The Interest-Free Loan Program
Providing interest-free loans for postsecondary education to students on the basis of financial need has been the core function of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis since its creation over 100 years ago.
Each academic year, the Foundation provides approximately 500 students from the St. Louis metropolitan region with interest-free, fee-free loans for higher education. Qualifying recipients receive renewable loans of up to $11,000, depending on their specific financial needs.
Interest-free loans are available to students attending accredited, nonprofit postsecondary institutions. All fields of study, with the exception of the ministry, are eligible. Some funds within the Interest-Free Loan Program are earmarked for specific fields of study such as the Deedee Becker Loan Fund for nursing students. Others, called Designated Scholar Loans, are named for specific donors or honorees and include the possibility of personal contact between donors and recipients. In 2011, the James C. Bates & Alison Bates Charitable Lead Annuity Trust began providing substantial support to students through the Interest-Free Loan Program. Over the last five years, students have received nearly $22 million in interest-free loans and grants for postsecondary education from The Scholarship Foundation.
The Scholarship Foundation partners with community organizations, foundations, and corporations to aid students seeking college degrees with scholarships and grants. These are renewable awards that do not have to be repaid. Students are selected based on criteria specified by the donor, such as field of study, place of residence, participation in a specific youth program, and/or college the student is attending. Students can apply directly for many of these opportunities. To learn more about the Foundation’s grant programs, please click any of the links below to access Scholarship Central or attend one of our info sessions:
The Scholarship Foundation also selects students who have overcome great personal adversity to achieve their educational goals for Bravo Grants to honor their perseverance. Many Bravo Grants are sponsored by the Foundation’s generous donors, such as the Jefferson Foundation, the Saigh Foundation, and other individuals and organizations.
All grants are awarded within the policies for eligibility and selection set by the board of directors of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. For more information about eligibility or how to apply to our Financial Aid programs, please explore the other pages under this section of the website or contact us.
COVID-19 Emergency Assistance
If you are a student experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of our Student Advising Team are available to listen, make recommendations, and assist in identifying resources that may be available. Limited funds may be available to current Scholarship Foundation students for critical needs such as food, housing, utilities, transportation, and other basic needs. Please contact our student advisors to learn more.