9.1 Grants and Scholarships - General Information

Westminster maintains a policy of holding the expense of theological education to a minimum for the student and of requesting the student to meet this expense from his or her own resources. Charges for tuition and other fees reflect only a portion of the cost (approximately 50 percent) of providing this education. Nevertheless, in order that students might not be prevented from receiving a theological education for financial reasons, the Seminary endeavors to provide grants and scholarships for those whose circumstances require it. Whereas scholarships are provided by the generosity of donors, grants act as tuition assistance due to their unfunded nature. Grants and scholarships cover tuition costs only, unless otherwise indicated.

9.1.a Applying for Grants and Scholarships

Subject to other eligibility requirements, and unless otherwise noted, full-time students enrolled in the M.Div., M.A.R. and M.A.C./M.A.U.M. programs may apply for a grant or scholarship. The Church Partnership Grant and the Loman Chen Memorial Scholarship Fund allow part-time students to apply and the Spouse Grant allows part-time and certificate students to apply (for more details, please see the individual grant and scholarship sections). There are a few Special Grants and “Named” Scholarships to which Th.M. and Ph.D. students can apply. There are no Special Grants or “Named” Scholarships for D.Min. students (please see the Scholarships for Students in Advanced Degree Programs section). Application forms are available through the Financial Aid Office or on the Financial Aid webpages and are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

9.1.b Awarding of Grants and Scholarships:

Awards for the following academic year will be made no earlier than four to six weeks after the application deadline. Applicants will be notified by letter whether or not they have been awarded a grant or scholarship. Recipients of all grants and scholarships will be required to accept the award in writing (by email or letter) by the date indicated on the award letter and, given the sensitive nature of grants and scholarship availability and funding, they will also be required to abide by an agreement of confidentiality. Before any funds are disbursed to them, grant and scholarship recipients will be required to provide evidence that they are matriculated as students in an appropriate program of study. Grants and scholarships will only be applied to cover the cost of courses required for the degree program in which the financial aid recipient is enrolled.

Unless otherwise noted, the awarding of grants and scholarships is based on financial need. In determining a student’s need, items that will not be considered allowable expenses include: maternity costs, support of relatives other than the spouse and children of the applicant, school tuition, or other school expenses for spouse or other dependents of the applicant. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results are considered when determining a student’s need. For some Special Grants and “Named” Scholarships, merit and academic standing are also under consideration. Students who are awarded a grant or scholarship and who have subsequently had tuition covered through other means will have their Westminster grant or scholarship removed or the awarded amount adjusted. Aid received by the Finance Office on behalf of a student, which is designated solely for non-tuition expenses, will not influence the amount of any grant or scholarship awarded by Westminster. For more information about how Westminster grants and scholarships are applied to student accounts, please see Section 8.5.

Except for rare cases, each recipient is awarded only one grant or scholarship, regardless of the number of grants or scholarships for which he or she applied. The grant or scholarship is awarded once a year for a one-year period only (except for “Spring Semester Only” awards, which are the General Masters and M.Div. Ministry grants). Students who have been awarded grants and scholarships for a given academic year must reapply for this financial aid each successive academic year they plan to be enrolled.

The academic year extends from the summer term beginning in June through the spring semester ending the following May.  The summer term, which is comprised of three modules, is considered as a whole in terms of aid. The winter term (Module 1) and the spring semester (Module 2) are considered together as the spring semester. Any reference to the spring semester assumes that the winter term is included. For more details, please see section 9.12.b “Periods of Enrollment.”

9.1.c Outside Scholarships

Westminster periodically receives information about scholarships offered by outside organizations. These scholarships will be advertised via the Philadelphia campus Financial Aid bulletin board and/or on the Westminster website.