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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Financial Aid Office
    130 Essex Street
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    (978) 646-4018
    finaidinfo@gordonconwell.edu
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F

    Student Accounts Office
    130 Essex St.
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    (978) 646-4049
    Fax: (978) 646-4601
    finserv@gordonconwell.edu
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Cashier Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    (Wednesdays: Closed for chapel from 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m)

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    Learn how real students paid for seminary.

Hamilton Loan FAQ's

Hamilton Loan Answers

Q:How do I know how much I need?
A:

Begin by estimating your budget for the school year. Costs vary widely by campus and program and depend on each student’s pace of study. You should consider at least the following expenses in estimating your budget:

  • Tuition
  • Living costs, such as Room and Board
  • Books
  • Travel, Health Insurance and other miscellaneous costs

Compare the cost of your program with incoming resources from at least the following:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Church
  • Other sources

The amount that remains is your financial need. Consider your options to reduce this need, e.g. reducing living expenses, increasing income from work, seeking additional outside support and/or accepting all or part of your financial aid award.

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Q:What if I don’t want the full amount offered in the Award Package?
A:

You may reduce or cancel any part of your financial aid package. You may have been offered more loan money than you want or need. Simply enter the reduced amount you want to accept.

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Q:What if I decline all or part of my loan award now but then later decide that I need it?
A:

You may reapply for loans later if you still meet the eligibility requirements. Contact the Financial Aid Office.

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Q:Should I borrow the maximum amount? What choice do I have?
A:

You are encouraged to borrow the minimum that you need. Many GCTS students take steps to avoid or minimize borrowing, including:

  • Full or part-time work
  • Studying part-time
  • Obtaining support from churches, family, friends, organizations, etc.
  • Choosing a simple, low-cost lifestyle while at GCTS
  • Coordinating work and study with a spouse
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Q:What is the “Indebtedness Policy” at GCTS?
A:

The Seminary sets a limit of $40,000 for individual student educational indebtedness, including debt incurred at previous schools you have attended. If a student New or Returning is nearing or has exceeded a Federal Student Loan debt of $40,000, they are sent a notice stating they must write a letter to the Debt Committee that reviews their plan for further borrowing and plans to make future repayment in light of salary expectations. The Financial Aid Debt Committee will evaluate all future borrowing requests which would take an individual above this $40,000 limit. (Note: this limit is extended to $45,000 if the student is graduating within the academic year.) Most requests are approved; however, if the Debt Committee has concerns after your initial letter has been reviewed, a meeting may be requested with the Director of Student Financial Services.

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Q:Do I need to sign a Federal Direct Loan Promissory Note (MPN)?
A:

If you are new to GCTS and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS you will need to complete a new Direct Loan master promissory note. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov.

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Q:Am I required to complete a Direct Loan ENTRANCE Counseling tutorial online?
A:

If you are new to GCTS and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS you will need to complete an Entrance Counseling tutorial online. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at www.studentloans.gov. Once completed online, the Financial Aid office requests a copy of the confirmation page sent to GCTS to include with your Financial Aid file documents.

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Q:Am I required to complete a Direct Loan EXIT Counseling tutorial online?
A:

When a GCTS student Federal loan borrower has dropped below half-time status, withdrawn, takes a leave of absence or graduates, the Federal Government regulates that they must complete an online Exit Counseling tutorial. GCTS takes compliance with this regulation seriously and will not honor official transcript requests or give out a diploma until this requirement is completed. You will need your FAFSA pin number to access your account at www.studentloans.gov.

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Q:Are loans available for Summer Semesters or is it considered part of Spring Semester for financial aid purposes?
A:

  In general, students are awarded only for FALL/SPRING semesters. The Financial Aid Office does not automatically award summer loans. Summer loans are by request of the student and are considered either headers or trailers to a school year. If you need a summer loan, you will need to have a completed FAFSA and GCTS form for that year. If you have remaining loan eligibility for the current year, you may request a summer loan within the current academic year. If you have already maxed out your sub/unsub Stafford eligibility for the current year, a FAFSA and GCTS must be completed for the next school year. In this case, a summer loan would have to be a header to the next academic year. Whatever you are awarded for the summer in loans will reduce your overall maximum loan eligibility for the following fall/spring. The total amount of Stafford subsidized/unsubsidized loan in any academic year a graduate student may receive is $20,500.

Any student who wants a summer loan may contact the Financial Aid Office come April or thereafter. As long as the 2011-12 FAFSA and GCTS form are in, we can determine the loan award you are eligible for in the summer. Disbursement will not be until after the summer session begins. No loans may be processed after the last day of class for the summer session they are requesting a loan for.

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Q:What is a Perkins loan?
A:

This is an additional federal loan program offering subsidized loans at a fixed low interest rate. These loans are offered to students with the highest costs and need as determined by the Financial Aid office. GCTS has a limited amount of Perkins loan it may award. For more information about Perkins Loans and interest rates, visit the Student Loans / SAP page.

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Q:What is a Direct Grad PLUS loan?
A:

This loan allows you to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid you may be receiving. Cost of attendance includes tuition, room and board, books and other miscellaneous expense. The PLUS loan is based on your credit. These loans have a fixed rate. If eligible, you are strongly encouraged to take out the maximum amount of your subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans before considering a Grad PLUS loan. For more information about Perkins Loans and interest rates, visit the Student Loans / SAP page.

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Q:What is Federal Work Study and how do I get a Federal Work Study position?
A:

Certain GCTS jobs on and off campus are partially federally funded through the Federal Work Study Program. These jobs usually have flexible working hours and earnings count as financial aid. You first apply for financial aid. FWS eligibility is not indicated on a GCTS financial aid award. The reason is because it is not an amount that is applied to your student account. Rather, it is an amount you may earn at a GCTS eligible job, receive a paycheck and use it for your living expenses. Any time during the semester you may seek an on campus job by inquiring in the various departments. There is no central posting of open positions. (Please check with the Financial Aid office to see if you are eligible.)

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