George Bate Memorial Fund

for Student Loans of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey

There are applications available for the George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans at the Ridgefield Park Jr/Sr High School. Applications are also available on Edline.

Dear Friends of Education:

Once a year, the Trustees of the George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans make an appeal to organizations and individuals to help us build the student loan monies that we distribute to Ridgefield Park High School seniors. The Fund assists our young people in financing their education after high school.

This year, we are asking you to assist us in continuing this endeavor.

If you are a new member of our community, you might not be aware of the fact that villagers have used the Fund for more than half a century to support students wishing to further their education. Every dollar raised is used for loans. We charge no interest and we expect payment only when the graduates enter into gainful employment. 

If you or your organization would like more information about our efforts, we would be happy to supply it, or arrange for a George Bate Trustee to attend your meeting. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance. 

Please make your check payable to George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans. You may mail your contribution or request more information; please contact us at:

George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans
P.O. Box 74
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660

The Trustees 

President: Mrs. Donna LaTour
Vice President: Daina Scheideler
Treasurers: Mary Kane and Kathleen Borkowski
Corresponding Secretary: Barbara Beeman
Recording Secretary: Jackie Kelaher

History of the George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans

The George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans, established in 1935, was founded by Mrs. Marion E. Brian to honor the memory of George Bate, a long serving principal of Ridgefield Park High School. Mrs. Brian and a group of citizens established the Fund in order to provide financial aid to students from Ridgefield Park to further their education after high school. The Fund still commemorates the legacy of Principal Bate, a man who aspired to increase access to higher education to as broad a spectrum of Ridgefield Park students as possible. From the beginning, it was the goal of the organization to see that every Ridgefield Park student had an equal chance to secure an education and find his/her opportunity to apply his/her talents in a useful manner in society. The Fund was not necessarily looking for someone who was an honor student. First and foremost, the candidate had to be a serious student of good character with a clear purpose concerning their future academic plans. 

The first few years of the George Bate Memorial Fund for Student Loans were heavily influenced by the severe economic hardship of the 1930s. During this period, the loans were crucial in enabling students to continue attending school during a period in which a large number of perspective loan recipients lacked the finances for the most basic of items, such as shoes or clothing. After a suspension of the Fund during the Second World War, the Fund regrouped with the aim of fulfilling its original mission. Since its inception, over 600 loans have been given out to earnest and deserving students of good character who wish to continue their education after high school; whether it be college, technical or vocational school. These loans are made in strict confidence, shared only with the trustees. They are directly paid to the school of choice. They are interest free and do not have to be paid back until one has attained gainful employment after graduating or leaving school. Once approved, the loan does not have to be used for 19 months. 

Applications are available on the Ridgefield Park’s Junior-Senior High School’s site. A hard copy can be obtained by contacting one of the Trustees.

The application must be completed and returned to the High School’s guidance office by May 1st. A $10.00 processing fee is required. Trustees will conduct interviews with prospective applicants and their parents during the month of May. Students will be notified upon board approval.

Former recipients include doctors, lawyers, ministers, dentists, engineers, airline personnel, scientists, nurses, teachers and many others. It is because of their fine repayment record that the Fund is able to continue the cycle of financial assistance to each year’s new group of students. 

A complete history of the Fund is available through the Trustees.

Revised April 2016