Graduate Theological Union

Financial Aid Programs and Eligibility

The GTU Consortial Financial Aid Office administers financial aid on behalf of the member schools of the consortium. While the financial aid application process is similar for all students, each institution has its own deadlines, financial aid programs, and eligibity requirements. This page describes the types of financial aid administered by the Consortial Financial Aid Office and the eligibility requirements for each program, including Institutional Aid, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study and Federal Perkins loans.

For information on how to apply for financial aid, please see How to Apply for Financial Aid.


Financial Aid Programs Listed by School *

Institutional Aid X X X X X X X X X X
Federal Work Study       X           X
Federal Direct Loan X X X X X X X X X X
Perkins Loan       X            

*Financial Aid for students in the GTU Common M.A. is determined through the affiliate institution.


Institutional Aid

(Commonly referred to as “grant-in-aid” or “scholarships”)
Institutional Aid, aid that does not have to be repaid, is a merit-based or a need-based form of aid that is intended to reduce the cost of a student’s tuition. The seminary or graduate school that the student is attending or affiliated with (in the case of the GTU Common M.A.) provides the institutional aid. The Consortial Financial Aid Office administers each school’s institutional aid according to its financial aid program and policy.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Applicant may be a foreign or domestic student.
  2. For merit-based aid, applicant must complete requirements established by the admissions office of the individual graduate school or seminary.
  3. For need-based consideration, applicant must complete a Financial Aid Application for Domestic Students or a Financial Aid Application for International Students. For more information on how to apply for Financial Aid, visit the How to Apply for Financial Aid page.
  4. Must be enrolled at least half-time.


Federal Student Aid

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  2. Be working toward a degree or certification;
  3. Be registered with Selective Service (if required);
  4. Be making satisfactory academic progress;
  5. Not be in default or owe a refund on a federal grant or federal loan;
  6. Be enrolled at least half-time.


Federal Direct Loans

The Graduate Theological Union, partnering graduate schools and seminaries each participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program. Through the Direct Loan program, an eligible graduate student may borrow an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and/or a Graduate PLUS Loan to help finance the cost of education, including the costs for books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and other expenses that are part of the official cost of attendance. 

The Direct Loan Program offers several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. Generally, borrowers have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan, depending on the repayment plan that is chosen.  A borrower will receive more detailed information about repayment options during the required student loan entrance and exit counseling sessions. 

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
A student is not required to demonstrate financial need to borrow a Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan.  The annual loan limit, the maximum amount a student may borrow in a single academic year, is $20,500.  The lifetime borrowing limit for a graduate student (inclusive of Stafford subsidized loans and Stafford loans borrowed at the undergraduate level) is $138,500.  

The interest rate for a Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 is fixed at 5.84%.   Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it is first paid out. The interest may be paid while the borrower is in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or the interest may accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of the loan).  Choosing not to pay the interest as it accrues will increase the total amount a borrower will have to repay.  Accrued interest is capitalized once the loan enters repayment. Repayment begins 6-months after a borrower graduates or otherwise drops below half-time enrollment.

An origination loan fee of at least 1.073% is deducted from the total amount of each Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan disbursement.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
An additional loan provided under the Direct Loan Program is the Direct PLUS Loan for graduate and professional students.  The terms and conditions include: a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history and a fixed interest rate of 6.84% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2015.  An origination loan fee of at least 4.288% is deducted from the total amount of each loan disbursement.  Before a student will be considered for a PLUS Loan, the Financial Aid Office must determine the student’s maximum eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.  The maximum PLUS Loan amount an eligible student can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.

The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins at the time the PLUS loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement. However, a borrower may defer repayment while enrolled at least half-time.  For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, a borrower may also defer repayment for an additional six months after ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time.


Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (available to students attending or affiliated with SKSM and GTU Doctoral students was established to stimulate and promote part-time employment for students who are in need of earnings to finance the cost of higher education. The law requires that participants be in good academic standing, be citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and demonstrate financial need. Students may work up to a recommended limit of 20 hours per week during school periods and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods. The amount of the award is based on a student's need as determined by the Financial Aid Office and available funds. Federal work-study jobs may be on-campus or off-campus.


Federal Perkins Loans

GTU Doctoral Students only

The Federal Perkins loan program is a campus-based program, with the GTU acting as the lender and using a limited pool of money provided by the federal government. Doctoral students with significant financial need may be eligible to borrow up to the annual Perkins loan limit of $6,000, depending on the availability of funds. The Perkins loan does not accrue interest while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time and while the loan is in deferment. The Perkins loan has a nine-month grace period after which the loan enters repayment and accrues interest at a fixed interest rate of 5%.  The aggregate Perkins loan limit, including any Perkins loan funds borrowed at another institution, is $40,000. The repayment term is 10 years.  Perkins Loan Rehabilitation Policy