Re­Engineering the Immigrant Student Aid Program

Client: Hebrew Free Loan Society
Faculty: Sara Grant, Merle McGee
Team: Ilana Nesher, Naomi Rosenblatt, Tamar Snyder, Mordecai Walfish
Year: 2011
Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) pro­motes economic self­sufficiency in New York by providing interest­free loans. One of its largest programs, Immigrant Student Aid, helps immigrant parents from the for­mer Soviet Union finance higher education for their children. While the cost of higher education has skyrocketed since the terms for this program were originally set, the loan program (including maximum loan amount and amortization schedule) has never been adjusted. The Capstone team conducted a literature review, statistical analysis of existing borrowers, phone surveys with former and potential borrowers, and inperson interviews with potential borrowers in Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay. The team developed several alternative loan products and analyzed how they would impact HFLS financially. The team then compiled this research and analysis to produce a report of findings and recommendations to assist HFLS in reengineering its Immigrant Student Aid loans to best meet the needs of its target market. The report's recommendations provide a point of reference for HFLS as it embarks on its third strategic planning process.