Welcome to the 2013-2014 academic year at Calvin Theological Seminary. In this document we strive to inform you of all of the information you will need to know regarding receiving financial aid. We encourage you to strive to live as simply as possible so as not to incur unnecessary debt during your study at Calvin Theological Seminary. You are also encouraged to seek financial counseling to assist you in managing a low personal and educational debt load during your studies.
Receiving Your Aid
There are several things you need to do to receive aid:
- Sign acceptance statement on the award notice. (You should do this by May 2013)
- Fill out all promissory notes. These notes are available in the financial aid office during the first week of class or Gateway.
- Complete deferment forms, and all other documentation requested of you by the lenders or the Financial Aid Office. It is your responsibility to get all of the necessary forms and bring them to the financial aid office for certification.
- Meet minimum enrollment and academic performance during the entire school year.
- Inform the financial aid office if there is any change in your status as a student.
- Apply/reapply for aid using proper forms for each year of study.
Applying Your Aid to Your Expenses
It is your responsibility to make sure that your student tuition/business account is maintained at the Financial Services Offices at Calvin Theological Seminary. If you have questions about payment plans, tuition due, or other account matters, contact the FSO.
Refer to the seminary student handbook for policies on tuition/fees and a payment schedule.
Your financial aid will be applied directly to your student tuition account. The Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan, Ministry Incentive Program Loan, and Postman Loan will be disbursed once each semester, in September and February. Aid will post the second week of the semester.
If you have credit in your account, you may request to draw funds by completing the form from the FSO.
Remember–your account must be paid in full by the published date for each semester. September 30 for Fall semester and J term and February 20 for Spring semester and May term Please note that we will be making two disbursements to coincide with the system of registration and billing.
If you discontinue or drop courses and fall below the half-time status, your financial aid will be re-evaluated. In most cases you will be asked to return the aid you have received by way of a refund calculation. If refunds are made to federal programs, they will be made in the following order: Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan. Canadians who obtain Canada Student Loans need to contact their appropriate provincial institutions and lending institutions directly.
Conditions Governing Awards
The full definition and requirements for specific loans are outlined in the Student Handbook and on the financial aid web pages. Below are some abbreviated descriptions.
The Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Stafford Loans apply only to eligible citizens and permanent residents of the United States of America.
The Federal Perkins Loan
It is important to understand the terms of the loan, your rights and responsibilities, and the consequences if you become delinquent or default on your loan.
Following is important information regarding the Federal Perkins Loan. The specific terms of the loan are spelled out in detail in the promissory note.
The Federal Perkins Loan is to be used for educational purposes, and must be repaid.
The Perkins Loan Office at Calvin College holds your Promissory Note for your Federal Perkins Loan. Your contact is:
Perkins Loan Office
3201 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
The loan is interest-free, and no repayment is required as long as you are enrolled in school at least halftime (this is a federal regulation). Interest on the loan during repayment is 5% simple interest. Repayment begins 6 months after you cease to be enrolled at least halftime.
The maximum amount a student may borrow through the Federal Perkins Loan Program is $4,000 per year as an undergraduate and $6,000 per year as a graduate student. The maximum cumulative amount a student may borrow is $20,000 as an undergraduate and $40,000 as a gradate student including amounts borrowed as an undergraduate. Although these are the maximums allowed, most students at Calvin Seminary are not eligible for these amounts because of the limited funding Calvin has in this program.
Acceptance of the Federal Perkins Loan generally does not affect your eligibility for other types of financial aid. The amount of the loan or other aid may be reduced if you receive other aid that we were not aware when we offered the loan or if we receive additional information, which reduces your eligibility for financial aid.
Your Federal Perkins Loan Promissory Note details the terms of the loan including the amount of your loan and the interest rate. The Promissory Note also specifies when you must begin to make payments of principal and accrued interest. Generally payments are due quarterly. Payment amounts vary depending on the loan balance, but $120 per quarter is the minimum payment.
