Western Seminary Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions concerning FAFSA

What types of Financial Aid does Western Seminary provide?

Western Seminary offers various types of financial aid such as scholarships, grants, loans, and payment plans to help make your training affordable.

What does FAFSA stand for?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is required by Western Seminary in order for a student to be evaluated for any financial aid. You may apply online after January 1, at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

How does the FAFSA work?

Using the information you supply on the FAFSA, the federal processor determines your expected family contribution (EFC) - the amount of money your family can be expected to contribute to your seminary costs. The EFC helps the financial aid staff determine what type of aid a student may be eligible for.

Why should I get a PIN, and how do I get it?

What is a PIN? Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records. It can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your Federal Student Aid records online.

To obtain a pin, visit http://www.pin.ed.gov

Why: A PIN can be used to access the FAFSA Application, Renewal and Corrections on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and the National Student Loan Database System (www.nslds.ed.gov) where information regarding your Stafford loans is available.

How: Once you have applied for a pin via the website above, the Central Processing System will confirm the identifying information with the Social Security Administration.

After a successful match a PIN will be generated and a PIN mailer will be sent to you. Keep it! A pin allows you to sign your FAFSA on the Web electronically as well as to review and correct answers on your electronic Student Aid Report (SAR).

What is our 6-digit school code?

School code: G07178 (0 is the number zero)

Is it better to “estimate” my income figures on the FAFSA or wait until I’ve filed my tax return?

We suggest you wait to file the FAFSA until you can give actual figures from your Form 1040 tax return. Because there are no Pell grants available at the graduate level, there is no need for you to rush to file your FAFSA.  However, we do recommend that you complete the FAFSA prior to consulting with the Financial Aid Staff as it will allow for us to give you the most accurate options regarding financial aid.

How do I make a correction on the web to my FAFSA?

Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov
Corrections on the Web will allow students to make changes to entries on their FAFSA except to change the social security number and date of birth. Students who wish to make changes to their FAFSA application using Corrections on the Web must have a PIN in order to access their record.

How do I check the status of my FAFSA or request a duplicate Student Aid Report?

1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or the FAFSA website: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

How do I know which FAFSA to complete, the 2013-2014 FAFSA or 2014-15 FAFSA (available after January 1, 2014)?

Students seeking loans beginning fall term 2014 should file the 2014-2015 FAFSA. Students seeking loans and grants for the summer 2014 should file the 2013-2014 FAFSA.

Questions concerning deadlines

Does Western Seminary have a deadline for financial aid?

Yes, Western Seminary has deadlines for our Western Seminary Institutional Aid.  Grants are awarded for a full Academic year starting with the Fall semester.

Returning Student Deadline
July 1 – Fall/Spring/Summer Semesters
November 1 – Spring/Summer Semesters (if deadline for Fall is missed)
March 1 – Summer Semester (if deadline for Spring is missed)

Incoming Student Deadline (beginning Fall 2013)
14 Days after the degree program Admissions application deadline

Your official FAFSA must be received AND processed by the Federal Processor no later than the Western Seminary Institutional Aid deadlines listed above.  The Western Seminary Grant applications are also due at this time for all returning students.  Only the students meeting these deadlines will be considered for Western Seminary Institutional Aid.  Information about our grants may be found on the Financial Aid page.

Questions concerning applying for financial aid

How do I apply for a Western Seminary Grant?

Grants will be based primarily on financial need and will depend in large part on the amount of money available and the need of the applicant. Grants are awarded on a fall-spring-summer academic year. The Church Partnership Grants and Need-Based Grants are funded by the endowment and restricted scholarships shown in the Seminary catalog. Eligible programs include Certificate, Diploma, Master's, ThM, and Doctor of Missiology.  Non-degree students are not eligible for financial assistance.  You will need to complete both the FAFSA and the Western Seminary Need Grant application to be considered for any of our Grants.  Students receiving any institutional grants must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each semester.

Questions concerning loans

I do not want another loan but I want to keep my past loans in deferment. How do I do that?

Your loans do not go into deferment "automatically" when you register for classes. Ask your servicer or lender for an “In-school Deferment Request.” Complete the top portion of the form, and then send it to Mr. Mark Baker ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to complete the lower portion. We will then mail it to your loan servicer.

Most students need only enroll at half time status (four hours per semester) in order to have their loans deferred. You may find out who your servicer is by logging on to the National Student Loan Database System where information regarding your Federal Direct or Stafford loans is available.  You must be enrolled at least part-time to have your loans deferred.

How can I keep track of the name and address of my lender/servicer?

Lenders frequently sell student loans and usually you will receive notification of a sale after it occurs. However, you can keep track via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). To use the web site you must have a PIN number. To check to see if you have a PIN number or to get one visit http://www.pin.ed.gov

What is an unsubsidized Stafford loan?

An unsubsidized Stafford loan is a loan through the Federal Direct Loan Program that will accrue interest from the point of disbursement unless you make interest payments. We strongly encourage you to be making monthly interest payments on your unsubsidized Stafford loans. Starting July 1, 2011 Graduate students will only be eligible to receive Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.  What does this mean for you?  Interest will start to occur on your Stafford loans while you are attending Western Seminary.  Also, the 1.05% origination/guarantee fee will be back in place. (EX: Unsubsidized Stafford loan for $6000 for fall/spring = disbursement of $5937).

How do I apply for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

You will need to complete the Borrower-Based Direct Loan Application. You will also need to complete the following in order for Western Seminary to process your loan:

Where can I check the status of my current loan request?

Once you have mailed the Western Seminary Borrower-Based Direct Loan Application to Western's Financial Aid Office in Portland, a current loan file will be started for you. You will begin to receive emails from the Financial Aid Office telling you what requirements are yet to be received. Once all requirements have been met, you will receive a loan "award letter" from the Financial Aid Office. If you have not received a loan "award letter," feel free to call the Financial Aid Office 1.877.517.1800 x1818 to find out the status of your request.

What if I have trouble repaying the loan?

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance on your loan. During a deferment, no payments are required and interest does not accrue. During forbearance, your payments are postponed or reduced. Interest continues to accrue, however, and you are responsible for paying it.

Questions concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

The Office of Financial Aid must monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all students receiving financial aid (federal and/or institutional aid) from Western Seminary. To remain eligible to receive financial aid, all financial aid recipients must meet two requirements: a quantitative measure or number of credits earned and a qualitative measure or cumulative grade point average (GPA) each measurement period. Please be advised, this process is separate from the Institutional Academic Probation review conducted through the Registrar’s area. Information on those standards may be found in the Academic Catalog.

Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed for all students at the conclusion of each semester. If a student is not meeting satisfactory academic progress at the end of a term, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The student may still receive financial aid for the next term. If the student continues not to meet satisfactory academic progress during the Financial Aid Warning period, the student will not be eligible for further financial aid assistance. The student may then appeal, explaining why they failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and the appeal will be reviewed. The student may then be placed on SAP probation or on a SAP academic plan.

Get in Touch

Shelle Riehl
Shelle Riehl
Director of Financial Aid
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503.517.1814
Ashley Mitchell
Ashley Mitchell
Financial Aid Counselor
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503.517.1819