HEFF: Enhancing the Idea of Student Financing

By August 23, 2019 No Comments

Our  mission is simple. We want more people to have the possibility to finance their dreams. In some cases, that dream starts with a student searching for access to higher education to find better job positions and improve their future and that of their families. This is where HEFF can help. 

The Higher Education Finance Fund lends and provides technical assistance to the inclusive finance industry. It enables them to provide loans for low income students in Latin America. HEFF, is a sustainable financial structure created by Omtrix and it’s the first fund destined exclusively to provide loans to students through microcredits. Omtrix is also looking to promote this model worldwide. 

In Latin America, there are a number of challenges that limit the possibility for some people to have access to higher education. 

  • The cost of universities has been rising.
  • Student loans are not accessible to all, nor everywhere in the region. Especially for students and families in the lower income brackets and in rural areas. 
  • There is a high demand for student loans.
  • This high demand  sometime is met with Government  subsidized programs. This makes sustainability for these programs complicated. 

HEFF is trying to present an alternative to solve these problems through the financing of financial institutions serving the bottom of the pyramid and also through offering the technical assistance they require.

How do we work?

HEFF works together with the financial intermediaries that lend their services to people with low financial resources. It facilities funding and technical assistance.  Financial institutions have already identified those careers with a higher demand so as to ensure repayment of the loans MFIs provide, to not only financially support students but also to give a continuous accompaniment during the entire time the loans are active. 

All students have access to financial education seminars. Students that experience problems in their academic performance have the possibility to reach out to an academic counselor, recognizing that a lot of HEFF’s students are the first ones in their family to seek higher education and that they can easily be discouraged to continue with their studies. This technical assistance is given for free thanks to grants from development organizations.

Our achievements in numbers

Since its beginning, HEFF has supported more than 10,581 students in Latin America and has disbursed $22,265,421. Approximately 80% of students with loans from financial institutions backed by HEFF, have found qualified work 6 months after finishing their studies. 

The success of HEFF is tightly linked to the success of our students. Our priority is backing students in the process of learning so that they can reach their goals and dreams and can thus access a better quality of life. 

As previously mentioned, HEFF not only provides funding to financial institutions but it also provides mentoring so that students will also receive support throughout the loan process.