Financial Aid & Scholarships

Starr King annually provides Institutional Tuition Scholarship Awards to assist students with the cost of tuition. Starr King institutional tuition scholarships are awarded through an internal process by the SKSM Scholarship Committee. The Scholarship Committee considers the financial need of each applicant as well as the school’s commitment to educating to counter oppressions and our desire to manifest a just, multiracial, multicultural learning community.

Starr King’s scholarship application is built into Populi (both our learning management software and student accounts management software). Current students applying for the next academic year and prospective students (who have completed their applications for the next academic year) will need to apply through this system to be considered for institutional scholarships.

The new scholarship portal will open on February 15 and will close on April 1. Returning students must apply every year for Institutional Scholarships during the Spring semester to receive assistance for the following academic year. Returning students may only apply once per year – during this timeframe. Students that do not apply will not be considered for scholarships for the academic year. Apply before April 1st to be considered for scholarships for the following Academic Year.

Those who apply for admission between April 2 and June 1 will remain eligible for other forms of financial aid. Applicants may continue to apply for admission for Fall until June 1 but may not be eligible for scholarships.

To review the list of “named” scholarships and the criteria, scroll down this page to the section titled: Starr King Institutional Tuition Scholarships – Donor List.

​In order to apply for an SKSM Institutional Tuition Scholarship, students must complete both the FAFSA and the SKSM Scholarship Application:

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the federal processor online at Please note the following
    • The SKSM federal school code is G04080
    • For financial aid for the 2024-2025 Academic Year, submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA using 2022 tax records if you have not yet filed a federal tax return. Update the information once you complete your taxes.
    • You can submit your FAFSA from October 1 through June 30.
  2. Complete the Starr King Institutional Tuition Scholarship Application:
    • Between February 15 and April 1, visit
    • You will receive an email from the school at your SKSM email address ( with the information you need to log in and apply.


Expected timeline for the Starr King Institutional Scholarships

Please note that any scholarships awarded may not be released until a signed acceptance letter and “thank you note or card” is received by SKSM via the new software system.

Deadlines and Events
Scholarship Application Opens February 15
Priority Funding Deadline for New Students April 1
Final Funding Deadline for Returning Students April 1
Award Letters Go Out May 1-31
Spring Scholarship Application Deadline for New Students* November 1

*New Spring students who apply after November 1 will have no eligibility for scholarship funding but will remain eligible for student loans and grants. These students may apply for scholarships in future years at SKSM.


Starr King Institutional Tuition Scholarships – Donor List

Starr King Institutional Tuition Scholarships are funded through annual gifts given by friends of the School and through endowed scholarship funds. The endowed scholarship funds have been established in honor of beloved mentors and forebears. In making awards, the Scholarship Committee endeavors to match recipients with the interests and commitments of those honored.

