What is the Educational Foundation and What is its
The Educational Foundation
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows began its operation on September
20, 1927. The purpose of the Foundation is to operate a revolving loan
fund for students dependent in part, or wholly, on their own efforts for
an education. It is supported by donations to a trust fund and no part
of the trust fund can be used for operating expenses. Only interest from
Student Loans and investments can be used for operating costs. Since its
beginning, donations of approximately $2,750,000 have made it possible
for over 3500 young people to receive loans amounting to more than
$6,500,000. Continued perpetuation of this fund depends solely upon
contributions from our membership and prompt repayment by recipients of
How is the Fund Administered?
The Educational Foundation is administered by a Board
of nine Trustees, including the Sovereign Grand Master, Deputy Sovereign
Grand Master and President of the International Association of Rebekah
Assemblies (I.A.R.A.), three members of the Sovereign Grand Lodge
appointed by the Sovereign Grand Master, and three members of the
I.A.R.A. appointed by the President. Each appointment shall be for a
term of three years, except to fill a vacancy when it shall be for the
unexpired term, and must be approved by the Sovereign Grand Lodge. When
appointments are made and approved, the Board is vested with authority
to function and discharge its duties.
Where does the money come from?
The money comprising the Revolving Loan Fund has been
contributed by Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges, individual members,
Patriarchs Militant and Encampment Units of the Order. We have been able
to loan approximately two and one-half more than contributions because
as the loans are repaid by the students, the money is available to loan
again. All contributions to the Educational Foundation are placed in a
Trust Fund and used only for Student Loans. All Canadian contributions
are deposited in a Trust Fund Account in Canada and used only for
Who is eligible to receive a loan?
Because available funds for student loans are low at
the present time, it is required that applicants have a relative who is
an active member of an Odd Fellow or Rebekah Lodge. A young person
desiring a loan must write personally to the Executive Director for an
application, stating age and school classification. A maximum of $10,000
can be borrowed for a complete course of four years or more. The maximum
is $3,000 for one year of study. All applicants must be attending school
halftime or more to be eligible. The method of lending is as follows:
Once a loan
is approved, the Foundation must maintain a reserve sufficient
to fulfill the loan obligations.
What are the requirements?
Loans are made for study in an recognized trade school,
after completion of high school, for any course offering immediate
opportunity for employment, such as a Business College, Beauty Culture
Schools, Barber Schools, etc.
Two of Four year college students must establish one
grading period with at least a "C" average in an accredited college or
university before receiving loans.
What is the interest rate and How are the loans repaid?
The interest rate is 5%. Interest
begins the day the check is mailed from the office to the student.
Interest is paid each year while the student is in school. Interest
payments shall be paid by July 1st each year until the borrower has
graduated or discontinued school.
Terms of Repayment
Repayment of loans must begin three
months after the borrower has graduated or discontinued school. The
borrower may pay larger amounts on the
principal or pay the loan in full at any
time without penalty.
|3 months after graduation or leaving school
|9 months after graduation or leaving school
per month plus interest
|Second year after graduation or leaving school
per month plus interest
|Third year after graduation or leaving and until
loan is paid in full
per month plus interest
What security is required?
The Educational Foundation is a Trust
Fund and must be fully protected so the fund is available for succeeding
To fully protect the Trust Fund in the
event the borrower should fail to make payments when due or default in
any manner under the terms of the promissory notes, financially
responsible co-signers are required. Co-signers must be under 65 years
of age and property owners.
Sometimes it is necessary to look to
the co-signers for repayment which they sign as co-makers when they
execute the notes. The co-signers for most applicants are the parents.
Since the beginning of the Foundation, loss from unpaid loans is less
What responsibility do the lodges affiliated with the Student have?
The lodges are not in any way
responsible financially or liable for the loan.
The Foundation sends a reference form
to the Lodge to verify the membership of the student's relative
designated on the loan application. We ask several questions concerning
the applicant's character and dependability. Should any difficulty arise
over the repayment of the loan, we sometimes ask someone from the Lodge
to help us locate the borrower or co-signers if they have moved without
notifying the Foundation.
Brief History of the Educational Foundation, I.O.O.F.
It is the oldest project of the
Sovereign Grand Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been
adopted at its session in Hot Springs, Arkansas on September 20, 1927.
The Educational Foundation was the
dream of Flora Sheets, Past President of the Rebekah Assembly of
Illinois. She was raised in the Children's Home of Illinois and for many
years was the Editor and Publisher of the International Rebekah
Fraternal Paper. It was her feeling that the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs
could put into practice the principles of our Order by providing funds
to assist worthy young people to receive a higher education.
In the beginning, loans were provided
only to sons and daughters of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. In later years,
when funds were ample, loans were made available to any worthy young man
or women asking for financial assistance. Because of increased loan
requests, available funds became low and once again since 1977,
applicants are required to have order affiliation. This can be any
relative of the applicant or the applicant them self.
What has the Educational Foundation Accomplished?
It is difficult in a material way to
measure what we have accomplished with the Educational Foundation since
its beginning in 1927. We do know that we have provided funds to make it
possible for students from all walks of life to receive a higher
From inspiration to reality, from an
infant to a revered senior citizen, the Educational Foundation has made
it possible for young men and women to find their place in life working
in all types of professional, business and trade fields. The many
letters of appreciation from students gives the Order a feeling of
satisfaction to know that the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are providing
badly needed financial assistance to worthy students. With your
contributions, you can help them gain knowledge and watch them grow.
Learning is a lifetime process.
How do you obtain an application for a student loan?
Detailed information or an application
can be obtained by contacting a
Lodge in your area, or by emailing the
Secretary or by writing to:
R. Kenneth Babb
Educational Foundation, I.O.O.F.
P.O. Box 20455
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27120