There are no charges assessed for making this loan available to you. However, there may be charges assessed for collection of the loan if it becomes delinquent. These costs may include a $6.00 monthly late charge and collection costs up to 33.33% of the outstanding loan balance.
Failure to make payment as required may result in your loan going into default. The consequences of defaulting are severe and are specified in your Promissory Note. Defaults can often be prevented by contacting the Calvin College Perkins Loan Office if you are unable to make payments on time.
The Federal Perkins Loan Program contains deferment and cancellation provisions. Deferments are ways to postpone payment on your loan provided you meet certain conditions. Your Promissory Note contains specific information on deferments and cancellations, and the conditions that have to be met. Requests for deferment or cancellations should be sent to the Calvin College Perkins Loan Office.
Refinancing and loan consolidation options are available. These options reduce your monthly payment but will extend the repayment period and result in an increase in the total amount of interest you will pay. Contact the Calvin College Perkins Loan Office for more information on refinancing and consolidation.
A sample repayment schedule is provided below. This schedule gives an estimate of payment amounts and total interest paid over the course of the repayment period.
The entire Federal Perkins Loan (principal and accrued interest) or a portion of the loan may be prepaid at any time without penalty.
Sample Perkins Loan Repayment Schedule
- $ Maximum repayment period is 10 years
- $ Minimum quarterly payment is $120
- $ 5% interest rate
- $ Amounts are estimated and rounded to the nearest dollar
|Loan Principal||# of Years Repayment||Amount of Quarterly Payment||Total Interest|
Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan
The unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not interest-free during in school, grace, and deferment periods. Interest on the loan is fixed at 6.8%. Interest payments may be made periodically, or the interest may be capitalized and added to the principal. Repayment begins 6 months after you cease to be enrolled at least halftime. You are set up on a 10 year repayment schedule. Awards are not need based and are awarded up to $20,500/year.
For US citizens and permanent residents only.
To apply for a Direct loan, visit studentloans.gov, login, and complete a Master Promissory Note for the subsidized loan.
Due to a dramatic increase in the amount of loan requests, students are now required to complete an online loan repayment calculator when requesting loans in excess of $10,000. Please visit nslds.ed.gov and log in using your Department of Education login and pin information. Here you will find your borrowing history. This information can also be found on the report sent to you after filing your FAFSA. Once you have that information visit the Loan Payment Calculator and calculate your monthly payment. To complete the process and certify that you received the information, fill out the Loan Repayment Acknowledgement Form on our website.
You are responsible to obtain the forms that will defer your payments while in school. The Financial Aid Office will process such deferment form requests when they receive them from the student. The Financial Aid Office does not initiate this process, the student does.
Repayment of Stafford Loans begins 6 months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled as at least a half-time student.
Canada Student Loans
These loans are available to Canadian students. The loan amounts are variable and determined by the Canada Student Loan program. The interest rate is determined at the time of repayment. If you plan to apply for a Canada Student Loan, you are encouraged to do so before the beginning of the school year.
Canadian students are responsible for obtaining directly all forms that are necessary for loan processing, deferment, confirmation of enrollment, payment schedules, etc. The Calvin Theological Seminary Financial Aid Office does not carry such forms.
Canadian students will receive a subsidy payment each quarter to assist in offsetting the exchange rate and other expenses incurred by the cross-boarder move.
Each student will receive $300 per semester as long as their account is paid in full by the published deadline for that quarter.
You must indicate your intention to participate in this program by checking the box on the financial aid application or by contacting the financial aid office.
The Financial Services Office may be contacted to request your current balance. If the student account with the seminary is not paid in full, the student does not qualify for this subsidy for that semester.
Ministry Incentive Program
The seminary provides an institutional loan fund called the Ministry Incentive Program. Money from this fund is for North American students preparing for ordained Christian Reformed church service. It is a last resort after students have exhausted classical aid, personal and family resources, scholarships, and other loan sources such as Perkins or loans from other federal, state or provincial sources. The amount of loans from this fund is determined by the need of the student and by the amount of money available in the fund.
