What is FAFSA?
FAFSA is an acronym for 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 www.fafsa.ed.gov 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.
What do I need to complete the FAFSA?
You will need three items to complete your FAFSA:
- Northeastern Seminary school code - G34194
- Driver's license
- 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?
Expected Family Contribution (ECF) 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.
What types of scholarships are available?
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.
For doctor of ministry students the Seminary offers the Presidential Scholarship and the Trustees Scholarship recognizing financial need, excellence in service and academic merit.
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 November 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) calculation, located on the Student Aid Report (SAR) as 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 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. The FAFSA must be filled out and students must qualify annually to retain this scholarship. The need-based scholarship has no formal application process, if 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. Eligibility for this award is based on a GPA of at least 3.5 for last degree earned, strength of recommendations, and quality of application essay. To be considered for this scholarship you must be accepted and deposited by the incoming student deadlines as indicated below:
- Masters fall term - June 15
- Masters spring term - 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 here.
What can I expect in my financial aid award letter?
Your award letter will contain both the loan and scholarship amounts for which you are eligible. 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.
You will have two items on your award letter:
- Amount of scholarship(s)
- Amount of eligible unsubsidized federal loans
The maximum amount of unsubsidized federal loans one is eligible to receive is based on data reported on the FAFSA and the sum of tuition/fees, estimated books/supplies, and estimated living expenses. NOTE: 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?
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 the accrual of interest is to pay the interest as it accumulates.