Changing Lives Since 2001
“Today’s world is competitive, more than it’s ever been. I believe men and women need to get a type of education which will enable them to meet the exigencies [urgent needs] of life. … Men and women need to be prepared for a vastly broader scope than we’ve ever had before. … [The Perpetual Education Fund] is a fund that will go far into the future.”
– Thomas S. Monson
The Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) was first announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley and has been established to provide worthy young adults with the support and resources necessary to improve their lives through education and better employment. The PEF embraces eternal principles, including the importance of education, integrity, hard work, and self-reliance. It also encourages members to become “one”, as all are invited to give of their means to build the fund so an ever-increasing number of youth may be served. The mission of PEF is to provide educational opportunity (not welfare support) to members living in areas with widespread poverty, enabling and empowering them to lift themselves and establish their future lives on the foundation of self-reliance that can come from training in marketable skills. This program reflects the values and stated aims of the Church around the importance of education and the duty to help and assist the poor. The PEF provides loans to members of the Church seeking additional education, mainly through vocational school and technical training, in addition to opportunities for university education.
Potential loan recipients first complete a short training program on personal finance, budgeting and career planning and work with a loan administrator to select viable vocational and educational options for their particular region. Recipients are encouraged to work, if possible, during their schooling to provide for their own living expenses. Loans for tuition and fees are paid directly by the fund to the educational institution, further reducing the potential for mismanagement. During the course of the loan, recipients make small, manageable payments and participate in regular progress reviews. PEF loans average about $800 and the average training program of a Perpetual Education Fund loan recipient lasts 2.6 years. More substantial payments on the loan begin 90 days after graduation and the loans are usually scheduled to be paid off, with a modest 3-4% interest, over the course of 2–6 years. Recipients are also encouraged to make further contributions to the fund as their circumstances allow. Loan repayments and subsequent donations are channeled back into the fund corpus, making it a truly “perpetual” resource.
The Church as made similar efforts in the past to provide for the temporal needs of our members. The PEF is modeled after the Perpetual Emigration Fund which provided loans to more than 40,000 Saints coming from all parts of the world looking to settle in the Salt Lake Valley but lacked the necessary funds to do so.
Anyone may donate to the Perpetual Education Fund, regardless of affliation with the Church. All donations go directly toward the loans.
“They will become leaders in this great work in their native lands. They will pay their tithes and offerings, which will make it possible for the Church to expand its work across the world.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley
“The Perpetual Education Fund … breaks the cycle of poverty for our members in many areas of the world and provides skills and training which qualify young men and young women for gainful employment. This inspired plan has kindled the light of hope in the eyes of those who felt doomed to mediocrity but who now have an opportunity for a brighter future.”
– Thomas S. Monson
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