The Canton Student Loan Foundation was officially established on October 6, 1922, when thirteen people gathered to develop a revolving pool of funds to provide low-interest student loans. Our founders wanted to remove financial barriers so worthy local students could attend college.
Carrie Forshee originated the idea of the Foundation. John L. G. Pottorf, long-time principal of McKinley High School, lent his support. As a principal, he was aware of deserving young people who were financially unable to attend college. With the help of other civic-minded community leaders, service organizations, teachers, principals, and school administrators, The Foundation was born.
The Canton Scholarship Foundation, as it was known then, granted its first loan in 1923, to a young man who borrowed $150. Twenty-five years after its inception, The Foundation reported assets of $45,700. After fifty years, assets were $491,200. Today, assets are over $13,000,000!
The mission of The Canton Student Loan Foundation is to provide low-interest loans to graduates of Stark County high-schools so that they may pursue post high-school education and training.
Over the years, some things have changed. Students once
repaid loans within four years of graduating or leaving
college. Today, students have over ten years post-college
to repay undergraduate loans and 11 years post-college to
repay graduate loans. While originally loaning only to
Canton High School graduates, the Foundation eventually expanded, providing loans to graduates of all Stark County high schools. In 1991, the name was changed to The Canton Student Loan Foundation, to better reflect the students we serve. In 2022, the Foundation increased loan amounts to $16,000 and began to manage the North Canton Student Loan Foundation so in addition to CSLF loans, North Canton students are able to get an ADDITIONAL student loan to help with school expenses.
While some things have changed much more has not! The Foundation continues to benefit from the loyalty and dedication of community volunteers. Close to 50% of our Board members have served for more than 20 years. Students are grateful for the help they receive from The Foundation, and the repayment of these loans benefits the next generation of borrowers. We proudly maintain a loan repayment rate of 99.8 percent.