Potential student interest on Income Share Agreements and its role in solving student loan debt in the United States of America

  • José Pedro Cardoso Ferreira dos Santos Saraiva (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation aims to understand the potential interest of students in adopting Income Share Agreements as a mainstream alternative to the traditional student loans. Considering the situation in the United States of America and the need for a change in the education financing mechanisms (deduced from the excessive cumulative student loan debt and respective default rates), innovative mechanisms are required that connect the students with their education, while not disregarding the existing widening of the inequality gap in education. After a review and analysis of academic papers on income share agreements, an online questionnaire was conducted to study the main variables that impact the perceived interest in the mechanism, from the student perspective. Results show that the conditions of the contract itself are not significant in affecting the student’s interest (except for the term of the contract), while the personal preferences (risk aversion) and income estimation (both short and long-term) are the main drivers of interest. This dissertation also provides valuable insights on the role of Income Share Agreements in solving the student loan debt crisis existent in the United States of America. The mechanism could be a crucial alternative to the traditional financing mechanisms, while improving the quality of education and the engagement of the students with their university.
Date of Award29 Jun 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorFilipe Santos (Supervisor)


  • Income Share Agreement
  • Student debt
  • Tertiary education
  • Financing mechanisms


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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