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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Church and Higher Education: Part 7: The Perpetual Education Fund and Other Experiments

I've written about the Perpetual Education Fund or PEF before but in a different context. This week's posting has to do with it's educational merits and the philosophy behind it.

From the web site:
The Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) has been established to provide worthy young adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the support and resources necessary to improve their lives through education and better employment to better serve their family, the Church, and their community.
Not available in the U. S. yet, the PEF continues to expand borders. It pays for "technical, vocational, or professional education  that leads to a viable job in the local area." Two years is the ideal time period. The program is funded entirely with contributions and all loans are paid back with interest ensuring the fund is self-sustaining. The program is administered through the Institute program and many volunteers are involved.


Given that the federal student aid program is broken as are most other programs I'm glad the Church is stepping up to the plate.


They are stepping up in ways you may not be aware of. Here they are:


1. The Wilkinson Loan Fund: This program has existed for years and is administered through the PEF program. You can read more about it on BYU's International Services pages. Like the PEF, it is only available to students outside the United States and Canada.


2. The Yount Program for Educational Advancement: This program is also administered through the PEF and the Church although it is funded with private money. See it's separate web site for details. It seems to emphasize life long learning and adapting to our world's changing educational needs.


From the web site:
"Today the 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 of life ... Men and women need to be prepared for a vastly broader scope than we have ever had before." Thomas S. Monson
The purpose of the program is four-fold:
1. Promote and support educational advancement.2. Help equalize educational opportunity.3. Promote learning by faith and by study including education as a spiritual endeavor.4. Develop educational self-reliance and its use in support of other areas of self-reliance.


Currently, the program exists in only three areas: Southern California, Four Corners Native American Area and for Hispanic members in the inner city of Salt Lake City, Utah.


It will take donations and volunteers to make all these programs a success. So, let's all commit to get involved in these and other worthy educational endeavors.

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