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 Jewish Family & Children’s Service. 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 about 200 area Jewish students, and the deadline is approaching for students wishing to apply to CSLRS for the 2016-2017 school year. Online applications are available at and are due by February 11th.  First-time applicants must be interviewed by CSLRS staff.


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 CSLRSwebsite to learn more and access the online application before the February 11th deadline. Through CSLRS, students have access to numerous community scholarships, which provide the means to pursue and continue higher education.


In addition, many CSLRS applicants are also eligible for loan assistance from 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. Families can save thousands of dollars in interest if parents and/or students can make moderate monthly payments on the interest-free loans while the student is in school. HFL 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 money in the long run.


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 or by phone, 412-422-8868 or visit
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