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Scholarships and Aid
While students are responsible for gathering the financial resources necessary to pay for their theological education, Meadville Lombard strives to provide a number of methods to help our students graduate with the lowest burden of debt possible. Financial assistance is available to qualifying students through a variety of resources consisting of scholarships, tuition reduction grants, and loans.
Find out more about full-tuition and partial-tuition scholarships available to students applying to Meadville Lombard in 2014/15 here. More general information about scholarship can be found, below.
Scholarship and grant opportunities are provided through generous gifts from individuals and organizations and are distributed through Meadville Lombard based on merit and need. Listed below are only a few of the grants, fellowships, and scholarships made available to matriculated students.
Full Tuition Scholarships
To qualify for these scholarships, Master of Divinity degree students must complete their application for admission by March 1 and intend to study full-time. The scholarships will be awarded according to the following schedule:
The Arnold and Julia Bradburd Endowed Scholarship Fund for Excellence: 2014
Students applying for entrance into the Master of Divinity degree for Fall 2014 are also eligible for other scholarship consideration: more information can be found here. Also, be sure to review the Tuition Reduction Awards tab, below, for more information about scholarships.
Scholarships from the John Haynes Holmes Memorial Fellowship
For more information on scholarships contact the Senior Director of Student Services.
Tuition Reduction Awards
Meadville Lombard awards tuition reduction grants from available scholarship resources to eligible students based both on need and merit. All awards are authorized for the academic year and are credited to the student's account each term. The average scholarship for students applying is approximately 30%, though students with greater need may receive a higher percentage.
To be considered for institutional financial aid, new and current students need to apply for financial aid each year by submitting the Meadville Lombard Institutional Tuition Reduction Award Application (ITRAA) as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please be sure to review the Institutional Tuition Reduction Award Policy before applying.
The due date for the ITRAA is March 1, 2014.
Students who are matriculated into a degree program at Meadville Lombard are eligible to apply for Federal Financial Aid while they are enrolled at least half time for their degree program and maintain satisfactory academic performance.
While loans are available to all students meeting the minimum eligibility requirements, the use of these loans can be a burden for students pursuing the ministry as a career. Most of our students do receive some form of tuition reduction award and many receive assistance from the Unitarian Universalist Association and other organizations dedicated to helping students manage their debt load.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Two Types of Direct Loans available to graduate students:
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Students get Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans regardless of need, but will have to pay all interest charges.
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans (Plus Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students)
Step 1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by using "FAFSA on the Web"
Step 1. Complete the FAFSA Online
Step 2. Complete Online Entrance Counseling
Complete the online entrance counseling on the Federal Direct Loan Servicing website. This tutorial reviews basic facts about Federal Direct Loans, and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. After you complete the tutorial, you will be required to take and pass a quiz. The tutorial and quiz will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Once you have passed the quiz, the system will display your quiz results and ask you to choose a school. You may print your passing entrance counseling quiz results along with a copy of your rights and responsibilities by clicking "Retrieve Quiz Results" from the main page.
Step 3. Complete and Sign your Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Students now are able to sign their MPN electronically on the web. You will need to log in using your PIN issued by the Department of Education and then select "Complete Master Promissory Note."
Completing an electronic MPN is very simple and easy. You must complete the entire process in a single session so be prepared and give yourself plenty of time. If you exit the site before signing your electronic MPN, you will be required to start over from the beginning.
IMPORTANT: Before beginning your electronic MPN session:
Paper Option: If you do not wish to sign your MPN with your PIN, you may request that the Financial Aid Office print a copy of your MPN. The printed copy will be mailed to your home address for your signature, but this will delay the processing of your loan application.
Step 4: Complete the FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN REQUEST FORM
Each new student loan recipient will be required to complete entrance counseling before a loan application is processed and attend an exit interview when graduating or terminating from school.
Maximum Loan Amounts
For a Federal Direct PLUS loan, the fixed interest rate is 7.9%. In addition, the Federal Direct PLUS loan has an origination fee of 4% with an up-front rebate of 1.5%.
There are several ways to repay a Federal Direct Loan:
An extended repayment plan has a lower fixed monthly payment amount, and loan repayment can be extended beyond the usual 10 years.
A graduated repayment plan usually begins with lower monthly payments, and payment amounts increase at specified times. Payments may be the usual 10 year period, or they may be extended beyond the usual 10 years.
Income-contingent repayment plan sets annual repayment amounts based on the borrower's income after leaving school. The loan is repaid over an extended period of time, not to exceed 25 years.
A servicing agency will be responsible for maintaining the loan account and repayments. It is the student's responsibility to maintain contact with that agency.
Financial Aid Policies and Procedures
In order to remain eligible for both institutional and Federal aid, students must be enrolled at least half time each term (per the definition of their program) AND maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The following outlines the policies and the procedures by which the policies are enforced with regard to SAP.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Financial Aid Warnings and Appeals
Students may appeal for reconsideration of Title IV eligibility by submitting a Letter of Appeal to the Senior Director of Student Services. The Letter of Appeal must state the circumstances resulting in the student not meeting SAP. These reasons must be clear and critical, i.e.:
The Letter of Appeal must also address the change in circumstances that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the term. The Letter of Appeal must be received by email or snail mail within two weeks of the notice of ineligibility.
The appeal will be reviewed by the Senior Director of Student Services, the Provost, the student's Academic Advisor, and the Director of Student Records. If the appeal is granted, the student is put on Financial Aid probation and will be deemed eligible for Title IV funds for the term. If the student does not meet SAP at the end of that term, they will be ineligible for Title IV funds. The student will be notified of the committee's decision within two weeks of receipt of the Letter of Appeal.
A student whose Title IV eligibility has been reinstated under the terms of an academic plan is considered to be making satisfactory progress.
Budgeting for Seminary
To get an estimate of the costs for a student enrolled full-time in our degree programs. You can find rates for our tuition and fees here. Masters level students attending full-time should average 9 units per year as well as 3 non-tuition units during one summer (for Clinical Pastoral Education). Students in the TouchPoint program should expect to make at least 7 trips to Chicago during the course of their degree program for between three days and three weeks. Prospective students may contact the Student Services staff for help in how their time might be spent in Chicago.
The Department of Education also provides a budget calculator to help students consider all costs as they prepare for higher education.
Important Dates to Remember
March 1, 2014: Early application deadline
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