The Scholarship Foundation

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Student Loans and Grants

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 more than 95 years ago.

Each academic year, the Foundation provides approximately 600 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, non-profit 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. In 2016, over 500 students received $4.1 million in interest-free loans and grants for postsecondary education from The Scholarship Foundation.

The Emergency Loan Program

IF FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE, the Emergency Loan Program can provide quick response assistance to individuals who have experienced an unexpected setback that could cause them to abandon their plans for higher education. The Emergency Loan Program helps meet unforeseen educational expenses that can result from the sudden loss of employment; after death, injury, or illness in a family; or because of unanticipated increases in school costs. Interest-free loans awarded through the Emergency Loan Program may be renewed in subsequent years.

The Bravo Grant Program

Each year, The Scholarship Foundation selects a small percentage of interest-free loan recipients to receive grants, which are funds that do not have to be repaid. Renewable annually, Bravo Grants generally recognize individuals who have overcome great personal adversity to achieve their educational goals, and they often are the first in their families to attend college. Even after assembling financial aid packages from several different sources, they still fall short of being able to meet their educational expenses. Bravo Grants can make up the difference.

Responding to significantly increased financial need, The Scholarship Foundation awarded nearly $800,000 in grants to more than 189 students in 2015.

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.