  • The Josiah and Laile Bartlett Tuition Scholarship honors the memory of Josiah Bartlett, Starr King’s former dean and president (during the 1950s and 1960s), and Laile Bartlett, a sociologist of religion.  As partners in ministry and life, the Bartletts shaped Starr King’s progressive educational values and practices still in evidence today including personalized programs of study, student-centered learning, student involvement in the governance of the School, and the creative interaction of religion and the arts.  After serving as Starr King’s president, Dr. Bartlett pioneered the creation of the Unitarian Universalist interim ministry program.
  • The William Smythe Boyd, III Tuition Scholarship was established by Miriam Boyd Gray in 1948 in memory of her father for the “education and training of men in the ministry.”
  • The Cutten Family Tuition Scholarship was established in 2006 by Merrit Cutten to honor his parents and the legacy of ministerial leadership his family experienced as members of the First Unitarian Society of San Francisco.
  • The Mark DeWolfe Tuition Scholarship honors the memory of Mark DeWolfe, a 1981 Starr King graduate who died from AIDS shortly after graduation.  His parents began the endowed scholarship.
  • The Aron and Eve Gilmartin Tuition Scholarship established in 1989 by members of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church honors the memory of Eve Gilmartin who served as an active lay leader for many years and Aron Gilmartin who served a lifetime in the UU ministry and was an inspiring exemplar of religious leadership for racial equality and social justice.
  • The Raymond and Betty Goodman Tuition Scholarship was established in 2004 by Dr. Ray Goodman, a devoted Unitarian Universalist, who notes, “I would not have been able to attend college and medical school without such aid and consider it a gift to myself to be able to do this for others.”
  • The Arnold and Ariel Grace Tuition Scholarship was established by William A. Grace to honor his parents.  Arnold Grace attended Wentworth Institute, was a WWII Army veteran and worked at George Junior Republic as a plant engineer for 48 years.  The award is for returning 2nd through 4th-year students.
  • The Gail Hamaker Tuition Scholarship was established in 1987 by her family for a ministerial student with financial needs who is interested in some aspect of women and religion.
  • The J. Henry Hanhisalo Tuition Scholarship is for a student with financial need who wishes to incorporate music into their ministry. It honors the memory of Rev. Hanhisalo, a Universalist minister of Finish descent who served in New England.
  • The David and Norma Lewis Tuition Scholarship provides full tuition for as many students as possible. David Lewis was a former Board member of SKSM. David and his wife Norma were committed to giving back as generously as they could in their life and beyond, including to the UUA, UUSC, UUCMP, and Starr King. “Our father’s spirit of generosity stemmed from his sense of ethics and justice,” his three children described. “There is no better memorial to Dave and Norma Lewis,” his children wrote, “than to offer assistance to students to pursue their dream of an education that allows them to work for social and economic justice – to counter oppressions and create just communities.”
  • The Charles and Hilda Mason Tuition Scholarships, established by a bequest from the Masons, are awarded in honor of Charles and Hilda, members of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington D.C. who were leaders in civil rights, social justice work, grass-roots education, black empowerment, and more. Hilda Mason served as a trustee of Starr King School and was renowned for her bold leadership as a member of the City Council for the District of Columbia.
  • The Gordon and Phyllis McKeeman Tuition Scholarship was established in 2002 for a student with a particular interest in Universalism who plans to enter parish ministry.  The Rev. McKeeman served churches in Ohio and Massachusetts, then served as President of Starr King from 1983-88. Phyllis McKeeman has been active in UU church life and leadership for decades.
  • The Rosamond Reynolds Tuition Scholarships are awarded in memory of Roz Reynolds, artist, friend, and mentor to many Starr King students.  She served as a trustee of Starr King and led the 1980’s campaign to establish the Aurelia Henry Reinhardt endowed professorship to secure a feminist voice and presence on Starr King’s faculty.
  • The Harry B. Scholefield Tuition Scholarship honors the memory of Rev. Harry Scholefield, minister emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco which he served from 1957-1973.  Beloved mentor, he taught many ministers and ministerial students to memorize poetry as a spiritual practice.  Rev. Scholefield was active in civil rights and peace movements; he received the Adin Ballou Grassroots Peace Award from the UU Peace Fellowship in 1986.
  • The Jacob Trapp Tuition Scholarship is awarded in memory of Jacob Trapp, who graduated from the Pacific Unitarian School (now Starr King) in 1929 and served for a lifetime in the Unitarian Universalist ministry.  Author of many hymns, and a down-to-earth explorer of prayer, meditation, and the mystical aspect of the religious, Jacob Trapp has been acknowledged as one of the principal contributors to the creative evolution of UU liturgy.
  • The John Weston Endowed Fund for Humanist Studies was established in 2019 by a gift from Rev. John H. Weston. Its purpose is to promote the study of humanism, including its history within Unitarian Universalism and the wider world, and the continuing role it can play in contemporary congregations.

SKSM Institutional Merit and Incentive Scholarships – Donor List

Starr King offers a number of Merit and Incentive Scholarships to students who show special promise based on their academic record, achievements as activists or religious leaders, or their distinctive commitments, religious affiliation and/or goals, or who meet specific criteria.

