In 2021, JELF assisted a total of 398 students with $1,845,851 in interest-free loans.
Of this total, 8 Jewish students from Richmond were provided $40,594 toward their educational journey.
Applications for JELF’s interest-free loans for higher education (college, graduate school, and vocational programs) for the 2022-23 academic year will open to Jewish students beginning Jan. 3 through April 30.
JELF, in partnership with the Richmond Jewish Family Services and Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, helps Jewish students reach their academic goals.
To qualify, an applicant must be:
- A permanent resident of FL, GA, SC, NC, and VA (excluding metro DC) but can attend any U.S. accredited school
- Enrolled full-time in a program leading to a degree or certificate
- In good academic standing
- A U.S. citizen, or have lawful immigration status
- Able to provide a designated co-signer
- Planning to accept federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans (2021 FAFSA application required)
JELF loans are designed to help cover costs associated with the educational and living expenses that other financial aid often does not cover, such as travel, rent, food and books. JELF’s 0% interest loans help save borrowers thousands of dollars in high interest-bearing debt each year.
With 45 million Americans in some form of outstanding interest-bearing student loan debt, this savings is a significant benefit to the Jewish students that JELF serves annually.
The strength of the longstanding “free loan” model is based of funds lent to those in need, and then paid back to serve the next student – and so on. As funds are recycled indefinitely, the organization’s sustainability allows it to always help future students in need. In addition, hundreds of former JELF recipients continue donating to JELF each year after completing their repayment.
“This is the only type of organization I know of that when I write a check I know exactly where it’s going, and it keeps going. My dollars never die,” says Stan Lowenstein, former Board Chair and long-time JELF volunteer.
There are many organizations that provide interest-free loans, but JELF is distinct in that it is the only Jewish organization in the U.S. focused solely on higher education.
JELF provides interest-free last dollar loans for higher education to Jewish students in need bridging the gap between a student’s total financial resources and the cost of attending school. Since 1961, JELF has provided over $14+ million to 5,000+ students from JELF’s 5-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia (excluding metro DC).
JELF is proud to boast a 99% repayment rate and strongly believes that money should not stand between a student and the education that they need to excel in life. JELF’s board and professional team are actively working to support students and their families by attracting the financial resources JELF needs to meet the ever-increasing demand for loans.
For more information, please visit jelf.org.