PHILADELPHIA (4/10/09)--The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass., announced a custom loan program to help international students receive funds for school. The loans will cover tuition and living costs at Wharton and will be available to first-year international students for their second year of study. The loans carry no origination fees. Digital FCU developed the program for Wharton’s international MBA students with Credit Union Student Choice, a credit-union owned organization that offers school-certified private student lending solutions to credit unions nationwide. The credit union has a “unique business model that makes it suited to meet the private loan needs of international students,” said James Regan, DCU president/CEO. About 40% of Wharton’s MBA students are international, and the school has 84,000 alumni in 139 countries. The global economic crisis has hurt many financial institutions who traditionally offered private student loans, according to Anjani Jain, vice dean of Wharton’s Graduate Division. News Now reported Jan. 26 that CitiAssist and Sallie Mae international student loan programs had been pulled because of the economic crisis. The article noted that MIT FCU, Cambridge, Mass., started a loan program with Credit Union Student Choice to help students pay for school. Digital FCU has $4 billion in assets.