The primary purpose of the seminary’s financial aid program is to assist qualified women and men in obtaining a theological education at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. The seminary’s financial aid program is designed to augment the student’s efforts. Students are responsible for their educational and living expenses and for seeking financial aid.
Aid is awarded on the basis of need, availability of funds and satisfactory academic progress. Aid sources include government guaranteed loans, government-funded employment, PLTS-funded employment and PLTS Grant in Aid and scholarships.
Most synods and districts and some congregations offer grants and/or loans for theological education. Students should apply for such grants and/or loans directly to the respective agencies. Students are also encouraged to seek assistance from civic organizations, trust funds and foundations. Information on such scholarship may be sought through the Financial Aid section of the GTU website.
All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. PLTS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious affiliation, age, gender or disability in administering its financial aid programs.
PLTS Tuition Assistance/PLTS Scholarships
PLTS Tuition Assistance is available to students on the basis of need, availability of funds and satisfactory academic progress. The Financial Aid Office awards Tuition Assistance based on the information provided in the student’s financial aid application. Awards are disbursed at the beginning of each semester and applied first to tuition and other seminary charges. PLTS Scholarships are awarded by the PLTS Admissions Office on the basis of merit, financial need, and availability of funds.
Stafford Student Loans
PLTS participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans are low-interest loans that help students pay for the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. Students may borrow up to a combined total of $20,500 per academic year through the Direct Unsubsidized (non-need-based) and Subsidized (need-based) loan programs. Total financial aid awards, including loans, cannot exceed the total cost of education as determined by the Financial Aid Office. For more information, including the interest rate for Direct Loans and repayment plans, visit https://studentloans.gov.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work-Study (FWS) may be available to those who demonstrate financial need. A Federal Work-Study award grants a student priority consideration for on-campus hourly employment. Work-study awards may also be utilized off campus with a non-profit employer. To apply for Federal Work-Study a student must apply for financial aid as outlined below.
PLTS offers student employment to work-study and non work-study students. For a listing of on-campus employment opportunities, please contact the PLTS Facilities Coordinator. Information on off-campus FWS employment opportunities may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.
To qualify for financial aid, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program. If a student withdraws before the beginning of a semester, or withdraws or is dismissed on or after the Friday of the fourth week of classes, PLTS aid may be withdrawn. Grants and scholarships awarded by PLTS are not transferable to tuition at other institutions.
To maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. To make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), a student must (1) maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and (2) progress toward the completion of the degree in the allowable, maximum time frame of that program.
How to Apply
Students seeking PLTS Tuition Assistance or Federal Student Aid (Direct loans or work-study) must apply for financial aid each year for the following academic year as outlined:
- Applicants must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Financial Aid Supplement Application postmarked no later than March 1st to receive priority consideration for limited aid funds, namely PLTS Tuition Assistance and federal Work Study.
- Students should visit the Financial Aid pages of the GTU website for the application and instructions. Application forms are available through the Financial Aid section of the GTU website beginning in December of each year.
- • Entering students/Admissions applicants are asked to submit a complete financial aid application by March 1st. After March 1st, entering students ought to apply for financial aid as early in the enrollment process as possible.
- • Students submitting applications for financial aid after March 1st will be awarded aid on a first come, first serve basis as funds allow and in the following order: entering students then continuing students who applied after the March 1st deadline.
- PLTS Financial Aid is administered through the GTU Consortial Financial Aid Office, located at 2465 LeConte Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94709. The office is open to students between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, Monday through Thursday. Tel: 510/649-2469. email:
Financial Aid for GTU Common MA Students Affiliated with PLTS
GTU MA students affiliated with PLTS pay their tuition and continuing fees to PLTS and, accordingly, apply for PLTS Grant in Aid and Federal Student Aid as described above.
For information and application for veterans’ benefits, contact the common registrar at the Graduate Theological Union.
Short-term loans may be available from the seminary to students for emergency situations. Repayment is due within ninety days. More information is available from the Business Office.