  • The John Buehrens Scholarship is awarded as a merit grant by the President of Starr King to an entering student with financial need who is judged to have “the highest academic achievement and intellectual promise, as well as outstanding potential for effective ministry.” In addition, the UUA selects a second or 3rd- year student to receive the second Buehrens scholarship. (While the entering student recipient of this scholarship is selected by the president of SKSM, funding comes from the endowment at the UUA. The funds will arrive as a check directly to the student recipient from the UUA with half of the funds in the fall semester and half in the spring semester.)
  • The Olympia Brown Scholarships are awarded as incentive grants to students who advance Starr King’s commitment to theological education that engages underrepresented constituencies and historically marginalized groups.  Olympia Brown was the first woman ordained to the Universalist ministry and one of the earliest women ministers in the U.S.
  • The Earl K. Holt III Scholarship is awarded as a merit grant to a single recipient, with a strong commitment to parish ministry, and hopefully with a particular interest in Unitarian history and the Puritan-congregational tradition.
  • The St. Lawrence Tuition Scholarships are funded by a gift from the St. Lawrence Foundation to provide financial aid to two students annually who are in candidate status for Unitarian Universalist ministry.
  • The Balazs Scholarship provides tuition and living expenses to enable a Unitarian minister from Transylvania to study for a year at Starr King.  The Balazs scholar is selected by the Unitarian Church in Transylvania.  The Balazs Committee supports the Balazs scholar and also arranges, as funds are available, for Starr King Students to do fieldwork in Transylvania.
  • The Hilda and Charles Mason Teaching Fellowships are awarded to students who have submitted a proposal that has been approved by the Curriculum Committee to teach a course at Starr King, in a congregation, or in the community

Other Types of Financial Aid (i.e., Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work Study)

The Business Office partners with Financial Aid Solutions (FA Solutions) for all processes related to Federal Financial Aid. FA Solutions stands ready to assist you in any way necessary. For more information about the federal financial aid application process, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (510) 902-3989 or send an email:

UUA Scholarships for Unitarian Universalist Seminarians

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) provides scholarships directly to students who are preparing for Unitarian Universalist ministry. Scholarship aid is for seminarians who have achieved aspirant or candidate status for UU ministry, but some forms of assistance are occasionally available for entering students.

After graduation from seminary, the UUA provides debt-reduction assistance for those who enter the ministry. Rev Darrick Jackson is the Director of Ministerial Credentialing at the UUA and can answer any questions you may have:

Please note the various application deadlines at the link below. Note that the application requires several letters of reference. Be sure to start early to submit your application. Current information and application instructions are available at

Other scholarships funded by UU organizations include:

St. Lawrence Foundation CPE Grants

The St. Lawrence Foundation for Theological Education seeks to aid students in aspirant or candidate status with the Unitarian Universalist Association by offering stipends to pay up to $750 tuition for the UUA required one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at an accredited CPE center. The Foundation will send the tuition payment directly to the CPE Center. Therefore, students who submit this application must be committed to taking CPE at the center named and, in the timeframe, specified. A postgrant report will be required from the student. The Foundation needs to use limited funds to meet the needs of many students. Please do not apply for this scholarship if you have other sources of funding for CPE tuition or if you are able to cover the expense yourself. To access the application form, click here.

The Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship

Offered by the UU Women’s Federation, this program provides direct financial support to aspirants or candidates to UU ministry, or candidates in the UUA religious education or music leadership programs, who identify as women of color, Latina, or Hispanic. Applicants must complete an online form. There are two funding cycles per year, with deadlines of March 1 and October 1. More information can be found here.

UUA Program Assistance Grant for Career Assessment

Aspirants with financial needs may request a $1000 Program Assistance Grant from the UUA Ministerial Credentialing Office (MCO) to offset the costs related to the career assessment. Please contact the UUA Ministerial Credentialing Office when an assessment has been scheduled so that the MCO can arrange to send the grant directly to the career center.

Other Outside Scholarships

In addition to the types of aid listed above, students are advised to seek financial support from outside sources, such as savings, support from friends and family, aid from churches or denominations, and grants or scholarships from outside organizations.

Non-Tuition Student Aid

Current students should consult the Student Handbook regarding opportunities to receive financial aid for non-tuition expenses.

***Please note that SKSM Institutional Scholarships (ITSAs) are for tuition only and scholarships of any form are not guaranteed or promised.