/SPECIAL FOR THE AJT/

As of this March, applications for interest-free loans for post-secondary education (college, graduate school and vocational programs) will be available for the 2014-2015 school year from the Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF).

The application will be open to Jewish students in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia (excluding metro D.C.), located on JELF’s website at www.jelf.org from March 1 until April 30.

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 located in the United States, be a U.S. citizen or have lawful immigration status in the U.S., and be able to demonstrate financial need (FAFSA application required).

JELF awarded more than $852,000 in interest-free loans for the 2013- 2014 school year, including $269,814 to metro Atlanta students.

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. While JELF currently administers over $4 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.

A loan recipient recently expressed to JELF, “Thank you so much for your kindness in helping make it possible for me to work towards achieving the career goals to which I’ve long aspired.”

For additional information, contact JELF at application@jelf.org, (770) 396- 3080 or visit www.jelf.org.