9.2 Scholarships for Students who are United States or Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents (U.S. and Canadian Students)

9.2.a Types of Grants and Scholarships Available to U.S. and Canadian Students

  • Regular Grants: M.Div. MinistryGeneral Masters
  • Special Grants: Church Partnership; Leadership Development; Recording Artist; Reformed University Fellowship Intern (RUF)
  • “Named” Scholarships: Walter and Helen Lee; Loman Chen; Mephibosheth; Joseph F. Ryan; George Sinclair; George Sinclair Scholar; Westminster Seminary Patricia Comber

9.2.b Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship or permanent resident status within the U.S. or Canada
  • Full-time enrollment status (12 credits minimum for both Fall and Spring semesters; exception: Church Partnership Grant and Loman Chen Memorial Scholarship)
  • Enrollment in the M.Div., M.A.R., or M.A.C./M.A.U.M. program
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measured after attempting 24 credit hours or completion of two semesters (whichever comes first): Cumulative GPA, unless otherwise noted, must be greater than or equal to 2.5 (qualitative) and the credit completion rate greater than or equal to 75% (quantitative). If a student fails to maintain SAP, a probationary semester may be granted to permit the student to reestablish compliance with SAP requirements.

Other eligibility requirements that may apply are listed below in the section under the relevant grant or scholarship or on the Westminster website. If any eligibility requirement is not maintained, the student will lose his or her grant or scholarship.

9.2.c Basic Application Materials that Must Be Submitted

  • Westminster’s Financial Aid Application for U.S. and Canadian Students, available on the Financial Aid webpages or from the Financial Aid Office.
  • For U.S. citizens and permanent residents only: a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA, submit online). Note to tax-filers: The application will not be processed unless the student’s FAFSA indicates that a tax return was already completed and filed.
  • 2013 Tax Return information: Electronically transfer to the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (preferred) or provide a Tax Transcript (available from www.irs.gov)
  • Non-tax filers: complete the Non-Tax Filer Worksheet. 
  • Additional documents (such as essays or letters of reference) required by the specific grant or scholarship for which the student is applying (additional documents are specified in the relevant grant or scholarship description paragraph in the catalog and on the Financial Aid webpages).

9.2.d Submission deadline

Refer to Application Submission Deadlines.

9.2.e M.Div. Ministry Grant (U.S. and Canadian)

The M.Div. Ministry Grant is based on financial need and covers up to 50 percent of tuition on a fixed 12 credit course load for fall and spring semesters only for a maximum total award of 50 percent of tuition for 24 credits per academic year (for the 2013-2014 academic year, awards ranged from $2,000 to $5,600). This grant is awarded to a limited number of full-time M.Div. students who meet one of the following criteria:

  1. “Under care” status, which is defined as “under the care of a NAPARC presbytery as a candidate for ordained ministry.” (For a current listing of NAPARC churches, see: www.naparc.org.)
  2. An American minority student (African American, Hispanic American, or American Indian or Alaska Native) being developed for church leadership
  3. A current or former Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) intern

In addition to the basic application materials listed above, the Financial Aid Office must receive an “under care” (or equivalent) letter as follows:

  1. For “under care” applicant: A formal, signed letter on official letterhead from the stated clerk of the student’s presbytery or classis official stating that the student has come “under care” as a candidate for ordained ministry (or will by the start of the semester, in which case the letter must be submitted by the start of the semester).
  2. For American minority applicant: A formal, signed letter on official letterhead from the applicant’s pastor stating that he or she is currently being developed/trained for church leadership (or will begin by the start of the semester, in which case this letter must be submitted by the start of the semester).
  3. For RUF applicant: A signed letter from an RUF minister documenting the internship.

M.Div. Ministry Grant recipients who are “under care” (first criteria) will be required to take PT 221 and one of the following courses: PT 311, PT 332, PT 343, or PTM 163.

9.2.f Provisional Award Status

If the “under care” or equivalent letter is not submitted by the time awards are determined, an otherwise eligible student will be considered a Provisional M.Div. Ministry Grant recipient and awarded the equivalent of the General Masters Grant until such time as the letter is received or before the start of the semester, whichever comes first. If the letter is received after the start of the fall semester, the student will be eligible to receive the M.Div. Ministry Grant in the spring semester only (if the letter is received after the start of the spring semester, the M.Div. ministry grant will not be awarded for the spring semester).

9.2.g General Masters Grant (U.S. and Canadian)

The General Masters Grant, a need-based scholarship for the fall and spring semesters only, is available to a limited number of full-time students who are not eligible for the M. Div. Ministry Grant. For the 2013-2014 academic year, awards ranged between $1,000 and $2,250.