Westminster is approved to participate in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
(part of the Title IV loan program) in administering:
Direct Un-Subsidized Loans* (6.8 % interest rate and loan fee of 1%)
Graduate PLUS Loans (7.9% interest rate and a loan fee of 4%)
* Please note that beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, graduate students are no longer eligible to apply for a Direct subsidized loan.
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 participate in the government loan program.) For more detailed information about the government loan program at Westminster, please see the 2013-14 catalog. For those students who are not eligible for government loans, please note that they may be eligible to apply for private (bank) educational loans.
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:
- Students taking 7 credit hours or more: You will be required to pay 50% of tuition and fee costs.
- Students taking 6 credit hours or less: You will be required to pay 100% of tuition and fee costs.
- Full-time students: You will not be eligible to receive the tuition discount for full-time students paying their tuition costs in full.
- All students: You must wait until your loan is approved and loan funds have been disbursed and processed before you can receive a refund of your excess loan funds.
Standard Disbursement Dates
- 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?
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.
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.
Private (Bank) Loans
Educational loans provided by private lenders (banks) may be an alternative option to students who are not eligible 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.