Westminster is approved to participate in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
(part of the Title IV loan program) in administering:
Direct Unsubsidized Loans (5.41% interest rate and loan fee of 1.072%*)
Graduate PLUS Loans (6.41% interest rate and a loan fee of 4.288%*)
NOTE: Interest rates for Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans were decreased in response to the "Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013." This law only affects loans disbursed on or after 7/1/2013.
* These loan fees will be in effect for new loans disbursing on or after December 1, 2013.
Loans are available to students whose enrollment status is at least half-time and who have completed a minimum of three years of full-time undergraduate or graduate study prior to or while attending Westminster. The enrollment status of the Westminster D.Min. program is considered less than half-time. Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to apply for government loans or have previous loans deferred. ("Special" and Certificate students are also ineligible to receive government loans to fund their seminary education.)
For more detailed information about the government loan program at Westminster please see the 2013-14 catalog. Students ineligible for government loans may qualify to apply for private (bank) educational loans.
||The Seminary is also approved to participate in the Canada Student Loans Program. This program provides federally insured loans to students via private banks and is administered by the various Canadian provinces.
Paying Tuition and Fees with a Direct Loan
If you plan to pay for your tuition and fees with a Direct or Graduate PLUS Loan, your loan must be fully approved by the Department of Education before your enrollment date (first day of classes). Under normal circumstances, the loan process can take a minimum of four (4) weeks after receiving all application materials for your loan to be fully approved.
Therefore, to insure that you will be able to pay for tuition and fees using a loan, you must submit or complete all loan application materials by the following deadlines:
||Winter or Spring Semester
* These deadlines are flexible.
**YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING FOR YOUR TUITION AND FEES WHEN PAYMENT IS DUE REGARDLESS OF THE STATUS OF YOUR LOAN*
If your loan is pending (not yet fully approved) when tuition payment is due:
- Fall Semester 2013: September 18th
- Winter/Spring Semester 2014: February 14th
Note: Loans which are originated late in the semester/session are disbursed on alternative disbursement dates.
Recommended Loan Limits
Current and prospective students considering loans to finance their Westminster education are advised not to exceed a total student loan (combined undergraduate and graduate) indebtedness in excess $26,000 for an MDiv degree and $20,000 for other Master’s degrees. Students requesting loans which will result in their exceeding a total loan debt level of $26,000 for an MDiv or $20,000 for other masters or ThM degrees will be required to meet with the Financial Aid Officer for debt counseling.
How Much of a Loan Can I Afford?
It is important to investigate and exhaust all other ways to fund your seminary education before taking out a loan, since you are obligated to repay a loan. If a Federal Direct Student Loan is the only option permitting you to attend seminary, the implications of loan repayment and total indebtedness must be considered; please see How Much of Loan Can I Afford?
NEW! Loan Amount Determination Excel Spreadsheet
This Excel spreasheet will help you determine the loan amount to request based on your tuition, fees, expenses and current financial aid. By entering your credit hours, fees, projected expenses and funds available to cover these costs (entry cells are highlighted in yellow), your funding needs will be calculated for each semester. After deciding on the amount you would like to borrow, the speadsheet will calculate the total loan amount to request (including loan fees). Click HERE to download the spreadsheet. Questions/Comments/Problems should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office. Please note that Macros must be enabled after opening in the Excel spreadsheet.
The Loan Application Process and Materials to Submit
For loan application materials to submit and step by step instructions see Applying For a Government Loan.
Although the standard repayment term is 10 years, there are alternative repayment options for students who are unable to pay back their loan(s) according to the standard terms. For information about alternative repayment plans see Repayment Plans. Please be aware that the total loan amount repaid (principle + interest) on a non-standard repayment plan will be greater than the total repaid according to a standard term.
Private (Bank) Loans
Educational loans provided by private lenders (banks) may be an alternative option to students who are ineligible for a Government Direct loan. Although the Financial Aid Office cannot give an official recommendation, it makes information available about lenders, some of whom Westminster has worked with in the past to provide educational loans. These lenders and their loan options are listed in tabular form here.