Applying for a Pierstorf Loan
Application forms will become available online on April 15th of each year, with a deadline for complete application submission of June 30th. Applications collected during this time period will be for loans for the upcoming school year (beginning August or September). Please note that borrowers must apply each year to continue to receive their Pierstorf Loan.
Applications are not considered complete until your Financial Offer letter (freshman) OR statement of student account and re-enrollment proof, Student Essay, Transcript, and Pastor's Endorsement Form (for first-time borrowers) are submitted via our online application.
The applicant and/or one parent or guardian must be active members of a Lutheran church in Ohio. The applicant must be enrolled full time in a four-year undergraduate program at an accredited college or university. Loans are available for only four years of an undergraduate program; they are not available for graduate school students. Seniors in high school are encouraged to apply before their graduation using first semester senior year transcripts.
The loan program began at Dr. Pierstorf's home church, Messiah Lutheran, in Fairview Park. As the Fund has grown through the repayment of loans, the number of designated churches has expanded. We now accept applications from any Lutheran church in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties. More churches in Ohio will be added throughout 2019. The fund is now able to do what was first envisioned: serve more and more young people!
A required part of the application process for first-time borrowers is a Pastor's Endorsement. Using a form we provide, the pastor comments on the applicant's church life. We rely heavily on this recommendation when students first enter our program.
Loan Approval and Repayment Process
The Pierstorf Memorial Fund Loan Committee reviews each application, considering the student's academic record, church participation, college costs, and other pertinent information. When your first loan is approved, the student and parent(s) meet with the committee to discuss the loan and repayment plan, and to sign the promissory note. Future loans for subsequent college years do not require an in-person meeting, but you must apply each year. The distribution is made payable to the student and their college or university. One half of the loan amount is distributed in August and the other half in December.
After graduation, the student is expected to fully repay the loan within five years. These 60 even monthly payments begin six months after graduation or when the student ceases to be enrolled in college. Regardless, payment must begin five years after the first loan is granted. The maximum loan is $3,000 per year. The entire period of the lending years and repayment years are interest-free as long as the payments are made on time. Late payments will trigger the addition of an interest-rate to the loan.