low earners, those students have to pay back substantially more money than they would with a regular loan, notes Axios' Felix Salmon.

  • They're also concerned about the risk of discrimination, since some groups, including men, earn higher salaries out of college.
  • And it is unclear whether ISAs are financially sustainable for offerers. Allred told Wired that Lambda is "burning through millions of dollars" a month.

"We're not saying it is a superior tool to everything else," says Matt Gianneschi, COO of Colorado Mountain College, which is piloting an ISA for a few dozen students with DACA-status using philanthropic donations. (Students in the program agree to pay back the amount they borrowed, not more.)

  • "We're using it as an option for [people for] which there are none," he says.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.