Message from the Financial Aid/International Coordinator
Greetings from the Financial Aid and Scholarships office! The mission of the Financial Aid Office is to enhance the overall mission of the Seminary and to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources.
We use our knowledge of institutional and federal guidelines to manage the financial resources, to educate students, and to assist in removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue a theological education. It is important to know that students are our #1 priority. Although federal regulations are continuously changing, our commitment to serving you will NEVER change.
Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to playing a pivotal role as you continue your theological journey.
Wishing you God’s Peace and Blessings,
Betty A. Rucker, MSHE; MSSL
Financial Aid/ International Coordinator
Phone: 732-247-5241, ext. 311
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Questions and answers about NBTS student financial aid
Q: What kinds of aid does New Brunswick Theological Seminary offer and who qualifies for it?
A: To qualify for aid administered by NBTS, you must have been admitted to a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, or Doctor of Ministry degree program and have registered for a minimum of three academic credits per semester for scholarships in NBTS’s custody and six academic credits per semester for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. (Supervised Ministry and Clinical Pastoral Education are not calculated as academic credits.) Types of aid:
- Awards from the Seminary’s scholarship funds are made to Master’s degree students on the basis of application and need. Some funds are designated for students who meet specific criteria.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans administered through the US Department of Education are available to Master’s and Doctoral students and are over and above need. You must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident to qualify for these loans and not be in default.
The Seminary’s funds are limited and students are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships from denominations, congregations, etc. Search websites like www.pcusa.org/financialaid/links.htm, www.thefund.org, & www.fastweb.com and be aware of deadlines & eligibility requirements.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A: We require you to complete and submit certain documents in order to complete your financial aid file so that your financial aid may be properly credited to your student account for the academic year.
- All Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan recipients must complete the most current academic year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (i.e. if enrolling Fall 2016; you must complete the 2016-2017 FAFSA).
- NBTS’s School Code: G02619.
- Please note The FSA username and password has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to fafsa.gov or StudentLoans.gov
For each academic year click here:
- NBTS’s Online Financial Aid Application: All students applying for loans and or scholarships only must complete NBTS’s Online Financial Aid Application
- All students applying for scholarships must complete NBTS’s Financial Aid Scholarship Essay.
- All first time borrowers must complete an Entrance Interview and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.nbts.edu
Q: How do I complete a FAFSA on the Internet?
A: If this is your first FAFSA, or if you have forgotten your FSA User ID, go to www.fafsa.gov. Once you have your FSA User ID go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to enter your financial information. New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s FAFSA school code is G02619. Students’ financial information will be available on-line to NBTS Financial Aid in the form of the Student Aid Report. The information it contains is confidential and will not be shared with other students, faculty, or staff.
Q: How is need determined from information on the FAFSA?
A: The US Department of Education uses a preset formula to calculate how much you are able to pay toward your annual educational expenses. This is the Estimated Family Contribution; the figure appears on your Student Aid Report as the EFC.
The Seminary estimates students’ projected cost of attendance based on enrollment status (full or part-time) and cost of living. If you have special or extenuating circumstances that might influence your financial situation, explain on your NBTS Financial Aid Form and attach documentation. The Office of Financial Aid will bring it to the attention of the Scholarship Committee.
Q: Can F-1 nonimmigrant students get financial aid?
A: To qualify for an F-1 visa, students must show the ability to pay for their educational and living expenses in the US for the entire length of their stay. As a result, they cannot qualify for need-based awards through the FAFSA process but may qualify for an award from a designated fund.
Q: What happens after I submit my documents?
A: Letters with scholarship fund awards and/or offers of student loans are mailed out after scholarship decisions are made. If you are making revisions, please initial your letter, sign it and return to the Financial Aid Office. All first-time NBTS Federal Direct Loan borrowers must also complete an on-line Master Promissory Note and Entrance Interview. Borrowers who leave school (by graduating or stopping their studies) must complete an Exit Interview.
Q: What is the maximum amount of money I can borrow under the Federal Direct Student Loan Program?
A: Unsubsidized loans: Maximum of $20,500/yr to aggregate limit of $138,500.
Unsubsidized loans accrue interest but you can defer paying it. However, at NBTS only students who are full-time (12 or more credits are eligible for $20,500; students who are enrolled in 9-11 credits are eligible for $18,614; and students enrolled in 6-8 credits are eligible for $12,568. Students enrolled less-than half-time (1-5 credits) are not eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program. Students enrolled at St. John’s must complete a Consortium Agreement. Click here.
A GENTLE BUT IMPORTANT REMINDER: FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS MUST BE REPAID SIX MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION OR SEPARATION FROM NBTS! WE URGE YOU TO BORROW WISELY AND BORROW THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU NEED TO COVER ONLY YOUR EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES.
Loan History & Limits
Knowing your outstanding student loan balance will help you financially plan your education at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Your cumulative student loan history is being reported by the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on www.nslds.ed.gov. It is important to visit www.nslds.ed.gov for the most up-to-date information on your cumulative student loan history
Annual Loan Limits vs. Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits
Annual Loan Limits: The federal government limits the annual amount of Federal Stafford Loan (FFELP and Direct) that you can borrow. NBTS defines its annual award year as two semesters and three trimesters. Students cannot exceed the annual Federal Direct Loan maximums in the award year. Loans borrowed at a prior institution can impact your eligibility at NBTS. Our office may ask you to provide additional information about prior loans in order to process new loans at NBTS.
Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits: The federal government limits the aggregate amount of Federal Loan that you can borrow in your lifetime. The lifetime aggregate limit for Stafford Loans (FFELP and Direct) is: for Graduate students: $138,500 combined (only $65,500 may be subsidized; includes amounts borrowed as an undergraduate student).
As a student loan borrower, you are responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans you have borrowed.
Forms & Information
How to Finance Your Graduate Studies
Complete Counseling (Entrance Interview)
Complete Counseling (Exit Interview)
Complete and Sign Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Loan Disbursement/Refund FAQ
Financial Aid Consumer Information Sheet
Health Insurance & Immunization
Please click here to see our Financial Aid Policies.
Click here to learn about the NBTS program How Not To Mortgage Your Future, sponsored by the Lilly Foundation.
Video – Student Loans and Seminary Costs – This 30-minute video by Auburn Theological Seminary provides an overview of what students can expect when financing a seminary education.
Free Webinars – Sign up for free webinars designed to help you on your path to financial wellness. Topics include goal setting, credit reporting, managing credit, debt repayment, and budgeting.
Income and Expense Worksheet – Create and follow a spending plan. A realistic monthly spending plan is a valuable tool to guide your spending and saving decisions.