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PO Box 2826
Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Lending for Education

Opportunity International helps parents access the resources they need to send their children to school and helps affordable private schools improve their facilities.

EduFinance helps parents finance their children's education and helps affordable private school owners access the capital and support they need to grow and improve their schools. To date, more than $331 million has been loaned to school owners and parents through Opportunity's two flagship education loan products, the School Improvement Loan and the School Fee Loan, benefitting more than 6.5 million students in 23 countries since the start of the program.

Our expert technical assistance team works with socially focused financial institutions to help us pursue our goal of universal access to education. The EduFinance Technical Assistance Facility (ETAF) team, made up of microfinance experts in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, supports financial institutions as they develop, launch, and grow sustainable lending portfolios.


Elementary school, Ghana
Elementary school, Ghana

School Improvement Loans

School Improvement Loans set the stage for rapid and sustainable school improvement, ensuring more students gain access to a better education. These loans are used by school owners to invest in their schools' most pressing needs. 

School owners use School Improvement Loans for:

  • Infrastructure and expansion, like building new classrooms, bathrooms, or dormitories—all of which are especially important to improve students', and especially girls', attendance and enrollment.
  • Improving educational provisions by hiring new teachers to reduce class sizes, or purchasing textbooks, classroom supplies, desks, or computers.
  • Enhancing health and safety by adding metal roofs, concrete floors, security fencing, and wells, piping, or filtration systems for clean water.
Elementary school, Uganda
Elementary school, Uganda

School Fee Loans

School Fee Loans help parents who earn irregular or seasonal incomes keep their children in school year-round. A lack of cash at the beginning of the school term often results in a child not enrolling or being pulled out of school. School Fee Loans ease the pressure of upfront educational costs, effectively spreading out the costs of children's education. These loans prevent school dropouts or missed classes during times of household financial uncertainty, when parents may struggle to pay for school fees, uniforms, materials, or transportation.

School Fee Loans help:

  • Students stay in school. Even when students attend free public schools, parents must pay for expenses such as transportation, uniforms, food, and classroom materials. When families are unable to cover the costs, children skip a term or drop out.
  • Girls go to school. When money is tight, parents will often choose to send their sons to school before their daughters.
  • Students improve their learning. When students can't attend school consistently, they have trouble progressing through the curriculum and keeping up with their studies.
Saint Terressa Secondary School, Uganda
Saint Terressa Secondary School, Uganda

Technical Assistance for Financial Institutions

Our team offers our financial institution partners technical assistance in the following areas:

Market Research

We conduct a thorough analysis of the scale of the Education Finance market for each of our partner financial institutions. We combine our global expertise in Education Finance with local insight by conducting hundreds of interviews with affordable private school owners and the parents of their students.

Read the EduFinance Market Knowledge Report

Product Design

Based on the outcomes of our market research, we work with financial institutions to design financial products that meet the needs of the parents and school owners that use them.

Read the EduFinance Product Development Report

Staff Training

We run training programs for branch managers, loan officers, credit and risk officers, and head office staff to ensure the successful launch, growth, and management of the education lending portfolio. We take a modular approach to staff training so that content and sessions can be customized based on the needs of the individual financial institution.

Read the Edufinance Staff Training Report

Portfolio Analysis

Our Business Intelligence team provides our partners with a monthly dashboard displaying analysis of their education finance portfolios. Analyses are used to improve the management, risk mitigation, and profitability of our partner financial institutions' portfolios.

Read the EduFinance Portfolio Analysis Report

Automated Credit Assessment

The EduFinance Algorithm is a calculation that uses Education Finance borrower data to predict default rates for School Fee Loans and School Improvement Loans and improve lending decisions. Our unique system models default predictions, which can then be deployed by financial institution staff. The assessment tool is tablet-based so that loan officers can deliver real-time lending decisions.

Read the Edufinance Algorithmic Scoring Tool Report

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