Northeastern Seminary

Current Students | Seminary Financial Planning

Step-by-Step Financial Aid

  1. FAFSA
  2. Scholarships and grants
  3. Award letter
  4. Financial planning
  5. Entrance counseling
  6. Choose a lender
  7. Account statement


What is FAFSA?

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, managed by Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education which ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally-funded or federally guaranteed financial assistance for education beyond high school. Visit for more information.

When is the FAFSA due?

For all students, the amount due for each semester is due before classes start. If you will be getting loans and applying for the need-based scholarship, you will need to fill out the FAFSA at least three weeks before the start of class and it must be completed annually. As a matter of habit, it is encouraged that you complete your FAFSA each year after you file your federal taxes, as that information is requested on the application.

Do I wait until I am accepted to complete the FAFSA?

No, you should complete the FAFSA as part of the application process. This will help you gauge whether or not you will be eligible for the need-based scholarship.

Do I get my award letter with scholarships and loan amounts after I complete my FAFSA?

We do not generate an award letter until after the early incentive deadlines for each semester-June 15 for the fall and November 15 for the spring. If you have completed the FAFSA and have been accepted into the program after June 15 (fall) or November 15 (spring), please allow two weeks for your award letter to be sent.

What do I need to complete the FAFSA?

You will need three items to complete your FAFSA:

  1. Northeastern Seminary school code - G34194
  2. Driver's license
  3. Previous year's federal income tax return-throughout the FAFSA form, you will be asked to reference numbers from your prior year's tax return.

Why do I hear about Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in relation to the FAFSA?

EFC stands for "Expected Family Contribution" and is a measure of your family's financial strength and overall financial need. The EFC is used to determine eligibility for loans and the Northeastern Seminary need-based scholarship. The EFC is calculated using a formula that is established by the government (this includes your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and taxable benefits). Also in consideration is the size of your family and how many people in your family are currently attending college. All of this information is reported on the FAFSA and is used to determine your EFC.

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Scholarships and Grants

Northeastern Seminary offers scholarships for the master's and doctor of ministry (D.Min) programs. For master's students, Northeastern Seminary offers three primary scholarships to first-year students: an early incentive scholarship, a need-based scholarship, and an academic scholarship. Northeastern Seminary also provides a wide range of scholarships to returning second, third, and fourth year students. For a list of these scholarships, click here.

What is the early incentive scholarship?

The early incentive scholarship is available to all master's students who are accepted and deposited before June 15 (for the fall semester) or October 15 (for the spring semester). Students receive this one-time award of $400 in their first semester. This scholarship has no formal application process. The money is automatically distributed to your account as long as you are accepted and deposited by the deadline.

What is the need-based scholarship and how do you become eligible?

The need-based scholarship is based off the "expected family contribution" (EFC), located on the Student Aid Report(SAR) part of the FAFSA. If a student's EFC is less than $16,000, then they are eligible for the need-based scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Master of Divinity students receive $5,400 and Master of Arts students receive $3,150; each is prorated over the course of their program. FAFSA must be filled out and students must qualify annually to retain scholarship. This scholarship has no formal application process as you have filled out the FAFSA and your EFC is under $16,000.

What is the academic scholarship?

Academic scholarships are available to full-time master's and doctoral degree students in recognition of academic excellence. Selection criteria for this award are an undergraduate or graduate GPA of at least a 3.5, strength of recommendations, and quality of application essay. To be considered for this scholarship you must be accepted and deposited by incoming cohort deadlines as indicated below:

Program Deadline
Masters - fall June 15
Masters - spring November 15
Doctor of Ministry March 15

What other scholarship resources are available?

Northeastern Seminary has provided a list of scholarship opportunities for master's students at the following webpage.

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Award Letter

Your award letter will contain both the loan and scholarship amounts you are eligible for as an accepted student into Northeastern Seminary. We do not generate an award letter until after the early incentive deadlines for each semester-June 15 for the fall and November 15 for the spring. If you have completed the FAFSA and have been accepted into the program after June 15 (fall) or October 15 (spring), please allow two weeks for your award letter to be sent.

You will have two items on your award letter:

  1. Amount of scholarship
  2. Amount of eligible unsubsidized loans

The maximum amount of unsubsidized loans one is eligible to receive is based on an amount derived by our financial aid department. This total equals the sum of the amounts from published tuition/fees, estimated books/supplies, and estimated living expenses. You do not need to accept or use all that is awarded to you. Contact the financial aid office directly to adjust your awards.

What are unsubsidized loans?

If you are awarded a loan as part of your financial aid package, you will be eligible for unsubsidized funds

  • Unsubsidized loans charge interest from the time the money is first disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest is capitalized, meaning that you pay interest on any interest that has already accrued. One way to minimize how much interest accrues is to pay the interest as it accumulates.

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Financial Planning

We encourage all students to explore the long-term financial implications of your schooling. Please take time to look through the material presented in Mapping Your Financial Future.

Eligibility Awareness

As you are forecasting the future costs of seminary, it is important to remain eligible for your financial awards. Here are four important things to remember:

  • Loans and credit hours - You must be enrolled for at least 5 credits per semester to maintain eligibility for student loans.
  • Scholarship (full-time) - If you were awarded scholarships that automatically renew each year, it is important to know whether they require a minimum full-time enrollment of either 9 credits per semester. For any awards at Northeastern Seminary, 9 credits are considered sufficient.
  • Academic Scholarships - If you were awarded an academic scholarship, it is important to maintain satisfactory academic standing to ensure renewal of scholarship amounts each year.
  • FAFSA completion - The Northeastern Seminary need-based scholarship and loan eligibility is based on an annual resubmission of the FAFSA. You may complete the FAFSA as early as January 1.

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Entrance Counseling

If you are receiving a loan for the first time at Northeastern Seminary, upon receipt of the award letter, you will need to complete entrance counseling before your funds will be disbursed. This is done online by logging onto and completing the online student counseling portion. You will receive further instructions on entrance counseling with your award letter.

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Federal Direct Loan Program

Once you have completed the entrance counseling, funds will not be released to Northeastern Seminary until you have completed and signed the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) through Instructions will be provided in the award letter. The rate and fees charged are set by the Dept of Ed annually effective 7/1.

For more information regarding the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, please visit Contact the Northeastern Seminary/Roberts Wesleyan College financial aid office for any questions at 585.594.6150 or

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Account Statement

Two weeks after the start of class, all students receive an account statement that shows their student account balance. At two weeks, all students should have paid for their semester in full.

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