Financial Aid

Starr King offers several forms of financial aid for degree candidates. We work directly with our Consortial GTU Financial Aid office to best support students. Financial Aid is awarded in the form of Starr King institutional tuition scholarships, student loans, work study, or a combination of the three. Financial aid is granted on a year-to-year basis, with reapplication and review each year. Eligibility is based on information provided on a student’s application for financial aid and on satisfactory academic progress.  The federal government requires that institutions of higher education establish and implement a policy to measure if a financial aid recipient is making Satisfactory Academic Progress and the school must have a policy for monitoring progress. Federal regulations require that the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy include quantitative and qualitative measure and certification of the completion of work within a maximum time frame. Satisfactory Academic Progress must be maintained in order for a student to retain eligibility for institutional and federal financial aid.

All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.  Starr King School for the Ministry does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious affiliation, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in administering its financial aid programs.

Financial Aid-Application Forms and Deadlines

Students must apply for financial aid each year by the Starr King Financial Aid application priority deadline in order to be considered for the fullest range of aid available.  Students who apply after the priority deadline may still be eligible to receive Direct Loans.  However, a late application may result in the loss of eligibility for limited forms of financial aid including institutional aid and/or federal work-study.

  • It is the responsibility of the student to complete each year‘s application on time.  However, to encourage early and on-time application submission, the Financial Aid Office will send periodic e-mail reminders after the beginning of each calendar year.
  • SKSM Institutional Financial Aid Applications can be obtained by visiting the SKSM website at http://www.sksm.edu/admissions/financial-aid/.

Federal Work-Study

The work-study program allows students who are eligible for need-based aid to work part-time for which they are paid an hourly wage.  Federal Work-Study (FWS) may be available to those who demonstrate financial need and is subject to availability of funds.  A Federal Work-Study award may be used for on-campus employment, at the GTU Library, or off campus with a non-profit employer. A work-study award grants a student priority consideration for on-campus hourly employment.  To apply for Federal Work-Study a student must indicate an interest in work-study on the FAFSA.

A school must use at least 7% of its FWS federal allocation to support students working in community service jobs, including: reading tutors for preschool age or elementary school children; mathematics tutors for students enrolled elementary school through ninth grade; literacy tutors in a family literacy project performing literacy activities; or emergency preparedness and response.  Students who wish to participate in a reading literacy project are given priority consideration for federal work study employment.

Federal Direct Loans

SKSM participates in the federal Direct Loan program.  Direct Loans are low interest loans that help students pay for the cost of the student‘s education.  Eligibility for a Direct Unsubsidized loan is not based on need. Interest begins to accrue on an unsubsidized loan at the point of disbursement.  Students may opt to pay (6 credits) in a qualified degree program.  Any interest accrued will be added to the principal balance of the loan after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time.  The Financial Aid Office will determine the amount a student can borrow up to the annual maximum of $20,500.  Total financial aid awards, including loans, cannot exceed the total cost of education.  For information on the current unsubsidized direct loan interest rate, please visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#what-are-the-current

An additional loan provided under the Direct Loan Program is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan for graduate and professional degree students.  The Graduate PLUS loan is an additional non-need based, federal student loan option.  The terms and conditions include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history.  Before a student will be considered for a PLUS Loan, the Financial Aid Office must have determined the maximum eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.  The maximum PLUS Loan amount an eligible student can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.  Students who wish to borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan must contact the Financial Aid Office.  For information on the current Graduate PLUS loan interest rate, please visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#what-are-the-current.

The U.S. Department of Education charges a loan fee for a portion of the principle amount of the Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans.  The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The most current loan interest rates are listed at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.

The Direct Loan Program offers several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers.  Generally, borrowers have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan, depending on the repayment plan that is chosen.  A borrower will receive more detailed information on repayment options during the required student loan entrance and exit counseling sessions.  For more information about the Direct Loan program and about repayment plans, visit https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action and contact the Consortial Financial Aid Office.

Outside Resources

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.  Information regarding outside grants and scholarships is available on the financial aid pages of the GTU website at http://www.gtu.edu/admissions/financial-aid.  The GTU Scholarship Link, operated and maintained by the Consortial Financial Aid Office, supports students by providing information on funding opportunities for graduate students in theological education.

