Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Gulf Coast Assists Students with Loans

The Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) has awarded more than $724,000 in interest-free loans to Jewish students throughout Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia for the 2012-2013 school year. A record number of applicants came to JELF seeking to fill the gap between the resources they assembled through grants, loans and scholarships and the real cost of their education Using Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services as one of its administrators in Florida, JELF loaned over $16,000 to students in the Gulf Coast area alone, doubling the amount loaned the previous school year. Applications for interest-free loans for post-secondary education (college, graduate school and vocational programs) will be available to Jewish students in the Pinellas/Pasco area for the 2013-2014 school year from the Jewish Educational Loan Fund. . The loan application will be available March 1 – April 30 on JELF’s website at www.jelf.org. JELF loans are need-based and offer “last-dollar” financing, meaning that JELF provides the final dollars that bridge the gap between a student’s total financial resources and the cost of attending school. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a program leading to a degree or certificate at an accredited institution that is located in the United States, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and be able to demonstrate financial need (FAFSA application required). Cindy Minetti, Director of the Harvey Hertz Jewish Family Services Center says “the impact these no-interest loans have on our students is so empowering so they can have enough funds to finish their education”. While JELF currently administers over $3.6 million in outstanding loans, it has maintained its impressive 99 percent repayment rate. As students repay their loans, JELF uses those payments to make new loans, creating a circle of tzedakah. . Another loan recipient, Vincent Giura, George Mason University School of Law JD Candidate, 2015 pictured, has these words of appreciation, “JELF’s need-based interest-free loan program has enabled me the great privilege to continue my education as I pursue my law degree. Through JELF’s assistance, the increasing financial burden of my education will be significantly lightened, allowing me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning. Thank you again JELF for your generosity, hopefully one day I will be able to help students achieve a higher education just as you have helped me.” Gulf Coast JFS also administers the Sidney N. Trockey Educational Loan Fund. This fund provides interest-free loans to Jewish students residing in Pinellas county for college or post-secondary special training. This loan is based on financial need. Applications for the Trockey loans are accepted throughout the year. . For additional information, contact Gail Osnos, Family Support Services Coordinator at gosnos@gcjfcs.org or call 727-479-1806.

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