Felipe Vergara received an MBA from Wharton, worked formerly as a McKinsey consultant, and has been passionate about access to higher education since he was young. Growing up in Colombia, he became acutely aware of educational inequality when a top student in his class was unable to attend university due to an inability to pay. Felipe realized the education financing market was inefficient, and that investment in the education of a high potential future worker would more than compensate for the educational cost. Years later, when Felipe met Miguel Palacios, who was perfecting the model for human capital contracts and human capital investments, this innovative model emerged and Lumni was born.
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- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Education, Skills and Learning
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, North America, USA, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Peru
Lumni is the first organization to successfully bring to market the concept of human capital contracts. Whereas student loans require students to pay back both the full principal of the loan plus interest payments and fees, human capital contracts only require graduates to pay back a percentage of their income after graduation. Lumni students are required to pay a fixed percentage of income during a predetermined number of years. In most cases, the income differential for attending university more than offsets these payments, representing a win-win solution for both the investor and the student.
Nearly 80% of Lumni students are from low or very low-income families, and are often the first generation to attend college. The indirect beneficiaries are several-fold, assuming low-income families depend on the most highly educated person for household income. On average, students’ incomes have increased 50-300% and investors have received an average of 11.4% return on their investment, compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average return of 4.18%