Microsoft Teams With Servus Financial to Build Awareness Of Information Technology (IT) Career Loans

Microsoft Teams With Servus Financial to Build Awareness Of Information Technology (IT) Career Loans

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 23, 1998 — In the 10 days since a new educational loan program was launched to assist those seeking careers in the information technology industry, more than 30,000 people have accessed the loan Web site, and more than 1,700 visitors applied for loans. Microsoft engaged Servus Financial Corp. to develop the Microsoft Skills 2000 IT Career Loan, a low-rate, competitive loan program based on feedback from IT students that it was difficult and costly to access funding for technical training. The new Skills 2000 IT Career Loan, financed and administered by Servus Financial, offers one easy step to apply and access funding for training at Microsoft® Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs) and Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP) institutions.

“The overwhelming response to the loan offering in just 10 working days is amazing,” said Nancy Lewis, general manager of worldwide training and certification at Microsoft. “We knew that access to funding was an obstacle for people to get technical training, but we had no idea the demand would be so high. We expect this offering to extend the reach of training and, in turn, fuel the industry with the skilled professionals it demands.”

The loans were originally introduced via the Microsoft Skills 2000 Web site, & SubSite=itcrresource.htm , which includes online loan information and applications. Individuals can also call Servus Financial Corp. at (888) 895-5626 (LOAN) for a five minute, no obligation loan preapproval. Microsoft will build awareness of the loan program through advertising, marketing, promotions and events, as well as providing students with loan information at 1,200 ATEC and AATP locations nationwide.

“Microsoft helped us create a package of loans that meet the requirements of individuals interested in IT training to develop or enhance the technical skills they need for a career in the IT industry,” said Douglas Dolton, president and CEO of Servus Financial Corp. “A low competitive rate and easy access were key factors, and we’re pleased we could create a loan program that met both criteria.”

Skills 2000 IT Career Loans are available in the United States to students who meet loan requirements and are enrolled in Microsoft technical training courses at Microsoft ATECs and AATP institutions. It is projected that more than 600,000 students will be trained through ATEC and AATP institutions in the United States by the end of 1998, with many students paying for their own technical training (rather than receiving employer funding). According to a report by Gartner Group, in 1997 41 percent of students funded their own technical training, up 11 percent since 1994.

Students can apply for loans to finance Microsoft technical training-related expenses, including course tuition, living expenses and computer equipment costs. Loans are also available to refinance existing education debt and finance new expenses associated with Microsoft technical education. Qualified applicants can choose from several loan offerings that best meet their training needs. The IT Career Loan includes a low introductory interest rate as low as 7.9 percent*. Loans available include the following:

  • Technical Training Tuition Loan. Finances the cost of Microsoft technical training courses including tuition, fees and associated course materials.

  • Consolidation Loan. Consolidates previous education, current cost of living, and current technical education and training expenses.

  • Computer Loan. Provides loans for the purchase of computers and peripherals.

Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers are independent technical training companies that provide students with a variety of training options including instructor-led, online and self-study. There are currently 900 ATECs in North America.

Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program institutions are approved high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and four-year colleges that receive tools and resources from Microsoft to facilitate delivery of courseware that prepares students for certification on Microsoft technology. There are nearly 600 AATP institutions in the United States.

Technical training at ATECs and AATP locations prepares students to become Microsoft Certified Professionals. Certification is achieved by passing one or more performance-based exams that measure the ability to apply skills and knowledge to real-world problems. Microsoft has awarded certifications to more than 189,000 individuals since the Microsoft Certified Professional program’s inception in 1992.

More Information

For information or to apply for a Microsoft Skills 2000 IT Career Loan, call Servus Financial Corp. at (888) 895-5626 (LOAN) or access the loan application online at & SubSite=itcrresource.htm . For a directory of independent training providers, view the Microsoft Training and Certification Web site at .

The Microsoft Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program is a private credit-based loan program financed and administered by Servus Financial Corp. Servus Financial, incorporated in

1993, is headquartered in Herndon, Va., and has regional sales offices in 13 states across the country. Servus is a leading provider of private credit education loans.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

*Rates subject to change. *Rates subject to change. The IT Career Loan Program is a private credit-based loan program financed and administered by Servus Financial Corp. Microsoft is not participating as a lender or creditor in this program.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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