I saw somewhere that Stern just put out an RFP looking for a new lender, so it's clear they're not looking to dip into their endowment to cover a program such as this. Even if schools find a new lender, you can bet the interest rates are going to be exorbitant - like prime plus 300 bps or something like that (as opposed to prime minus 150 for current students).
You have been staring at the sun too long - I am pretty certain I pay over Prime for an International loan (no cosign). It is just the nature of the beast - I think they take 25bp off the charge when I make 24 on time payments. Generous souls that they are. My aim, as I will be working for a bank, is a rapid refinancing...
Anyway - the Stern lender issue. Stern was always going to be looking for a new lender this year, so we will see how that works out. I wouldn't take it as a sign that there is no alternative plan (my guess would be that there is, though I do not know), but the outside option would be preferential.
I think the Harvard "we have scholarships" shout is the one of the biggest red herrings ever.
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