Building Economic Equity and Helping Students Find their Way

For 100 years, The Scholarship Foundation has been reaching out to help young people pursue their dream of an education that opens opportunities.

 

External Influences

  • 1862

    The Morrill Act of 1862 strengthened the budding network of state universities by granting public lands (or the equivalent in scrip) to every state for “the endowment…and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be…to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts… in order to promote the…education of the industrial classes.”

  • 1890

    The Second Morrill Act of 1890 provided additional annual grants to other fields of practical instruction.

  • 1900s

    Children often worked to help support their families, foregoing an education. It was common for children, some as young as 4, to work in factories, fields, and tenement sweatshops. In 1910, children under the age of 15 made up 18.4 percent of the nation’s workforce. Child labor laws were passed by state and federal governments forbidding employment of children and teenagers under 16, except at certain specified jobs such as family farms, if owned by child’s parent or legal guardian.

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  • 1935

    The Social Security Act was created by President Franklin Roosevelt to help stimulate the economy and lower unemployment rates. It was a federal safety net for elderly and disadvantaged Americans.

  • 1930-1937

    The next major expansion in federal programs came during the Great Depression, when federal outlays rose from $21 million in 1930 to $43 million in 1936. This represented an increase of from 4 to 9 percent of institutions’ total annual income. In 1937, federal aid to students reached its peak during this era, when 139,000 students (11% of all students) received an average of $12 per month for undergraduates and $20 per month for graduate students as part of the National Youth Administration’s work-study program.

  • 1938

    Fair Labor Standards Act. It took many years for the United States to outlaw child labor. This law also gave workers the rights to a minimum wage and time-and-a-half overtime pay for employees who worked more than 40 hours per week.

  • 1941-1944

    Federal support for higher education expanded greatly during World War II, increasing to over $300 million in 1944. The bulk of this expansion was due to research spending in support of the war effort, though colleges and universities also supported the military by providing training courses to over 315,000 army and navy trainees.

  • 1944

    The GI Bill was a new law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. It made available to returning veterans low-interest mortgages and granted stipends covering tuition and expenses to attend college or trade schools. Due to discriminatory implementation at state and institutional levels, almost all who benefited from both housing and education were White.

Scholarship Foundation

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    Meta Bettman organized a group of community-minded women as a committee of the St. Louis section of the National Council of Jewish Women to address the needs of immigrant families who came to the United States without marketable skills. These forward-thinking women encouraged their friends to donate to an interest-free loan fund to assist Jewish girls, without economic means, to attend college. The first loan for $15 was made to a young Jewish immigrant girl to attend business college. And we need a bit more text more text more text more text more text more text more text more text more text

  • 1920

    Meta Bettman organized a group of community-minded women as a committee of the St. Louis section of the National Council of Jewish Women to address the needs of immigrant families who came to the United States without marketable skills. These forward-thinking women encouraged their friends to donate to an interest-free loan fund to assist Jewish girls, without economic means, to attend college. The first loan for $15 was made to a young Jewish immigrant girl to attend business college.

  • 1926

    A total of 18 students had received loans or scholarships from the committee since its founding. From its beginning the Foundation was built on the concept of personal responsibility, providing interest-free loans to students with significant financial need. Careful student selection and compassionate management characterized the program.

  • 1929

    Incorporated as the St. Louis Jewish Scholarship Foundation and began funding Jewish boys as well as girls.

  • 1935

    Nearly $48,000 had been awarded to 135 Jewish students with financial need since 1920.

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  • 1937

    From its inception the Foundation assisted low-income students not only through loans and grants, but also providing guidance and advice. Founder, Meta Bettman, wrote, “Our selection of students was made by most careful vocational guidance and aptitude tests. Not only was this most important to our selected students, but also of great assistance to those we are unable to help.”

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  • 1941-1945

    During the war years, the St. Louis Jewish Scholarship Foundation served fewer students, but continued to grant interest-free loans to students with need.

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  • 1948

    Post-World War II, because of increased tuition costs, medical students and then also social workers were given half loan, half gift grants for each year. Students pursuing four years of undergraduate education were offered a gift for their fourth year. African American nursing students were awarded funding, the first non-Jewish students awarded.