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Duke’s Business School to Offer Academic Loans to International Students

November 26, 2000

Durham, NC - Duke University's Fuqua School of Business has developed The Fuqua Opportunity Loan Program that allows international students to borrow up to $30,000 for tuition and educational expenses.

Students and staff members worked for the past six months to develop the program. Jorge Lopes, a second-year international student, helped bring the idea to the attention of Fuqua faculty and staff. "The idea started last year when first-year students were calling newly admitted students in our respective home countries. We realized that a couple of students were choosing to go to other schools because they offered loans for international students. We realized that we needed to reverse this trend."

Lopes sees the Opportunity Loan Program doing more than aiding in admissions. "I am sure that the new loan program, together with our Top 5 ranking position, will boost Fuqua's global competitiveness."

The interest rate of the loans will be prime plus 2 percent. The students will be required to pay the interest on the loans while they attend classes to establish a payment history with the financial institution servicing the loan. A disbursement fee of 5 percent will be charged, but will be added to the loan principal and not deducted at the time of disbursement.

"The new loan program is an important piece of Fuqua's infrastructure," said Jill Worthington, associate dean for administration at Fuqua. "It will support continued growth in diversity in our community. Our competitive rates will definitely appeal to international students who frequently are faced with unfavorable terms for loans in their home countries as well as tumultuous currency fluctuations."

Borrowers will be allowed up to 20 years to repay the loans, and there are a variety of flexible repayment options. In addition, there are incentives for timely payments. After 48 consecutive timely payments, the borrowers receives a ? percentage point interest rate reduction. This continues for the length of repayment as long as payment is received on time.

The Opportunity Loan Program will be effective for incoming international students enrolled in Duke MBA programs beginning with the 2001-2002 academic year.

Applications will be available after July 1, 2001.