About Us

The Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund(AREF) emerged from its parent organization, known as the "Arkansas Rural Rehabilitation Corporation(ARRC). ARRC was created by the U.S. Congress in 1933 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" efforts to lift the country out of the depression. The primary purpose of ARRC was to make agricultural loans to farmers.

By 1950 most agricultural loans were being distributed and administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Congress then entered into a trust agreement to return the assets and administration of ARRC back to the State of Arkansas.

Then, with the passage of Act 27 of 1959, the Arkansas General Assembly created the Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund(AREF) as a private, non-profit entity with the sole purpose of making affordable loans to rural Arkansans. Since that time AREF has helped thousands of Arkansans attain a higher education in order to pursue their dreams (our borrowers have achieved much...including at least one Arkansas Governor). We are now assisting beginning farmers since 2012.

AREF now stands ready to help you achieve your dream. Whether you need a private student loan or an agricultural loan - we are just a phone call or click away.

AREF Board of Directors
AREF Staff Directory