Student Borrowing and...

Student Borrowing and Repayment

The information presented below is provided to help prospective students make an informed decision with regard to financing seminary education. Typical student indebtedness upon graduation is presented together with information about the ability of students to repay student loans upon leaving the seminary (whether through graduation or withdrawal).  Loan repayment is measured by the cohort default rate expressed below.

Graduate Borrowing

The table below represents the average combined Stafford and Graduate Plus loan debt accumulated by students of Westminster and other seminaries who graduated in Spring 2013.


Degree Program

Total Educational Debt
(Sum of Stafford and Graduate Plus Loans) 
All 2013 Graduates
Median / Mean
2013 Graduates with Loans
Median / Mean
M.Div <$10,000 / $20,289 $20,000 to <30,000 / $45,651
All Masters
<$10,000 / $15,200 $20,000 to <30,000 / $39,364
Other Seminaries
M.Div  $10,000 to <$20,000  / N/A $20,000 to <$40,000 / N/A
All Masters
$10,000 to <$20,000 / N/A $30,000 to <$40,000 / N/A

Note: Westminster mean data derived from NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System).  Median debt levels (expressed in ranges) originated from Association of Theological Schools (ATS) 2013 Graduating Student Questionnaire.

About 38% of WTS students borrowed funds to pay for their seminary education, as compared to 61% of students graduating from other seminaries. The mean loan debt accumulated by M.Div. graduates in 2013 was $20,289.  The standard repayment terms for this amount of unsubsidized loan debt (10 years at 6.8% interest rate) would result in a payment of $234 per month.

Stafford Loan Cohort Default Rates

The "default rates" expressed below represent the percentage of students who have defaulted on their loans (stopped loan repayment) within two years  (2011 Two Year Cohorts) or three years (2010 Three Year Cohorts) of starting repayment. Many of the students included in the 2011 two-year cohort were 2010 graduates, those included in the 2010 three year cohort were 2009 graduates.