A student may borrow from the seminary loan fund during each year that he or she is enrolled at least half-time, but not for the internship year. No interest is charged and no repayment is required until the sixth month after the end of the last academic quarter in which the borrower was enrolled at least half-time as a student. Interest will be charged at an annual rate of 6% and repayment will begin on a schedule of monthly installments that provide for a minimum repayment rate of $25 per month and full repayment with a five-year period (but not to exceed ten years).
50% of the loan principal will be forgiven over a ten-year period contingent upon the student’s entry into an at least half-time, ordained position in the Christian Reformed Church. Students pay their half of the principal, plus all interest that has accrued, as soon as possible. Each year (for ten years) upon the student’s leaving the seminary, the financial aid office will send a form requesting the vocational (and educational, if applicable) status of the student. This letter is to be signed, certified and sent back in order to qualify for the 5% reduction in the loan principal for that given year. You must also be in good status with your payments on your loan and have a zero balance on Calvin Seminary accounts. The student does not automatically receive the forgiveness. These accounts will be serviced by a third party called University Accounting Services (UAS). Students are required to keep UAS and the business office at the seminary informed of any change of address or status.
The above repayment and interest policy will govern the repayment plan that is worked out with the business office at Calvin Theological Seminary & UAS. Repayment shall be made to Calvin Theological Seminary c/o University Accounting Service, Inc., which shall record the repayment performance and notify the seminary¿s chief financial officer/accountant and director of financial aid of any irregularities. Since no interest is charged on amounts repaid within six months of leaving the seminary and since interest will be charged only on the unpaid balance, early repayment will benefit the borrower as well as the fund.
A housing subsidy is provided for qualified financial aid applicants on rental units owned by Calvin Seminary. If there are extenuating circumstances that do not make seminary owned housing suitable for you (family size, handicapped accessibility) you may submit a request for consideration to the financial aid office. This subsidy is limited by the number of students who apply, available funds each year, and financial need established by the Financial Aid Office. The subsidy (grant) is applicable only when the student makes rental payments. Recipients should inform the Financial Aid Office of any changes in rental or living agreements.
There are several other awards, scholarships, and loan options. Please refer to the school catalog and Student Handbook for details. Feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office for further assistance.
The federal government requires, in some selected cases, that information provided by the student on the FAFSA be verified with supporting documentation.
If your application is selected for verification, you will need to provide the Financial Aid Office at Calvin Seminary with a copy of your federal income tax return (1040) along with other information. If there are differences between the information on your FAFSA and the information provided at the time of verification, it may be necessary to adjust your financial aid.
The financial aid listed on your award is offered on the assumption that you will be a full-time student unless noted otherwise. For purposes of financial aid students can also be classified as three-quarter time or half time. These calculations are for financial aid calculations only and not for academic or completion of program calculations. The minimum of course units required for each enrollment status (semester) is as follows:
|M.Div. and M.A.||Full-time:||minimum 9 hours or concurrent field education|
|Half-time:||minimum 5 hours or concurrent field education|
|M.T.S.||Full-time:||minimum 9 hours|
|Part-time:||minimum 5 hours|
|Th.M.||Full-time:||minimum 6 hours or thesis|
|Half-time:||minimum 3 hours or thesis|
|Ph.D.||Full -time:||first two years – 2 courses (6 hrs) per semester
third year – 6 Ph.D. comprehensives
fourth/fifth years – dissertation
|Half-time:||first four years – 1 course per semester
fifth/sixth years – 6 Ph.D. comprehensives
seventh/eighth/ninth years – dissertation
Academic Progress Requirements
Students who receive financial aid must meet minimum academic standards to continue to be eligible for financial aid. These standards are established to encourage students to complete courses for which aid is received and to progress toward degree completion. These standards are similar to those used for academic probation and dismissal. They apply to students who are currently attending Calvin Seminary or have attended Calvin previously and are applying for aid for the first time, as well as to those applying for renewal of aid.
