Educational Grants Committee Annual Reports

The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.

2010 Report 2011 Report 2012 Report 2013 Report 2014 Report
2015 Report 2016 Report  

2016 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Our committee continues to work diligently to make that possible.

We are now in the third year of a program through which we offer grants for college education of up to $2,000 per student per year, with a maximum of $8,000 to be awarded to any one individual. In May of this year, we awarded 8 grants totaling $12,400. Eight eligible applications were received, all worthy. Grants awarded ranged from $800 to $2,000. We encourage BYM to fundraise to increase the Educational Endowment so that greater support is possible.

The committee was particularly struck by the care and attention given to all the applicants by members of their meetings who wrote letters of recommendation. The Educational Grants program is one way in which the Yearly Meeting can foster a continued connection between young adults and Quaker faith and practice.

Our aim remains to provide financial assistance to students for their education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities, and all in a way consistent with Friends’ beliefs and practices.

The Committee still oversees the repayment of student loans made in the past. As of May 31, 2016, repayments on existing loans have been received totaling $26,203. Two loans were paid in full. There are 11 remaining loans with a current balance of $67,338. We are receiving payments on all the remaining loans; no loans have been written off in the last year. We expect two loans to be paid off before the end of calendar year 2016. Five loans will continue past 2020.

For the Educational Loan Committee,

Alexandra Bell (Frederick), Clerk


2015 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Our committee continues to work diligently to make that possible.

We are now in the third year of a program through which we offer grants of up to $2,000 per student per year, with a maximum of $8,000 to be awarded to any one individual. In May of this year, we awarded 7 grants totaling $11,500. Twelve applications were received, and all seemed like worthy students. We wished we had funds available for everyone. We encourage BYM to fundraise to increase the Educational Endowment so that greater support is possible.

The committee was particularly struck by the care and attention given to all the applicants by members of their meetings who wrote letters of recommendation. The Educational Grants program is one way in which the Yearly Meeting can foster a continued connection between young adults and Quaker faith and practice.

Our aim remains to arrive at a program that will continue to provide financial assistance to students for their education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities, and all in a way consistent with Friends’ beliefs and practices.

The Committee is still overseeing the repayment of student loans made in the past. As of May 31, 2015, repayments on existing loans have been received totaling $14,290. There are 13 remaining loans with a current balance of $93,541. All but one loan have been renegotiated at a zero percent interest rate to encourage faster payment of the balance. We are receiving regular payments on most of the loans. Two loans and a small portion of a third, valued at $1,679, were written off in June 2014. Unexpectedly, in April 2015, one of those loans, for $1,243, was paid in full. We have no loans this year that look to be in danger of needing to be written off.

For the Educational Loan Committee,

Alexandra Bell (Bethesda), Clerk

2014 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Our committee continues to work diligently to try to find a way to continue to make that possible.

As of May 31, 2014, repayments on existing loans have been received totaling $36,701. Six loans have been paid in full. We recommended to Trustees that three loans be written off.

The committee has continued to seek a new way forward to continue to provide financial assistance to students for their education, while at the same time clarifying how the remaining loans in our care are to be administered.

We are now in the second year of a program through which we can offer grants of up to $2,000 per student per year with a maximum of $8,000 to be awarded to any one individual. In April of this year, we awarded 6 grants totaling $10,500. At the same time we continue to work on how the repayment of the remaining outstanding loans is best to be managed.

Our aim remains to arrive at a program that will continue to provide financial assistance to students for their education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities, and all in a way consistent with Friends’ beliefs and practices.

Christopher B Fowler (Frederick), Clerk


2013 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Our committee continues to work diligently to try to find a way to continue to make that possible.

In 2010, this committee reported serious concerns involving BYM’s issuance of student loans, including the complexity of applicable laws, collection problems, and the problem of students piling up debt. The committee has now succeeded in finding a new way forward to provide financial assistance to college students for their education, while at the same time clarifying how the remaining loans in our care are to be administered.

We have developed and this year implemented a program through which we can offer grants of up to $2,000.00 per college student per year with a maximum of $8,000.00 to be awarded to any one individual. In April of this year, we awarded 5 grants of $2,000.00 each. The process went remarkably smoothly for a first-year operation.

At the same time there remain 22 outstanding loans totaling $128,554.03 and we continue to work on how the repayment of these remaining loans is best to be managed. Our ability to fund future grants is dependent upon their timely repayment. As of May 31, 2013, repayments on 13 of the existing 22 loans have been received totaling $25,819.50. One loan has been paid in full.

