Financing a seminary education involves much more than paying bills. It requires prayerful planning and budgeting, good money and time management skills, and joyful receiving of gifts! This guide describes eligibility and application processes as well as the different kinds of financial aid available. In order to assist you, please see the current Estimated Cost of Attendance (pdf – opens in new browser window) for each degree program.
Applying for Financial Aid
Who is eligible?
There are three classifications of eligibility:
- Students who are enrolled at least half-time (minimum of two courses per semester) in a degree program (MDiv. MAR, MAPL)
- Students who are enrolled at least half-time or in Writing Status in an advanced level degree program (STM, DMin)
- Students in an approved special program at the first professional level
- Students in the PhD program for the first three years as full-time, and up to three additional years in Writing Status
All students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
When should I apply?
The ideal time to apply for financial aid is when you complete your application for admission or as soon as possible after being admitted. Since grants are awarded on a rolling basis and because the grant pool, while ample, is limited, an early application is recommended. Those who complete applications by April 15 will have priority for the highest percentage of financial aid. The deadline for application for financial aid for new students is July 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.
How do I apply?
There are three steps to applying for financial aid:
- File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the Department of Education. This can be done online at www.fafsa.gov. The seminary school code is G03292. (You must obtain a FAFSA ID – learn more at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid)
- Complete and submit the LTSP Financial Aid Application.
- To apply for a Direct Loan, go to www.studentloans.gov and complete the Graduate Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling as instructed. The school code is the same as for the FAFSA (G03292)
A new application must be completed for each year of study.
Late applications for Financial Aid for fall admission may be submitted until July 31; however, aid may be limited to Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Work-Study (FWS) as late availability of grant aid cannot be guaranteed.
Where can I direct any questions I might have?
- For all technical financial aid questions related to loan eligibility, packaging and disbursement, please contact:
- For general financial aid counseling for applicants and committed incoming students, please contact:
Vice President for Student Vocation and Formation
- For general financial aid counseling for returning students, please contact:
- For VA or GI Bill related matters, please contact:
All final decisions regarding financial aid are determined by the Financial Aid Committee at LTSP.
Sources of Financial Aid
Federal Work Study Program
LTSP participates in the Federal Work Study program (FWS) provided by the United States Department of Education. FWS positions are available on and off campus for students who qualify. FWS is awarded upon request and dependent on student level of need. FWS positions are intended as VERY part time. Student workers are restricted to 10-12 hours per week in any position or combination of jobs. Most positions pay $10 an hour. Positions are posted at the beginning of each academic year, or when available. Detailed instructions and FWS positions will be posted by August 1st.
• NOTE: AN AWARD OF FEDERAL WORK STUDY DOES NOT GUARANTEE A WORK STUDY JOB. We have limited funding for this program and jobs go quickly. If you are not hired for a Federal Work Study job, other opportunities are frequently presented to the Student Services office and are then sent by the ALSAC office via email blast.
LTSP Student Support Grants
The seminary is able to provide substantial Student Support Grants thanks to the generosity and partnership of individuals throughout the church and support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other denominations. The majority of the seminary’s full-time students receive generous Student Support Grants.
Who is eligible?
Full-time first theological students (MDiv, MAR, MAPL) are eligible for grant aid as determined annually by the Financial Aid Committee. To be considered full-time, a student must be enrolled in at least 8 units of course work per academic year (defined as August-May). Aid is available for up to 6 semesters for MDiv students and up to 4 semesters for MAR and MAPL students.
Half-time first theological students (MDiv, MAR, MAPL) are eligible for grant aid as determined annually by the Financial Aid Committee. To be considered part-time, a student must be enrolled in 4-7 units per academic year (August-May). Aid remains available as long as the student continues to take courses at the required pace.
What do I need to qualify for Grant Aid?
All Seminary Support recipients must maintain satisfactory progress toward their degrees based on their program of study (full-time/ part-time).
Aid is based on enrollment. Full-time students must maintain 8-10 courses per year, part-time students, 4 courses per year. Larger course loads will not warrant an increase in aid and students who drop below their awarded enrollment will have their aid reduced.
All financial aid decisions are made by the Financial Aid Committee.
Urban Theological Institute (UTI) Scholarships
Black Church (UTI) Concentration students are eligible for a number of scholarships. These include:
The UTI Academic Award
This award is granted each fall to the African American UTI concentrations student preparing for ordained ministry. This student must have achieved the highest cumulative grade point average and have completed at least ten total academic units. A student may receive this award only once in his/her seminary academic career.
In addition to seminary need-based grants and merit scholarships, low-interest loans are available through the federal government. The recommended maximum educational debt for a single student is $30,000.
To begin an application for a direct loan, visit the website www.studentloans.gov and complete your Graduate Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN). You must complete the Entrance Counseling available at this site before any of the proceeds from your direct loan will be available to you.
Unsubsidized Direct Loan
(note: subsidized loans for graduate students were discontinued Fall 2011)
Eligibility for unsubsidized direct loans is based on the cost of attendance (COA) or, if other aid has been awarded, the estimated cost of attendance (EFC). These loans are available to students who are studying at least half-time (2 full units per semester). Financial need is not a requirement and students may either pay or defer interest while in school.
Questions regarding loan eligibility, packaging, or disbursements may be directed to:
Other Sources of Financial Aid
It is important to consider and pursue non-seminary sources of financial aid for seminary expenses. Apply for aid from home congregations and local judicatory — synod, diocese, presbytery, etc. A list of other sources of financial aid is available by request from the financial aid office. Also, visit thefund.org for a listing of available scholarships.