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Now THIS is how to exploit a great business opportunity.

By Ben Feuer

For those of you who have been following this blog for awhile, or reading our book, or working with me personally on applications, or really doing anything at all with me, you know that I am a stickler for having a strong, unique and useful professional goal to go with every application.  Why do I always come back to this point?  Because it is the first, and arguably the most important, thing you do when you attend a business school.  You pursue your professional goals.

So where are we to find these goals?  Simple.  We look for the intersection of opportunity and expertise.  To have a great goal, you need two things -- an underserved group or an inefficiency in the marketplace, and a person (you) with an idea about how to make it better or do it better.

We all know the student loan market is completely bananas.  We all know that tuition is too high.  But most of us don't know WHY.  There are several reasons, but the main reason is extraordinarily simple.  It's a mismatch of supply and demand.  Easy access to student loans has driven 4-year-college attendance through the roof, but not all colleges and majors are equally adept at job placement -- an engineer from Stanford does not have the same job opportunities as a University of Phoenix graduate in Communications.  But the federal loans are deliberately blind to these distinctions.

Enter So-Fi.  This company, created by Stanford graduates, is offering to refinance Stanford loans at a very low rate.  You see, Stanford students default at very low percentages (2% or so) vs the national average (14% or so), so they ought to have less risky loan pricing.  Plus, of course, it puts So-Fi in the very appealing position of having done a financial favor for a bunch of future industry titans, and it's a sustainable business model going forward -- there will always be another incoming class!

So if you're banging your head against the wall trying to come up with a goal, remember this blog.  An opportunity and an inventive way to bypass the problem is all you need.


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