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@Flywire  a high-growth vertical payments company, announced new enhancements to its market-leading digital education platform that help improve tuition affordability. Flywire’s new international payment plan options empower institutions worldwide to provide students more flexible funding options to help them better manage their education expenses during a period of unique financial constraint. As part of Flywire’s comprehensive receivables solution, this functionality builds on Flywire’s existing offerings and is customised to meet the needs of institutions around the world with a high ratio of foreign students.[1]

International students are significant cultural, academic and financial contributors to the global knowledge economy. The U.S. alone hosted more than one million international students during the 2018/2019 academic year, and they contributed nearly $41 billion to the economy, according to IEE and NAFSA. As the middle class grows in emerging regions like Asia and Latin America, universities are attracting international students from broad socio-economic profiles who face the same financial pressures that so many domestic students do when it comes to paying for higher education.

Due to the ongoing rise in education costs, many foreign students cannot afford to pay their tuition and fees in full upfront prior to starting or returning to school. COVID-19 is exacerbating this affordability crisis, placing unprecedented financial strain on students, many of whom remain on campus due to the high cost of returning home at the outset of the pandemic. As more institutions plan to reopen for the 2020-2021 academic year, foreign students’ re-enrollments are jeopardised by their inability to pay their education costs.

Flywire’s international payment plan options address the needs of students and families to make education costs more manageable with capabilities that include:

  •                  Preferred payment options: Institutions may offer their international students or authorised users payment plans with the ability to pay their tuition and fees using their preferred payment method each time through Flywire’s vast global payment network. Each institution has the ability to decide the payment methods to offer based on student demand.
  •                  Flexibility of choice: International students or authorised users have the option to switch back and forth between payment methods each month as needed based on exchange rates or other financial considerations. For instance, if they pay via an international bank transfer the first month, they can change to a card payment the following month.
  •                  Personalized installment options: To help students and families quickly adapt to unplanned scenarios, such as COVID-19, Flywire gives institutions the ability to customise plan terms and payment options, such as offering temporary lower installments as well as the ability to pause plans to better support unique financial situations.

“When COVID-19 hit, we heard from many of our higher education clients about the new financial burdens their international students faced, and how this might jeopardise their re-enrollment,” said Sharon Butler, EVP of Education, Flywire. “Flywire’s international payment plans, which will now be available to universities around the world, are critical to allowing students to pay on a schedule and in the method that works best for them, so they can resume their studies on time and without further distraction.”ation.

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