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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Financial Aid Office
    130 Essex Street
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    (978) 646-4018
    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

    Fall and Spring Hours:
    Closed Daily for Lunch 1:00pm-2:00pm
    Closed Wednesdays for Chapel 11:00am-12:15pm

    Summer Hours:
    Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-3:30pm
    Closed for Lunch: 1:00pm-2:00pm
    Friday: Closed

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    Learn how real students paid for seminary.

Direct Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans - Hamilton

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary participates in the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program. These loans are known as Direct Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans and are available for eligible graduate students. For more information, please review the following topics on this page.

Eligibility for Student Loans

William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program: Details and Requirements


Graduate PLUS loan program

Student Loan History through NSLDS

Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation

GCTS Student Loan Indebtedness Policy



Eligibility for Student Loans

To receive a federal student loan, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (such as a Permanent Resident),
  • Have a Bachelor's degree  OR
  • Have completed at least 3 years of full-time study at the undergraduate or graduate level,
  • Be accepted into a Master's-level degree program,
  • Be registered for at least 4 credits per semester in both the fall and spring semesters, and
  • Complete at least 67% of the classes you attempt  AND
  • Maintain the minimum required GPA for your degree.

You must not:

  • Be in default on any previous federal loans  OR
  • Be a visiting, diploma, certificate, or D.Min student.



William D. Ford Title IV Student Loan Program: Details and Requirements

Maximum Loan Amount --  Annual Limit for Graduate Students:  $20,500
  • The loan amount can not exceed the cost of attendance minus any scholarship or grant.
  • Students must meet and maintain loan eligibility. See specific requirements at Apply for Financial Aid.
Interest Rate for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:   6.60%
  • Rate is fixed for the life of the loan.
  • Interest accrues from the time that the funds are disbursed to student.
  • Students may let interest accrue OR pay the interest while in school.
  • Interest rates for loans in subsequent academic years may vary.
  • Interest rates are determined annually by the Department of Education.
Lender Fee for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:   1.062%
  • Fee is deducted from loan before it is disbursed to student.
  • Lender fees for loans received in subsequent academic years may vary.
  • Lender fees are determined by the Department of Education.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements
Students who receive federal student loans must meet the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements:
  • the student must maintain the minimum GPA required for his or her degree program AND
  • the student must successfully complete at least 67% of courses attempted.

For this purpose, successfully completed is defined as having received a passing grade (D or higher or P for passing).  Note that withdrawing (and receiving a W) is not considered successfully completed and such a class would be included in the SAP calculation.

The SAP verification is done for each student prior to the disbursement of loans. If a student does not meet the requirements, the student will be notified by the Financial Aid Office.  A student who does not meet the SAP requirements has the option of an SAP appeal process.  The process is described in the notification letter and in the GCTS Student Handbook.

If a student's SAP appeal is approved, loan eligibility can be reinstated and the student may be eligible to receive federal student loans. If a student does not use the SAP appeal process or if a student's SAP appeal is not approved, the Financial Aid Office will not be able to disburse that student's loan.

Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling Tutorial
As a new borrower at GCTS, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling Tutorial (Entrance Counseling) before you can receive a Direct Unsubsidized Federal Student Loan.

The MPN is a legal document -- a promise to repay your student loan according to certain conditions. Entrance Counseling explains your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower. Both are completed online through Student Loans.Gov.

Exit Counseling
As you graduate, you will be required to complete an online Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial. Access the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial through Student Loans.Gov.  Note that Gordon-Conwell can not issue a diploma or transcripts until this federal requirement is complete.
The exit counseling requirement also applies if you take a leave of absence, drop below half-time, or withdraw from school.
Grace Period and Repayment


As you 1) graduate, 2) drop below a half-time course load, or 3) withdraw from school, your six-month grace period begins. The grace period begins on the last day that you attended on a part or full-time basis. You are not required to make student loan payments during the grace period, but will be required to do so once the six-month grace period ends.

If you return to school on a half or full-time basis before the grace period is over, you will have a new six-month grace period as you graduate, drop below a half-time course load, or  withdraw.

The standard repayment term for student loans is ten years, but other options may be available. See Student Loans.Gov for more information about repayment plan options.



Graduate PLUS Loan

The federal Graduate PLUS Loan program is another option for student loans. Students apply annually and must pass a basic credit check with the Department of Education. Visit Student Loans.Gov for more information or to apply.

Annual Maximum Amount 

Students may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus other financial assistance.

Interest for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:   7.60%
  • Interest accrues from time loan is disbursed.
  • Interest rates for loans received in subsequent academic years may vary and will be determined and announced by the Department of Education.
Federal lender fee for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:   4.248%
  • Fee is deducted from loan before disbursement.
  • Lender fee for loans received in subsequent academic years may vary and will be updated by the Department of Education.

Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, students enrolled at least half-time may defer payments while in school. Repayment terms range from 10 to 25 years depending on the loan amount. Graduate PLUS Loans are eligible for federal loan consolidation.


Master Promissory Note for GradPlus Loan

Grad PLUS borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note. Complete this online at Student Loans.Gov. If you do not have adverse credit (as determined by the GradPLUS application)  AND have already completed the Entrance Counseling Tutorial for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, you are not required to complete the separate GradPLUS Counseling module.  However, we do recommend that all GradPLUS borrowers complete this tutorial as it is designed to help applicants understand borrower obligations and the costs of a PLUS loan. 

Notes for students with an adverse credit finding

Students who apply for a GradPLUS loan may be determined to have adverse credit. A student with an adverse credit history may qualify for a Grad PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser, who does not have an adverse credit history, or by documenting extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information.

GradPLUS Entrance Counseling is mandatory for applicants who have an adverse credit history.



Student Loan Debt History

Use the National Student Loan Data System to get information about your undergraduate or graduate student loans, including the name and contact information for your loan servicer.



Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation

Find information about standard repayment plans and options at Student Aid. For information about federal student loan consolidation or application for consolidation, see Student Loans.Gov. See the National Student Loan Data System to review your student loan history and find information about your loan servicer. 

As a student loan borrower, you are responsible for staying in touch with your loan servicer, updating your contact information, and making payments even if you do not receive a bill.  Find additional information about basic repayment procedures, repayment plans, and loan consolidation on our Federal Student Loan Repayment Handout.



GCTS Student Loan Indebtedness Policy

The Trustees and administration of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary are concerned about the impact that large loan repayments may have on our students. The Seminary has established a policy to reach out to any student whose student debt is nearing or exceeds $40,000 whether from current study at the Seminary or previous study at other institutions.

We consider this level of debt a point at which reflection is both warranted and wise. If this applies to you, the Financial Aid Office will send you a letter with a few questions about your plans for future borrowing and repayment. We require that you thoughtfully and confidentially address those questions in your written response to our Financial Aid Debt Committee. These letter are, of course, strictly confidential. As always, the Financial Aid Office staff is available to help you with borrowing, budgeting, and repayment tools.  The Financial Aid Debt Committee will review your response before offering additional federal student loans beyond the $40,000 threshold.


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