Financial Aid Policies – 2013 - 2014

The Seminary of the Southwest provides scholarship grants to students with demonstrated financial need.  Endowments and gifts from supporters provide the resources for this support.  As a matter of institutional policy, Southwest seeks to practice good stewardship in the administration of scholarship programs.  In so doing, Southwest strongly discourages students from incurring debt in order to attend (indeed, for that reason Southwest does not participate in federal student loan programs), and Southwest awards as much as possible, preferring to err on the side of generosity. 

To qualify for consideration for a scholarship grant, an applicant must complete the Financial Aid Evaluation form, including full disclosure of available financial resources as well as a proposed budget of income and expenses for the period for which the grant is sought.  One’s most recent federal income tax return is part of the documentation required.  Normally, financial aid is granted on a year-to-year basis with annual reapplication and review.  Recipients of financial aid shall notify the Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance of any significant changes to their personal financial circumstances as soon as they occur; this includes new debt incurred.

The total amount of financial aid granted by Southwest will not exceed demonstrated need.  Demonstrated need is defined as the difference between the total cost of attending this institution and the total resources available to the student from all other sources.  In reaching that determination, both applicants and Southwest shall follow these guidelines:

·       Applicants shall seek support from their dioceses and parishes, and students are also required to demonstrate that they have applied to major outside sources of support.  Southwest will assist students in identifying such sources.

·       In reaching a conclusion concerning demonstrated need, Southwest will not normally weigh the value of assets such as retirement accounts, equity in one’s homestead, the cash value of life insurance policies, and college funds for children.

·       Southwest will consider assets such as the following in evaluating need:  Equity in second or third homes; equity in rental properties; vacation homes; and “mother-in-law” homes.  In addition, applicants should be prepared to justify a need for multiple automobiles.

All routine and realistic expenses associated with maintaining a household are allowable, with the following qualifications:

·       Debt service on an applicant’s own previous student loans shall be deferred for the duration of Southwest’s enrollment. 

·       On a case by case basis, Southwest will evaluate the spouse’s employment situation of a household before reaching a decision on an award.

·       In considering allowable expenses, Southwest shall follow these specific guidelines: 50 percent of tithes and charitable giving will be allowed; automobile debt shall be capped at $20,000; exercise or fitness club expenses shall be capped at $350 annually; life insurance premiums shall be capped at 5 percent of income.  In this context, “income” includes scholarship aid. 

·       Expenses not allowed include the following:  Student loan payments for spouse and children; children’s college tuition; payments to children’s college fund; service on pre-existing credit card debt; storage costs for household goods; debt service, taxes, and other expenses associated with non-owner occupied real estate.

·       Tuition for required Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) classes should be included as an expense item on the financial aid application.  The cost of CPE units beyond the one-unit requirement is not an allowable expense.

MDiv, MAR, DAS and DTS* 

            100% financial aid is available to eligible full-time students (12 hours or more) in the above named programs.  For academic years 2012-2013, aid will not exceed $11,672 in an outright grant plus $1,480 in guaranteed work-study pay per year.  This represents a full-time, full tuition scholarship. 

            50% financial aid is available to eligible part-time students (11 hours or less) in the above named programs. 


            For students in the above named programs, 50% financial aid is available to those students who are eligible regardless of the number of hours taken. 

Additional Information

            All scholarships are available to eligible students as long as the funds are available.  Scholarship funds have been made possible by generous donors, and the majority of scholarship funds have been restricted by the donors for students preparing for the ordained ministry; therefore, at the current time, there are fewer scholarships available for non-ordination track programs.  Seminary of the Southwest strives to be as generous as possible with the available funds.  Renewal of scholarships is always dependent on available funds and upon meeting need-based eligibility requirements.

When a financial aid award includes a work-study assignment, the student is required to complete the minimum requirements of that assignment. 

            Increases in tuition may or may not be accompanied by changes in the amount of aid. 

            *DTS students taking a majority of their courses from the daytime curriculum on the non-ordination track will be eligible for up to 80% financial aid.  DTS students taking a majority of their courses from the daytime curriculum on the ordination track will be eligible for up to 100% financial aid. DTS students taking a majority of courses from the Center program, will be eligible for up to 50% financial aid.

These policies have been adopted by the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance, and approved by the Financial Aid Committee and the Dean and President.                                                                                                    






  • Summaries of academic expenses and cost-of-living expense estimates for Austin in 2013-2014
















                                                                                                                                        July 18, 2013