The funds that support this program have come from money donated and repaid by Friends for more than a century and a half. We feel deep gratitude for the generosity and foresight of the Friends who came before us, and for the opportunity to support the next generation of Friends as well. Our aim remains to arrive at a program that will continue to provide financial assistance to students for their college education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities, and also in a way consistent with Friends’ beliefs and practices.

Christopher B Fowler
Clerk


2012 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Our committee has worked diligently to try to find a way to continue to make that possible.

As of May 31, 2012, repayments on existing loans have been received totaling $23,833.00. Four loans have been paid in full. In June of 2012 the committee recommended to Trustees that three chronically delinquent loans totaling $15,764.54 be written off.

The committee has continued to seek a new way forward to continue to provide financial assistance to students for their education, while at the same time clarifying how the remaining loans in our care are to be administered.

We developed a proposal to offer grants of up to $2,000.00 per student per year with a maximum of $8,000.00 to be awarded to any one individual which was approved by the June session of Interim Meeting. We are continuing to work on the support materials, formulas and policies needed fully to implement this program, and also to provide further clarity on how the repayment of the remaining outstanding loans is to be managed.

After years of offering loans only to those students who already had outstanding loans with BYM, and then offering no loans at all while we pursued the revision of the program, our plan is to be ready to begin accepting applications for grants for the 2013 school year.

Our aim remains to arrive at a program that will continue to provide financial assistance to students for their education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities, and all in a way consistent with Friends’ beliefs and practices.

For the Educational Loan Committee,

Christopher B Fowler, (Frederick) Clerk


2011 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

In 2010, the Educational Loan Committee authorized 3 loans totaling $9,000.00. Repayments totaling $22,654.54 were received.

Attempts were made by committee members early in 2011 to contact the holders of nine significantly past due loans. Responses were received from four loan holders. Repayment arrangements were made with two of those four. A third loan was paid-in-full. Other contacts were less successful. In some cases the contact information on record was no longer accurate and updated information had not been conveyed. In others, no response was received despite a series of messages left through various means. Given the importance of Integrity for the Religious Society of Friends down through the years — that our word is to be our bond — this is disappointing.

In 2010, the Baltimore Yearly Meeting reclassified many of its fund balances. We now have a firm idea of the funds we have available to work with in making future contributions to individuals for their educational use.

The committee is now in receipt of a recommendation from the BYM Supervisory Committee, citing many of the same concerns the committee has also had in recent years with the loan program, to discontinue providing financial support in the form of loans. The committee has united with this recommendation. We continue to seek a new way forward to assist students in their education in a way appropriate to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s means and capabilities.

Christopher B. Fowler, (Frederick), Clerk


2010 Annual Report

Historically education has been of great importance to the Religious Society of Friends and to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Supplying financial assistance has long been an aim of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.


In 2009, the Educational Loan Committee authorized five loans totaling $13,000.00. Repayments totaling $12, 223.68 were received. One loan was paid-in-full. Two loans were written off totaling $4,473.85.


The Committee has recognized that, over the years, the conditions under which it operates have changed. We note that:

  • The financial conditions that students and their families face have changed.

  • The environment in which student loans take place has become far more complex.

  • The legal requirements and restrictions for lending and collecting debts have become more explicit and proscriptive in this troubled industry.

  • The nature of our own community has changed—both the degree to which we know each other and the sense of shared commitment on the part of some.

  • The complexity of our loan operation has made a significant contribution to the difficulties we now face in managing Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s financial system.


Regretfully, we question whether our Committee can ever have the financial or human resources to administer the current program effectively and in a manner appropriate to the Religious Society of Friends. Concerns have been raised about:

  • Meeting the requirements for legal compliance.

  • The rising rate of default, the inability effectively to respond to collection problems, and the possible risk of Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s finances.

  • The long-term lack of clarity on the criteria for giving financial assistance.

  • Managing this heavily knowledge-based program by committee, with its rotating membership that diminishes both administrative continuity and clarity of purpose.

  • The amount of time and effort required just for “routine” operations.

  • The apparent lack of motivation on the part of Friends to join and participate regularly in the Committee’s admittedly difficult work.

  • The fact that we are teaching young adults to become “debtors in a debtor society.”


That said, the Committee does still see the possibility for a way forward to assist students in their education. In recent years, the Committee has operated quite conservatively in making loans in concert with Trustee’ wishes. For now, this way forward may include keeping abreast of how Quaker colleges are adjusting to the current environment, dealing with some of the same issues listed above. It may involve study of other student assistance programs as well. We ask the Yearly Meeting to be prepared for change.