College tuition is expensive. Purdue offered income share agreements. An update. : Planet Money College has gotten incredibly expensive. And some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not quite a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves. We check in on how income share agreements at one school have been working. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at

A new way to pay for college (Update)

A new way to pay for college (Update)

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Andrew Hancock/Andrew Hancock/Purdue University
(Andrew Hancock/Purdue University)
Andrew Hancock/Andrew Hancock/Purdue University

A lot of young people face a double-bind. Graduating from college – especially getting a 4-year degree – is a big factor in upward mobility. But college has become incredibly expensive.

When we talked to her three years ago, Lauren Neuwirth was feeling the financial pressure. Midway through her education at Purdue University, she was out of money. Traditional financial aid wasn't enough. She was considering joining the Army to pay for school.

And then she found out about an unusual payment option: an income share agreement. If she agreed to give Purdue a percentage of her future income for a set period of time, she could get the money she needed to finish school. The more she made after graduation, the more Purdue would get back.

On today's show, how income share agreements work – with an update from Lauren, who graduated in 2020.

Music:"Sunburn," David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World," and "ABC."

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