Posts Tagged ‘college’

Helping Michigan’s Jewish Students Achieve Their Dreams: The William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program and Hebrew Free Loan Are Here to Help

February 3rd, 2015

Every day, it seems there is a news story about college loans and the financial burden they create. Recently, President Barack Obama announced his intention of making junior college free for qualifying students. The issue of crippling student debt is something that follows so many and creates long-term financial issues for many people — well into middle age.


The student debt for the population in the United States is estimated to be more than $1 trillion, according to Forbes and the average college graduate leaves university with more than $20,000 in loans.


Education is the key to so many things, including a better job, health insurance and home ownership. Yet the cost of education is putting a burden on many young adults.


To that end, the William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program (WDJCLP)  is here to help qualifying Jewish students with interest-free loans. Hebrew Free Loan , with their partners, is here to reach Jewish students and help them achieve their dreams. The student loan program provides the “last dollars in” (i.e. HFL Detroit comes in after the student has completed financial aid options through the college of choice) to assist a student.


A WDJCLP loan can often make the difference between just getting by at school and enjoying the totality of a college educational experience.


The program is also a win-win for the State of Michigan. Although there are exceptions, an individual must attend a Michigan college or university, thereby keeping dollars and talent in our state.


The loans are interest free and with the majority of today’s students graduating with interest accruing loans, the WDJCLP loan will provide a welcome reprieve from these high interest rates. Additionally, repayment of these loans begins six months after school ends and allows for long-term repayment on a sliding scale.


I am hopeful that the number of loans we grant this year will exceed last year’s numbers. I am hopeful that word will continue to spread that these “last in” dollars are available for any Jewish Michigan student needing assistance in combination with government and institutional aid, as appropriate.


We were able to assist about 200 students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in 2014. This totaled $1.5 million in interest free loans!

The William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program allows Hebrew Free Loan the opportunity to expand our reach throughout the state as well as the Jewish community. The ability to relieve some of the burden education places on families is a blessing and a mitzvah.


After all, the Talmud says “he who adds not to his learning, diminishes it.”


Hebrew Free Loan Detroit William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program quote


This blog was written by Harriet Orley, vice president of HFL Detroit’s Board of Directors and chair of the William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program.

5 Ways to Figure Out Which College is Right For You

January 27th, 2015

Going to college is a huge step and figuring out which one is right for you can be overwhelming. There is so much to think about – what are you going to choose for your major? What kind of school do you want to attend? Where do you want to live?


Here are 5 things to think about before making your choice.

1. Understand the College Application Process

Before you begin your journey, be sure that you have a clear understanding of the college application process. Chances are, the process is quite different than when your parents and older siblings applied to school. We love this link from Big Future: The College Board that answers all kinds of questions from “Should you apply early?” to “What is the Common Application?”


2. Visit the Colleges that Interest You

Colleges can look perfect on paper, but it is imperative to visit your top schools to see how each feels. Do you like the location of the college? What do you think of the dorms? Does the class size feel right to you? We like this post at My Majors that helps you focus on the important aspects of your college visit. The post suggests taking pictures and making a list, especially when you like aspects you didn’t expect to like.


3. Think About the Cost

College is an investment and can be costly. Although tuition is a huge part of the bill, room and board along with books and meal plans can add up quickly. Although traditional student loans can be helpful, the interest can be expensive and take a very long time to repay. Consider applying to Hebrew Free Loan’s William Davidson Jewish College Loan Program. We can help qualifying Jewish students who are Michigan residents pay for higher education with an interest-free loan.


4. Figuring Out Your Major

Think about your passion and what lights you up inside! Not sure how that can translate into a degree? Gianna Sen-Gupta has some great tips on how to take your passion and make it into a degree. She talks about taking a good look at your core values: Do you like to help people? Or do you enjoy problem solving? She also recommends talking to advisors and going to a career service center to evaluate your interests. JVS is one of Hebrew Free Loan’s community resource partners, and they can help you define your passion and strengths with their Occupational Resource Center.


5. But Don’t Focus Solely on Your Major, Think About How You Feel at the School

Changing your major is likely at some point. It can also be overwhelming to choose a major before starting college. Her Campus recommends finding a campus that feels comfortable and has a strong program for your major, but also has a rich variety of programs in case you want to change. It’s important to have a focus, but be open to being flexible.


Applying to college is an important life decision with lots of factors to consider. When you make your decision, Hebrew Free Loan Detroit looks forward to helping you secure an interest-free loan to help you achieve your higher education goals.


Hebrew Free Loan - 5 Ways to Figure Out What College is Right for You