Virginia Theological Seminary recognizes that financing one’s theological education can be a challenge, and we are here as one partner in the significant investment students make in both their own and the Church’s future. Each year, VTS awards over $2.5 million dollars in institutional aid through a variety of scholarships, grants, and other programs that assist more than 80% of our full-time master's-level student population.
In addition to a student's personal financial resources and those that may be available from the Seminary, students need to look to their diocese, parish, family, friends, and private scholarships for additional assistance. By being proactive in seeking support, students can ensure they have the resources needed to complete their master's-level education while incurring the least amount of debt, which will allow them to be open to the widest array of ministries following graduation.
Master's-level students may apply for our non-need-based scholarship aid only at the time of initial entrance to VTS; such aid is renewed annually without reapplication. Information about criteria, procedures, and deadlines are described in the Scholarships section of our website.
Need-Based Financial Aid
Virginia Theological Seminary awards the majority of its aid to full-time students (12 or more credit hours per semester) based on financial need. Financial need is calculated for a 9-month academic year period and determined by deducting projected financial resources and support from eligible educational expenses. A percentage of personal net assets is included in the calculation of a student's financial resources. Debt is not taken into consideration in the financial need calculation; it is strongly recommended that prospective students eliminate consumer debt before coming to seminary.
Students interested in our institutionally-funded need-based grant, work, or loan aid may apply anytime throughout their studies with reapplication required each subsequent academic year for which aid is desired. Prospective students should apply for need-based aid concurrently with the admissions application process; doing so will ensure a timely response regarding aid eligibility soon after hearing of any positive offer of admission. Need-based aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis each academic year and there are stated deadlines to apply for both prospective and current students. Late applications result in a decrease of $500 or more in the offered grant, and are dependent upon remaining funding.
Students whose personal resources and outside support are insufficient to cover all eligible educational expenses demonstrate financial need and therefore will be awarded Seminary financial aid to help meet that gap. Aid is primarily offered in the form of need-based grants ranging from $500-$23,500, depending upon a student's familial and financial situation.
The Seminary grant is the final component of a student’s financial aid package. It is awarded after all other sources of financial support are identified. As a student’s financial situation changes throughout the academic year, the grant is recalculated and may be adjusted.
Application Processs and Timeline/Due Dates
While on campus for the Admission Interview, prospective students can meet with one of the staff members in the Office of Financial Aid to learn about VTS financial aid and to discuss their eligibility. The VTS Financial Aid Application and a signed copy of the most recent federal income tax return are due May 1 for entering students. Supporting forms and documentation are due prior to the disbursement of aid. Applications received after the deadline will be processed and awards made depending on the availability of funds; late applications result in reduced grant funding of $500 or more. Virginia Theological Seminary does not participate in federal Title IV student aid programs and therefore does NOT require the FAFSA to be completed.
For returning students, the VTS Financial Aid Application, a signed copy of the most recent federal income tax return, and documentation of applying to three private/outside scholarship sources are due June 1. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed but result in an offer of reduced grant funding of at least $500. Supporting documentation is due prior to the disbursement of aid.
Disbursement of Awards
Financial aid awards are for the full academic year. One-half is credited to the student’s account each semester. If the aid exceeds tuition and fees, the student will receive a refund about one week after the semester begins, which is theirs to budget for unbilled expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal living expenses.