About the Pierstorf Memorial Fund

Questions about the Pierstorf Memorial Fund

The Pierstorf Memorial Fund was established to provide interest-free loans to eligible college students who are members of Lutheran churches in northeast Ohio. The fund was initiated in 1994 by Dr. Ervin Pierstorf and his beloved wife, Florence (now deceased) and in loving memory of his brother, Clarence. All three family members devoted themselves to helping young people receive a college education. As life-long Lutherans and members of Messiah Lutheran in Fairview Park, the Pierstorf family chose to provide support funds for fellow Lutherans regardless of their synodical affiliation. The family saw this as a wonderful way of serving others in the name of Christ. They have initiated similar programs at Baldwin Wallace University and Ohio Northern University.
Messiah Lutheran, Fairview Park, was chosen to administer the loan fund. A volunteer board, and part-time Executive Director and business manager work to review the applications, collect payments, and give oversight to the distribution of the loans. Administrative costs are covered by the fund.
The student completes an application on-line at the Pierstorf.org website. The application is made available on April 1st each year and the deadline for submission is June 30th. The completed application along with all requested information is submitted to the committee. The committee and staff review the application, considering the student's academic record, church participation, college costs, etc. When your first loan is approved, the student and parent(s) meet with the committee to discuss the loan and repayment plan, and to sign the promissory note. Future loans for subsequent college years do not require an in-person meeting, but you must apply each year. The distribution is made payable to the student and their college or university. One half of the loan amount is distributed in August and the other half in December. After graduation the student is expected to fully repay the loan within five years. These 60 even monthly payments begin six months after graduation or when the student ceases to be enrolled in college. Regardless, payment must begin five years after the first loan is granted. The maximum loan is $3,000 per year. The entire period of the lending years and repayment years are interest-free as long as the payments are made on time. Late payments will trigger the addition of an interest-rate to the loan.
The applicant or one parent or guardian must be active members of a designated Lutheran church. The applicant must be enrolled full time in a four-year undergraduate program at an accredited college or university. The loans are available for only four years of an undergraduate program. They are not available for graduate school students. Seniors in high school are encouraged to apply before their graduation using first semester senior year transcripts.
The loan program began at Dr. Pierstorf's home church, Messiah Lutheran, Fairview Park. As the fund has grown through the repayment of loans, the number of designated churches has expanded. We now accept applications from any Lutheran Church in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties. More churches in Ohio will be added throughout 2019. The fund is now able to do what was first envisioned - serve more and more young people!
The pastor is the key person for informing the congregation - especially young people of college age - about the Pierstorf Memorial Fund. The pastor also comments on the applicant's church life on the application using a Pastor’s Endorsement Form. We rely heavily on this recommendation when students first enter our program.
Pierstorf Memorial Fund 21485 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, OH 44126. 440-665-3653 Call or Text

Last updated: March 2016