The perpetual education fund: Providing higher education loans in the voluntary sector

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Although many strategies are proposed to reduce the opportunity gap in higher education between and within countries, student loans with cost recovery measures are often preferred during times of fiscal constraint. This study briefly reviews the benefits and challenges of student loans over other forms of financial aid and presents the case for voluntary sector involvement in contexts where government and market failures constrain effective solutions. It describes an innovative program that has emerged to meet this challenge-the Perpetual Education Fund. This program utilizes public-private partnerships, a large financial corpus, pre-existing administrative structures, personal relationships, local vocational schooling, and intergroup solidarity to administer loans and recover costs. Because voluntary sector participation in loan financing and administration is relatively new, the experiences and innovative survival strategies of this program have valuable implications for other emerging programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-350
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Higher education
  • Loans
  • Nonprofit
  • Voluntary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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