Students preparing for the Unitarian Universalist ministry who are in “Aspirant” or “Candidate” Status with the UUA Ministerial Fellowship Committee are eligible for a number of scholarships administered by the UUA. For information on requirements and how to apply: http://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/becoming/scholarships

Veterans Administration Benefits

On behalf of Starr King, the GTU Consortial Registrar is the certifying official for Veterans Benefits. Students with previous graduate level coursework/training in the program to be pursued will be evaluated upon enrollment and given appropriate credit.  Evaluation will be based upon review of academic transcripts. Credit allowed will be recorded in enrollment records, and the length of the program shortened proportionately.  In addition, the student and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs shall be notified. (Note: All prior graduate level coursework and training will be evaluated.)  Upon completion of the course of study a degree will be conferred.

Students who meet the definition of a “veteran” may be eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. Students wishing to receive VA benefits should contact the GTU Consortial Registrar’s Office at or before the time of registration in order to complete the necessary paperwork.

Procedures for Receiving Federal Loan Proceeds

If you are receiving a federal loan, you must complete all necessary paperwork with the Financial Aid Office. First-time Direct loan borrowers at SKSM must also complete Direct Loan entrance counseling. This requirement may be completed online at http://studentloans.gov. Exit counseling is required of all students in their last semester of registration and of those who otherwise drop below half-time enrollment at any point in the program.

  1. Loan proceeds are received electronically at the beginning of the fall and spring terms and are processed through the Financial Aid Office and posted to the student’s account by the GTU Business Office. Students must be registered at least half-time and must have completed all financial aid requirements in order for loan funds to be processed.  Please note that changes in enrollment may result in an adjustment to or loss of aid.  Refund checks will be issued for any credit balances existing after charges are deducted.  Students should contact the SKSM Finance Office for information regarding the schedule for their refunds.
  2. A hold placed on your registration will result in a delay in the processing of your loan funds until the registration hold is resolved.

Deferment of Prior Student Loans

To defer prior student loans, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). SKSM submits current enrollment information to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse each term. This information is accessible to major lenders and loan servicers but there is a time lag in reporting.  Servicers may not receive updated enrollment information until mid-semester.  Perkins loans typically require the completion of a deferment form, available from the school that issued the Perkins loan.  If you have outstanding federal student loans, to ensure your loan servicer is aware of your current status, be sure to respond to any mail directed from your lender/servicer. It is your responsibility to verify deferment procedures with your servicer(s) and to comply with your servicer(s) deadlines to avoid defaulting on your loans.  Likewise it is your responsibility to give the appropriate deferment forms to the Registrar in a timely manner, along with an appropriately addressed mailing envelope for each form.  Deferment forms are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Reporting Outside Resources

Federal regulations require students and the institution to report any outside resources the student will receive for the academic year.  Outside resources include but are not limited to: scholarships, grants, denomination support, Vocational Rehabilitation, AmeriCorps, or other external sources of financial assistance such as payments made to the school from any person other than the student.  Outside Resources, with the exception of Veteran’s Benefits, must be factored into the calculation of a student’s eligibility for institutional and federal financial aid.  If necessary, the student’s financial aid package will be adjusted to account for additional assistance that is received.

General Policies Guiding the Consortial Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office staff adheres to institutional policies and the rules and regulations dictated by the U.S. Department of Education.

  1. Students who meet published application deadlines have priority over late applicants. Late applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as funds allow. Because financial aid funds are fully allocated during initial awarding, there will normally be no grants or work-study available to late applicants.
  2. Full-time enrollment is 9.0 units or more per term (Summer, Fall or Spring/Intersession semester). Half-time enrollment is 6.0 units per term.
  3. Full-time students who drop to half-time status will have their grant-in-aid reduced in proportion to the reduction of their tuition charge. Federal Work-Study and Federal Direct Loans will be reduced as required by federal law.
  4. Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible to receive any financial aid.
  5. Eligibility for financial aid for the summer term varies. Check with the Consortial Financial Aid Office for details.
  6. Students receiving funds from non-SKSM sources will not have their grants reduced except in cases where total need is exceeded.
  7. Members of religious orders are eligible to receive grants or scholarships and Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Members of religious orders are ineligible to receive Federal Work-Study.
  8. Annual awards will be disbursed equally between the fall and the spring semesters.