Financial Aid

Finances are often a major concern for students seeking to achieve a seminary education and prepare for ministry. That is why we offer scholarships and loans options. 

In determining who will receive scholarships when pursuing an M.Div at WTS, consideration is given to:

  • Academic achievement based on a weighted undergraduate GPA and have ranged in the past years from a 3.3 GPA award of $1500 to 3.7 GPA award of $3500 in our in residence M.Div.  Awards have been given in our distance learning M.Div. for outstanding academic undergraduate achievement also.
  • Ecclesiastical endorsement in which RCA candidates in past years were granted between $900-$1500.  RCA candidates who complete the WTS financial aid application will have this amount automatically added to their award.
  • Family resources based on your income not your parents' income (need), support from church and friends, income opportunities outside of the seminary, eligibility for government loans, and present debt.

The average scholarship granted to those who applied in 2014 in the in-residence M.Div. was $5500 while some students received awards of $7000.  With an annual tuition of $13,120 that means many students received about half of their tuition in scholarship monies.   Scholarships in the distance learning M.Div. programs are based on some of the same criteria, but often the need determination is less because most of the distance learning students remain in their home setting and are employed.  The average scholarship in the DL was $1500 but some awards were as much as $3600.  The annual tuition for a full-time student in the DL is $8248.

Scholarships are available in the Master of Art program.  These awards are based on your EFC from the FAFSA and your denominational affliation.   Young Life staff are also considered for scholarships.

We recommend that students contact their home congregations and governing ecclesiastical bodies for potential assistance with their seminary education.

Students wishing to receive scholarships or who may need loans need to APPLY by downloading a financial aid application, completing it and returning it to the financial aid administrator and also complete a FAFSA form online.  The "Expense Budget" on the form covers 9 months and the items are based on the standard student budget figures established at WTS.  Once completed, it is your responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes in your family's circumstances.  This includes the receipt of any additional funds not reported on your application.  If such a change does take place, the FA office will review and possibly revise your award. WTS is required by the federal regulations to make consumer and educational effectiveness information available.

  • Deadlines

    Deadlines for financial aid applications:

    • April 1 – for returning residential and returning distance learning students
    • May 30 – for new residential and distance learning degree seeking students

     

    Financial aid award letters are mailed by the last day of March, April, and August.

  • Requirements

    Keep in mind when applying for Financial Aid:

    • Scholarship recipients must be matriculated M.Div., MA, or GCUPM students.
    • M.Div. recipients must be enrolled at least half-time to be considered for scholarships and/or loans.
      • Half-time for a semester is 7.5 credits in-residence and 6 credits in distance learning 
      • You will receive half of your award each semester.  In the IR M.Div. program, you will receive your full semester award if you are taking between 12 and 16 hours, half of your award if you are taking between 7.5 and 11 hours, and no award if you are taking less than 7.5 hours.    In the DL M.Div. program you will receive your full semester award if you are taking 7.5 or more credits.  You will receive half of your award if you are taking at least 6 credits but less than 7.5, and no award if you take less than 6 credits.
      • This does not apply to seniors in their last semester when they are completing the degree in three years, if full-time enrollment is not necessary to meet the graduation requirements.
    • MA candidates do not need to be half time for scholarships but must be for loans.  Half time is 6 credits per semester.
    • Recipients of any funds administered by the Financial Aid Office must be making satisfactory progress toward their degree.  If your grade point average drops below the requirement for your degree program, the academic affairs office will notify you that you have been placed on academic probation.  You may receive funds for only one semester while on academic probation.
    • If a scholarship or loan recipient becomes ineligible for the award, the FA offer will be adjusted or withdrawn.  You will be notified if a portion of your loan needs to be returned to the lender.
    • In determining who will receive scholarships, consideration is given to: academic achievement, ecclesiastical endorsement, family resources, support from church and friends, income opportunities outside of the seminary, eligibility for government loans, and present debt.

    If you would like additional information on the scholarships or loans, please contact Pat Dykhuis.

  • Forms and Financial Aid Opportunities

    Required Forms:

    Students are required to complete two forms to apply for financial aid.

    1. The WTS Financial Aid (FA) application assesses need based on student income, expected gifts, assets and projected expenses. This WTS financial aid application form should be downloaded (see bottom of page), completed, and returned to Pat Dykhuis.
    2. The U.S. Government form, FAFSA. This form can be accessed at FAFSA.gov.

     

    Loans:

    Students who are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents and who are enrolled at least half time may apply to borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans on an annual basis through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.(Internet Explorer only to open this link) First time borrowers must do entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note by going to the website www.studentloans.gov.

    Code of Conduct:  WTS receives no benefits, gifts or remuneration from any bank/lender in exchange for referrals for Title IV student loans.

    Students planning on a career in military chaplaincy can borrow up to $10,000 per year from the WTS Loan Program - Derk VanRaalte Fund.  Loans from this program will be forgiven when the student becomes a military chaplain.

    Grants/Scholarshps:

    Grants and scholarships range from $500-$7000 and may involve the opportunity to meet the benefactor at the seminary’s annual scholarship luncheon.  All recipients are expected and required to send personal thank you letters to donors who have provided the funds.  The Financial Aid Office will provide more information for you near the beginning of the fall semester.

    Work Opportunities:

    Work opportunities for students at Western Theological Seminary are available in maintenance, the bookstore, and the library.

     Veterans of Military:  If you served on Active Duty, you might be eligible for education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.   You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  If you are currently serving in the military, you may be eligible for funding offered through the Department of Defense Tuition assistance program.  Check your eligibility status and the amount for which you qualify with your Service prior to enrolling.  In some cases a spouse or child of an active  duty Title 10 service member may be eligible for some assistance.  Please check with the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.

  • Scholarships for Degree-Seeking Couples

    To support and encourage couples in which both people attend Western Theological Seminary seeking a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree, the seminary offers scholarships which will waive 50% of each semester’s tuition charge when both people are making satisfactory academic progress and when they are attending at least half time.  For this policy, half-time is defined as 7.5 credits for in-residence students and 6 credits for distance learning students.  Satisfactory academic progress for this policy is defined as a 2.75 GPA for the academic period.  Students cannot receive this scholarship and other seminary scholarships.

Staff

Pat Dykhuis

Pat Dykhuis

Registrar and Financial Aid Administrator
616.392.8555 x120
Kerry Eshenaur

Kerry Eshenaur

Bookkeeper, Student Billing, Payroll
616.392.8555 x106
Norman Donkersloot

Norman Donkersloot

Vice President of Finance
616.392.8555 x107

Call Western Seminary

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