The Student Aid Foundation is dedicated to promoting higher education of women through low cost loans.
In 1908, C.P. Friar of Lavonia, Georgia, wrote to Dr. William H. Allen, educator and President of the Institute of Public Service in New York City, asking for help in securing a small loan to send his 18-year-old daughter, Cora, to school to be trained as a teacher. Mr. Friar had four small children and made $50 a month. At that time, $100 was sufficient to send a girl to the Normal and Industrial College for one year.
In turn, Dr. Allen wrote to Mrs. Frank Woodruff seeking an organization in Georgia which helped young girls obtain higher education. Inspired by the Fulton County Educational and Loan Association, founded in 1892 "to promote the industrial and higher education of women," a group of 15 Atlanta women met to discuss the problems facing Georgia girls who needed financial help to continue their education. The women were: Mrs. E.L. Connally, Mrs. James Jackson, Mrs. Bolling Jones, Mrs. Sam D. Jones, Mrs. M.A. Lipscomb, Mrs. E.G. McCabe, Mrs. Emma Garrett Morris, Mrs. John K. Ottley, Mrs. Robert E. Park, Mrs. W. P. Patillo, Mrs. H.B. Wey, Mrs. High Willett, Mrs. David Woodward, Mrs. Frank Woodruff and Mrs. Robert Zahner.
As many of the founders were active in the Atlanta Women's Club, it was suggested that the project become a part of the educational program of Georgia's Federation of Women's Clubs. This was the first of such foundations to be sponsored by a State Federation of Women's Clubs, and its purpose and methods served as a pattern for many similar organizations in club work throughout America. (In 1950, the official relationship between the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs and the Student Aid Foundation was discontinued.)
Each of the 15 women pledged $10 and agreed to recruit others interested in giving. The Student Aid Foundation began with a nucleus of $226 from annual pledges with a goal of raising $5,000 as quickly as possible "to help the earnest, honest, industrious girl." In 1908, the Foundation established a student aid committee. The committee made its first loan of $35 in the same year. By 1913, the committee realized that it needed working capital of $10,000. In the same year, a charter was secured, and the committee was incorporated as the Student Aid Foundation with its own self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.
By 1923, the Student Aid Foundation had helped 251 girls from 145 towns in Georgia. By 1933, 501 loans had been made totaling nearly $89,000. By 1958, 1,286 loans amounting to more than $350,000 had been granted.
Revolving Loan Funds
The revolving loan funds of SAF have been derived from the substantial gifts of its founders, contributions from those specially interested in education, from memorial gifts, and from interest on outstanding loans and investments. Agnes Raoul Glenn, who was foremost in bringing the idea of the Parent Teacher Association to Atlanta, began contributing to the Student Aid Foundation in 1910. After her death in 1914, a memorial fund was established in her name. The Glenn family continues to support the Student Aid Foundation to this day.
Founders Memorial Fund
The Founders Memorial Fund was established on the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Student Aid Committee by Mrs. John Spalding to honor the 15 women who created it. "Life Memberships in Student Aid" were offered at a cost of $10 or more with the goal of raising $5,000.