Community resources available for Jewish students pursuing higher education

In today’s tough economic times, we know that every dollar toward a higher education counts. That’s why we are committed to helping our community’s Jewish students pursue higher learning opportunities with less financial strain through Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service (CSLRS), a need-based scholarship program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh administered by JF&CS. CSLRS coordinates the efforts of a group of organizations, agencies and scholarship endowment funds to provide scholarships to local Jewish students enrolled in accredited institutions of higher education.

As many students and their families know all too well, funding for higher education can be difficult to come by and can hinder feelings of excitement and anticipation. A scholarship, no matter the amount, can make all the difference for a young adult pursuing higher education.

Last year, CSLRS awarded approximately $400,000 in scholarships to more than 200 area Jewish students, and the deadline is approaching for students wishing to apply to CSLRS for the 2015-2016 school year. Online applications are available at and are due by February 11th. First-time applicants must be interviewed by CSLRS staff.

Through CSLRS, students have access to numerous community scholarships, which provide the means to pursue and continue higher education. Any Jewish high school senior or students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or technical school with demonstrated financial need and living in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties can apply and are encouraged to visit the CSLRS website to learn more and access the online application before the February 11th deadline.

In addition, many CSLRS applicants are also eligible for loan assistance through the Hebrew Free Loan Association (HFL).

HFL offers interest-free loans, up to $10,000 toward tuition costs for residents of Allegheny County, and families can apply for loans year after year up to a total of $30,000. The difference between HFL loans and other tuition loans is that HFL does not defer payment until after graduation. Through this arrangement, families can save thousands of dollars in interest if parents and/or students can make moderate monthly payments on the loans while the student is in school. HLF offers a simple application process and everything is confidential.

By using both CSLRS and HFL as resources, families can be financially savvy about how they approach tuition costs and save themselves a lot of money in the long run

“At HFL, we are happy when students who are also applying with CSLRS come to us for additional funding for their higher education,” said Aviva Lubowsky, Director of Client and Community Relations at Hebrew Free Loan Association and CSLRS committee member. “And vice versa, speaking as a CSLRS committee member, we also like to see that an applicant has pursued and accessed other community supports and resources.”

CSLRS and HFL represent an outstanding example of how the Pittsburgh region’s Jewish community has come together to create opportunities for our children’s futures.

For questions or additional information about eligibility requirements, please visit or contact Alayne Lowenberger, JF&CS scholarship program director, at 412-422-7200. For questions or additional information about assistance through the Hebrew Free Loan Association, contact Aviva Lubowsky by email at or by phone, 412-422-8868 or visit

This entry was posted in Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service, Jewish Family & Children's Service, JF&CS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s