New income share agreement can help students fund affordable, online ECE master's degree
Purdue University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is launching an income share agreement (ISA) program for students enrolled in its new online master’s degree. The affordable online master’s programs through edX, with support from Kaplan Higher Education, is the first comprehensive engineering postgraduate curricula provided online at less than $25,000.
Backed by the Purdue Research Foundation with support from ECE, Purdue Online and the College of Engineering, the ISA is an innovative way to help fund an education without the burden of interest rates and payment schedules of traditional student loans. Students receive funding through the program and complete the agreement by paying back a set percentage of their post-education salary over a set number of years. Payments adjust with the participant’s income over the life of the contract, and the program features an upside protection with a payment cap set for those who do exceptionally well after completing their course of study.
“By extending the Back a Boiler model to the new online master’s in electrical and computer engineering, Purdue is making what is already a groundbreaking program for its affordability even more affordable,” said Gerry McCartney, executive vice president of Purdue Online. “Students can finance their degree with less debt – and less hassle – and pay the obligation back at a rate in line with their income.”
Students interested in the ISA should email PPOInfo@prf.org for more information.
“This Back a Boiler-type funding for this new online master’s degree is a natural extension of Purdue’s ongoing efforts to address the student debt crisis,” said Mark Lundstrom, acting dean of Purdue’s College of Engineering and the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This option will give even more students the opportunity to bring back essential skills to industry while advancing their own careers.”
The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is currently accepting applications for its online master’s degree, which is starting in January 2020. It is the same degree earned by students on Purdue’s campus, but requiring only one to one and half years for a full-time student to earn the degree, or up to four years for a part-time student. Each plan of study can be customized to include a number of unique one-credit-hour courses that will help students gain the desired range within their chosen technical field. In all, the master of science in electrical and computer engineering requires 30 credit hours of coursework.
“Purdue ECE world-class faculty have teamed up with online learning experts to produce a thorough and flexible master’s program,” said Dimitrios (Dimitri) Peroulis, Michael and Katherine Birck Head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and special adviser to the dean of engineering for online learning. “By completing their desired combination of rigorous one- and three-credit-hour courses, ECE online students will be able to gain both the depth and breadth they need to lead engineering teams worldwide.”
As part of this online master’s degree in ECE, Purdue will offer a MicroMasters® program in nano-science and technology through edX. Students will learn how to design advanced nanoelectronics and nanophotonics from the creators of nanoHUB, the global nanotechnology research and education portal, even with no prior background in nanotechnology or quantum mechanics. A uniquely designed sequence of courses will develop a unified understanding of the essential physics of nanoscale electronic and photonic devices (e.g. field effect transistors, interconnects, lasers and modulators) as well as their important applications in integrated circuits and future electronic and photonic systems. Completion of the MicroMasters® program could count toward the online master’s degree if a student is accepted into the full master’s degree program. Additional MicroMasters® programs in different electrical and computer engineering areas are planned for 2020.
Purdue’s first ISA program, the Back a Boiler-ISA Fund, was launched in the 2016-17 academic year to offer undergraduate students an alternative to Federal Parent PLUS and private student loans. Since its inception, Back a Boiler has disbursed $13.9 million in funding through more than 1,200 contracts to students representing more than 150 majors at Purdue.