John Jakob Raskob, most famous for building the Empire State Building, and his wife Helena, created the Bill Raskob Foundation in memory of their son Bill in 1928. Williams Frederich Roskob 11 was a 20 year old Yale student when he died in an auto accident. The Bill Raskob Foundations main purpose today is in assisting students with financial need to pay for the cost of attending college by supplying interest free loans. These are revolving loans which mean that as graduates start to repay their loans their payments fund more loans for other students.
Applicants for loans have not only a legal duty to repay them, but a moral one, as their payments are helping to assist others. Although the family is a Catholic one, loans are available to all U.S. citizens attending an accredited college who can meet the Foundations criteria.
Interest free loans are not available to first year students, only to those already attending college who can demonstrate that they have exhausted other options from their school and local community. Students are advised to apply for federal grants and loans, as well as other funding sources, and this will be considered as an indication of the applicant’s commitment and sense of responsibility.
The minimum interest free loan amount is $1000, but most loans average from $3000 – $6000, and can be reapplied for each academic year. Except in the case of medical students who have a 12 month grace period after graduation to begin repaying their loans, all other loans have a 6 month grace period after graduation. Students should be aware that there are no deferment options available under any circumstances.
Students may download application forms for the interest free loans between 1/1 and 4/30, and applications must be submitted no later than 5/15. Those who fail to supply all the requested information will be automatically rejected. Depending on where the student lives there may be an interview requested.
The application requires the student to provide personal and financial information, an essay for the first application only, financial award letters, character references, and at least one letter of recommendation. Applicants will be considered on the basis of need but should also demonstrate character, and the ability to assume responsibility and self reliance.
When applying for a loan, students must specify a specific amount they would like to borrow, but this will not necessarily be the amount which is loaned. Students need to provide details of all their debt to date acquired through student financing, with interest rates detailed, and projected levels of debt upon graduation. If a loan is awarded then the check will be sent directly to the student rather than the college, and in return the student must sign a promissory note to repay the loan.
Successful applicants will receive an interest free loan which will likely be renewed in the other years of college, thus representing a huge saving in interest payments and the opportunity to graduate with far less student loan debt than the norm. The Bill Raskob Foundation is well worth first year students investigating, in anticipation of their second year of studies, as an excellent chance to reduce their overall student debt burden.
Source: billraskob org.