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Rebekah Assembly of MA

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The Rebekah Assembly of Massachusetts Independent Order of Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship application is now available in Guidance.

Deadline is March 15th, 2018

Scholarships and Loans

The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of Massachusetts sponsor many scholarships to deserving students of Massachusetts in amounts exceeding $20,000 annually. Each lodge individually coordinates and sponsors the scholarships available. The Educational Foundation of IOOF provides thousands of dollars in loans to deserving members and relatives of members for higher education.

Since its creation in 1927, the Education Foundation of the IOOF has made it possible for over 3500 young people to receive loans amounting to more than $6,500,000. The Educational Foundation is the oldest project of the Sovereign Grand Lodge and continues to assist Odd Fellows and their relatives with loans for higher education.

  • History of the Foundation
  • How is the fund administered?
  • Where does the money come from?
  • Who is eligible to receive a loan?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What is the interest rate and how are the loans repaid?
  • Terms of Repayment
  • What security is required?
  • What responsibility for the lodges affiliated with the student have?
  • How do you obtain an application for a student loan?


History of the Foundation

The Educational Foundation was the dream of Flora Sheets, Past President of the Rebekah Assembly of Illinois. She was raised in the Childrens’ 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 woman 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 himself.


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, three members of The Sovereign Grand Lodge appointed by the Sovereign Grand Master, and three members of the IARA 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 the 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. 

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 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:

Freshman year $2,000
Sophomore year $2,500
Junior year $2,500
Senior year $3,000


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 or 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 is it 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.

3 months after graduation or leaving school No Payments
9 months after graduation or leaving school $35/month plus interest
Second year after graduation or leaving school $50/month plus interest
Third year after graduation or leaving and until loan is paid in full $75/month plus interest


The borrower may pay larger amounts on the principle or pay the loan in full at any time without penalty.


What security is required?

The Educational Foundation is a Trust Fund and must be fully protected so the fund is available for succeeding generations.

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 than 1%.

What responsibility do the lodges affiliated with the student have?

The Lodges are not in any way responsible financially or liable for the loans.

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.

How do you obtain an application for a student loan?

Detailed information or an application can be obtained by mailing this form, completed only by the applicant, to the address below or writing to:

R. Kenneth Babb
Executive Director
Educational Foundation, IOOF
P.O. Box 20455
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

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Rebekah Assembly of MA