The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization founded in 1920, is based upon the conviction that an educated citizenry is essential to a healthy democracy. The Foundation sees higher education as a catalyst for positive change, a force that can transform the lives of individuals and families and advance the economic and civic health of societies. In pursuit of this vision, The Scholarship Foundation provides access to postsecondary education to members of the community who otherwise would not have the financial means to fulfill their educational goals. The Scholarship Foundation furnishes direct financial support to students for postsecondary education and provides information that students and families need to make financially sound educational choices.
Founded in 1920 as a program for young Jewish St. Louisans, the organization incorporated as the St. Louis Jewish Scholarship Foundation in 1929. In the early 1950s, eligibility for the Foundation’s interest-free, no-fees loan program expanded to include all qualified applicants without regard to religion. African-American students from St. Louis received the first financial awards made to non-Jewish residents. About a decade later the organization became independent and non-sectarian as The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis.
In 2013, nearly 600 students from the St. Louis region received $3.8 million in interest-free loans and grants for postsecondary education through the financial assistance programs. Since its founding almost a century ago, the Foundation has distributed more than $66.5 million in interest-free loans and grants for higher education to more than 10,000 students.
In 2014, the Foundation awarded $800,000 in grants to 155 students.