1) The best way to get financial aid is by allowing your FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) money to be used for Israel. You can do that by applying to any Jewish college (YU, Stern, Touro, HTC/TI) and going to Yeshiva/seminary as an “Israel program student” of that university. Ask us for more details if you don’t understand this…it could be worth up to $5,500.
Start your application here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
(If you’re an Illinois resident, you’re also eligible for up to $4,500 in MAP grant money if you go through Hebrew Theological College. HTC’s website also has a list of helpful information you can use when applying for FAFSA money.)
2) Masa Israel Journey, funded by the government of Israel, gives grants to EVERY kid who goes to Yeshiva or seminary in Israel. Grants are either $3,700 (in cases of financial need) or $500 to everyone else. If you contact us at NCSY Alumni saying that you’re interested in going to Israel for the year, we can put you directly in touch with the staff at Masa who will guide you through the process.
3) The Yeshiva/seminary itself may have scholarships of up to a few thousand dollars. Ask them about that.
4) Jewish Federations have both merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships. Some may be willing to give between $500-$2,500 if approved for the need-based, and $1,000 if approved for the merit-based funding. Contact your local federation and inquire about sources of funding from within the organization and you can also ask the staff to recommend other sources of funding available in your local community. Every Federation in North America has its own policies on scholarship funding and the details can change from year to year. Please use this link to locate the Federation in your area.
5) National NCSY has need-based scholarships, just fill out this application form and your Regional NCSY office also has scholarships that combine merit and need criteria. (Application for this year will come soon.)
6) The Alisa Flatow Memorial Fund offers a limited number of scholarships, but each award is generous (around $2,500). The deadline to apply is mid-February, 2017. www.alisafund.org.
7) If you go to a Jewish school, you can ask your principal about some funding from your school (including possibly graduation awards). Also, ask your local shul Rabbi about funds from your shul. Many times there are funds set aside specifically for sending students to Israel for a year.
8) If you come from a non-Orthodox background, Jeff Seidel has an easy online application for a $400 airfare scholarship to Israel. Students must apply before their arrival in Israel. Some restrictions apply. Apply online for this $400 scholarship by clicking here.
9) Oorah– Oorah’s Israel experience believes that learning in Israel is often the key factor in developing a person who is not only committed to Jewish tradition, but inspired by it. Therefore, Oorah provides help with every aspect of this experience, from air fare to enrollment in the right yeshivah or seminary. In order to receive this scholarship there is a commitment to attend a Oorah learning program. Contact Oorah to see if you meet the criteria for their Israel scholarships: http://www.oorah.org/who-we-are/contactus.asp
10) Jewish National Fund (JNF) “Plant Your Way to Israel” Initiative – You can help JNF and also help yourself by selling trees to be planted in Israel and earn money toward your Israel trip. For every $36 donation that you receive, $18 will go to the purchase of new trees and $18 will go towards your tuition. Start your own personal fund raising web page at http://www.jnf.org/pyw. Some people may be willing to buy trees by the dozens, which can earn you lots of money towards your tuition.
11) The Amy Adine Schulman Scholarship Fund– The grant requires a commitment to educate others through lectures, programs or other activities upon returning to your home or school community. You must be willing and able to do this so others will have the opportunity to learn about and to be inspired to do similar work. Please apply at http://www.amyadinaschulmanfund.org/
12) The Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1995 in memory of Helyn B. Reich, wife of founding AZM President Seymour D. Reich. Reich scholarships are awarded each year to a limited number of American students who choose to study at one of several designated Israeli universities. Preference is given to candidates who decide to spend the full year in Israel. For more information about the scholarship, please call the AZM Chicago office at 847-677-5949 or visit the website. Spring 2017 applications are due January 4, 2017.
13) Atzum grants up to $5,000 each for full-year study in a co-educational institution of higher learning in Israel. Preference will be given to students who have little or no previous experience in Israel. First priority will be given to students who demonstrate financial need. Recipients must concurrently perform a minimum of four hours weekly volunteer service throughout the academic year with ATZUM or an ATZUM approved organization. http://atzum.org/volunteer/abe-and-gert-nutkis-scholarship-for-israel-study-and-service/
14) GoAbroad.com has a list of over 600 scholarships for students. There may be a scholarship opportunity available to help fund your trip to Israel. http://www.goabroad.com/
15) Torah LeTzion started in May 2008 with the goal of helping students grow religiously and personally in their respective Yeshivot/Seminaries. To apply for a scholarship, click here: http://torahletzion.org/apply/
16) The Diller Tikkun Olam Awards offers a great opportunity for NCSYers to receive a $36,000 scholarship towards their Yeshiva/Seminary tuition. Their focus is Tikkun Olam—repairing the world. The scholarship awards teens who have initiated/participated in impactful service projects— from local tutoring for the underprivileged to national clothing drives.
- Serving in a leadership role on a project aimed at repairing the world
- Volunteering without any compensation
- Between ages 13-19 at nomination
- Residents of the United States
- Self-identified as Jewish
17) The Hilda Spector Morgenstern Merit Scholarship Fund was founded in the memory of a Jewish woman who worked tirelessly and gave generously to many causes, both Jewish and secular. Mrs. Morgenstern was very dedicated to Jewish causes, the State of Israel and public policy.
The Hilda Spector Morgenstern Merit Scholarsip is awarded once a year to an American woman who meets the following qualifications:
- Will study in Israel during her undergraduate education
- Identifies strongly as Jewish, but does not have to identify with any particular denomination
- Has a 3.5 GPA or higher
- Demonstrates strong interest in public advocacy, public policy or government affairs
The Morgenstern Merit Scholarship awards $2,500 directly in tuition dollars to the university, seminary or study program of the applicant’s choice. You can find more information at www.morgensternscholarship.org.
Deadlines for this year are due February 28, 2017.
That’s the rundown! Depending on the situation, it is definitely possible to get the cost down by $12,000-$15,000 or sometimes even more.
Please contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hatzlacha!