The following standard is used to determine academic progress:
To qualify for regular admission (M.Div., M.T.S. & MA degrees), an applicant must have a college and/or seminary grade point average of 2.67 or higher. The standard for admission to the seminary is also the standard used to determine a student’s satisfactory progress while in seminary. While a student is not immediately expelled for falling below 2.67, he/she would be placed on probation and ordinarily allowed to remain on probation for only two quarters. The Th.M degree has a minimum G.P.A. requirement of 3.00 and Ph.D. has a minimum requirement of 3.3. If a student is below the minimum G.P.A. for 3 consecutive quarters, he/she will be ineligible for federal financial the following academic year.
Students are encouraged to keep track of their G.P.A. The Financial Aid Office tracks academic progress requirements each quarter and will inform students who might not qualify for aid or have their aid revoked or reduced due to lack of academic progress. Grade point averages are also calculated at the end of the year to determine eligibility for aid for the next year.
Students who fail to make satisfactory progress and have extenuating circumstances that should be taken into consideration should discuss these with the Director of Financial Aid. Those who are denied financial aid because of failure to make satisfactory progress may appeal the decision to the Admissions and Standards Committee.
Determining Your Eligibility for Aid Based on Need
Much of the financial aid available to students at Calvin Seminary is based on need and availability of funds. Eligibility for this kind of aid is determined by comparing the cost of attending Calvin Seminary and the amount you are able to pay towards costs from other sources.
For a copy of estimated costs for 2013-2014, see the financial aid website:
The aid shown on your award notice is the aid for which you are eligible based on the evaluation of the financial aid application materials you filed. Special circumstances have been taken into consideration to the extent possible based on the information reported, the regulations governing programs, and the amount of funds available. If your circumstances change or there are other factors that should be taken into consideration and you would like to request a reevaluation of your aid, you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office at Calvin Theological Seminary.
All financial aid is awarded on an annual basis unless stated otherwise. Renewal of aid consideration depends on 1) satisfactory academic progress, 2) eligibility for aid, 3) availability of funds. Renewal applicants must file application materials (all materials) between January 1¿ March 1 each year. Notification of eligibility for the following year is sent in May and confirmation of receipt of aid awards need to be received by the financial aid office in July.
Entrance Couseling Certificate:
Rights and Responsibilities Summary
I understand that I have a right to the following:
- Written information on my loan obligations and information on my rights and responsibilities as a borrower.
- A grace period and an explanation of what this means.
- A disclosure statement, received before I begin to repay my loan, that includes information about interest rates, fees, the balance I owe, and the number of payments.
- Deferment of repayment for certain defined periods, if I qualify and if I request it.
- Forbearance, if I qualify and if I request it.
- Prepayment of my loan in whole or in part anytime without an early-repayment penalty.
- A copy of my promissory note either before or at the time my loan is disbursed.
- Documentation that my loan(s) are paid in full.
I understand that I am responsible for the following:
- Attending exit counseling before I leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.
- Repaying my loan even if I do not complete my academic program, I am dissatisfied with the education I received, or I am unable to find employment after I graduate.
- Notifying my school and loan servicing center if I:
- move/change my address
- change my name
- withdraw from school or drop below half-time enrollment
- transfer to another school
- fail to enroll in school for the period for which the loan was intended
- change my expected date of graduation
- Making monthly payments on my loan(s) after I leave school, unless I have a deferment or a forbearance.
- Notifying the financial aid office, the federal government, and the state government of anything that might alter my eligibility for an existing deferment.
I have received entrance counseling materials. I have read and I understand my rights and responsibilities as a borrower. I also understand, that as a condition of my loans, I must attend classes and make satisfactory academic progress as defined by my school.
I understand that I am receiving a loan that must be repaid.