Students from poorer families in America could find it easier to access higher education thanks to a new funding initiative devised by MBA student Scott Patterson, based at the University of Oxford's Said Business School. Until now, families have had to borrow from traditional lenders to fund the gap between federal student support and the cost of college in America. The shortfall can be as much as $106,000 (£60,000) for a student at an Ivy League university. Mr Patterson's venture, Student Choice, provides student loans through credit unions. The project is already fully subscribed for the autumn term, and it has approved $60 million in credit to American students. "Our goal is to make credit unions a significant force in the student loan market in the next ten years," said Mr Patterson. "By the end of next year we will have helped thousands of students afford a quality education and aim to have a $1 billion portfolio of student loans within a few years."