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Cranfield School of Management has become the second UK business school to introduce an MBA loan scheme that enables prospective students to finance their degree through a fund invested in by the university, alumni and friends of the school. The fund has been organised by London-based Prodigy Finance, a company set up by three Insead alumni to help students from that school get funding for their MBA.

The Prodigy model is proving particularly popular as traditional sources of bank funding dry up. The scheme is designed to enable alumni of the business school to invest in the careers of those who will follow after them to business school. In return, they should receive a good return on their investment.

“We deliberately only partner with world-class business schools like Cranfield that offer leading MBA programmes that consistently perform well in the major MBA rankings,” says Ryan Steele, Chief Operating Officer at Prodigy Finance. “The programme provides alumni and other investors the opportunity to earn a competitive return on their investment while helping to fund future business leaders.”

Unlike traditional bank loans, Prodigy uses a predictive scorecard to assess a student’s future potential earnings, and therefore ability to repay the loans, rather than basing decisions on historic salary data. Would-be Cranfield MBAs from more than 150 countries will be eligible to apply online for the loan.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd business school formerly announced its scheme with Prodigy in December and several other top UK business schools are expected to launch similar arrangements before the next MBA enrolment in September.


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