Financial Aid

The primary purpose of the seminary’s financial aid program is to assist qualified women and men in obtaining a theological education at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. The seminary’s financial aid program is designed to augment the student’s efforts. Students are responsible for their educational and living expenses and for seeking financial aid.

Aid is awarded on the basis of need, availability of funds and satisfactory academic progress. Aid sources include government guaranteed loans, government-funded employment, PLTS-funded employment and PLTS Grant in Aid and scholarships.

Most synods and districts and some congregations offer grants and/or loans for theological education. Students should apply for such grants and/or loans directly to the respective agencies. Students are also encouraged to seek assistance from civic organizations, trust funds and foundations. Information on such scholarship may be sought through the Financial Aid section of the GTU web site.

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

PLTS Grant in Aid/PLTS Scholarships

PLTS Grant in Aid is available to students on the basis of need, availability of funds and satisfactory academic progress. The Financial Aid Office awards Grant in Aid based on the information provided in the student’s financial aid application. Grants are disbursed at the beginning of each semester and applied first to tuition and other seminary charges. PLTS Scholarships are awarded by the PLTS Admissions Office on the basis of merit, financial need, and availability of funds.

Stafford Student Loans

PLTS participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Under this program, Stafford loans are funded by lenders and guaranteed by a state agency or a private nonprofit institution. Students may borrow up to a combined total of $18,500 through the unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford loan programs. Total financial aid awards, including loans, cannot exceed the total cost of education as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Eligibility for a subsidized Stafford loan is based on need. The maximum amount an eligible student may borrow per year is $8,500. Interest is paid by the federal government while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program and during the grace-period, the six month period after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Loans disbursed after July 1, 2006 will have a fixed 6.8 percent interest rate. The interest rate on a subsidized Stafford loan disbursed after July 1, 2006 is 6.8 percent. Loans borrowed prior to July 1, 2006 have a variable interest rate that is adjusted every July 1—based on the 91-day T-bill—and will not exceed 8.25 percent.

Eligibility for an unsubsidized Stafford loan is not based on need. The maximum amount an eligible student may borrow per year is $18,500 minus any subsidized Stafford loan eligibility. Interest begins to accrue on an unsubsidized loan at the time of disbursement. The interest rate on an unsubsidized Stafford loan disbursed after July 1, 2006 is 6.8 percent. The interest rate on an unsubsidized loan borrowed prior to July 1, 2006 is variable and subject to the same 8.25 percent ceiling as a subsidized loan. Interest payments may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Accrued interest will be added to the principle balance after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) may be available to those who demonstrate financial need. A Federal Work-Study award grants a student priority consideration for on-campus hourly employment. Work-study awards may also be utilized off campus with a non-profit employer. To apply for Federal Work-Study a student must apply for financial aid as outlined below.

PLTS offers student employment to work-study and non work-study students. For a listing of on-campus employment opportunities, please contact the PLTS Facilities Coordinator. Information on off-campus FWS employment opportunities may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Enrollment requirements

To qualify for federal aid, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of two courses per semester and be considered at least half-time in a degree or certificate program. To receive PLTS Grant in Aid/Scholarships, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a regular degree or certificate program. If a student withdraws before the beginning of a semester, or withdraws or is dismissed on or after the Friday of the fourth week of classes, the grant and/or scholarship award is withdrawn. Grants and scholarships awarded by PLTS are not transferable to tuition at other institutions.

Academic Standard

To maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, which is defined as a 3.0 or better grade-point average (GPA) in an academic program that can be completed in a period of four years.

How to Apply

Students seeking PLTS Grant in Aid or Federal Student Aid (Stafford loans or work-study) must apply for financial aid each year for the following academic year as outlined:

  • Applicants must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Financial Aid Supplement Application postmarked no later than March 15 to receive priority consideration for limited aid funds, namely PLTS Grant in Aid.
  • Students should visit the Financial Aid pages of the GTU website for the application and instructions. Application forms are available through the Financial Aid section of the GTU website beginning in December of each year.
  • Entering students/Admissions applicants are asked to submit a complete financial aid application by March 15th. After March 15, entering students ought to apply for financial aid as early in the enrollment process as possible and no later that July 1st, for priority consideration for the remaining, available pool of Grant in Aid funds.
  • Students submitting applications for financial aid after March 15 will be awarded aid on a first come, first serve basis as funds allow and in the following order: entering students will be given priority consideration for PLTS Grant in Aid through July 1st; after July 1st, continuing students who applied after the March 15 deadline will be considered for PLTS Grant in Aid depending on the availability of funds.
  • PLTS Financial Aid is administered through the GTU Financial Aid Office, located at 2465 LeConte Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94709. The office is open to students between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, Monday through Thursday. Tel: 510/649-2469. email:

Financial Aid for Master of Arts Students

GTU MA students affiliated with PLTS pay their tuition and continuing fees to PLTS and, accordingly, apply for PLTS Grant in Aid and Federal Student Aid as described above.

Veterans’ Benefits

For information and application for veterans’ benefits, contact the common registrar at the Graduate Theological Union.

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans may be available from the seminary to students for emergency situations. Repayment is due within ninety days. More information is available from the Business Office.