JELF's next application period opens January 1st

Getting Started:

JELF's loans are made out directly to the student borrower. If you are a parent filling this out on behalf of your child for example, you must register using the student's name and email address (NOT yours!). All students and cosigners must be registered using different email addresses.

To begin the application, a verification code will be emailed to the student's email address. If you are a parent, please ensure you have access to receiving this code. After verifying your email address, you will create a password, which will be used each time you need to access the application.

If a parent is completing an application for more than one applicant, they must use each student applicant's email address to register.

Required Application Docs

Your application is not complete until all documents are uploaded to the student or cosigner portal. The deadline to upload documents is June 15 for the full academic year and October 15 for spring and/or summer semester funding only. Questions? Email [email protected].

The JELF Interview

At JELF, we place great value on getting to know the “whole story," which is why we require both student and cosigner(s) interviews each year.  Interviews are conducted by trained professionals, otherwise known as LJAs (Local JELF Administrators).  Interviewers are not directly involved in the decision-making process.

JELF interviews help reviewers learn more about the applicant, their educational and career goals and financial needs.  They also provide an opportunity for the applicant to convey any other relevant information which may not have been conveyed in the application.

After submitting an application, applicant will be emailed with contact info for the LJA (Local JELF Administrator) who will interview them. It is the applicant's responsibility to schedule this interview shortly after receiving the information. 

JELF always aims to pair repeat applicants with the same LJA they have previously met with. If for any reason, an applicant needs to change LJAs, please contact JELF.

JELF kindly requests a prompt reply to all communication in a timely manner in order to more easily schedule this interview.


Mark the calendar for your interview and ensure that both applicant and cosigner each have it calendarized and are available for an in-person or video conference.

If you are unable to make the scheduled time, please reschedule with your interviewer as soon as possible in advance of the meeting. Each LJA has multiple interviews so if you are late or forget about your interview, it causes scheduling difficulties for everyone. 

Information gathered during the interview is an important part of the JELF application.  While the topics discussed are personal in nature (ranging from why the applicant chose their school and what finances are available for the student for college), the interview itself is meant to be a comfortable conversation.

In order to gain a full picture of each applicant, the same information is collected from each applicant. This information will later be relayed to loan reviewers through an anonymous summary sheet that is presented to loan reviewers.

Confidentiality is strictly enforced with all JELF staff and interviewers.  While interviewers are provided with some of the information from the application, they do not have access to any of the documentation provided by the applicant or cosigner.

Your LJA can also assist with other issues that you may need help addressing, such as questions about JELF and the loan process, applicant's college decision or general financial aid concerns.

If an LJA does not have the answer to a question, they will work to help you figure out what you are looking for, and we will be back in touch as soon as possible. We also welcome your questions through the JELF Central Office at anytime.

JELF Interview Questions

The following categories are a sample of topics and questions presented to both student and cosigner(s) during the interview.

Financial Aid Basics

Nearly every student is eligible for some form of financial aid. Students who may not be eligible for need-based aid may still be eligible for unsubsidized federal loans regardless of income or circumstances.  Use these helpful Financial Aid Terms defined below to help better understand everything you need to about the FAFSA, federal loan process and more.  For other financial aid resources, click here.

Applicant FAQ