Commitment to Low Student Debt
At the Seminary of the Southwest we believe that preparing for ministry in the Church should not result in massive student debt.
In administering financial aid, we seek to practice good stewardship of our resources and we encourage students to do the same.
The Seminary's endowment for scholarships is greater than five million dollars. Our next capital campaign includes an additional three million dollars for this endowment.
As a matter of institutional policy, the Seminary discourages students from incurring debt in order to attend. Indeed, for that reason, the Seminary does not participate in federal student loan programs.
Financial aid is awarded as grants and work-study assignments—not loans.
In reaching a decision concerning financial need, the seminary 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. We do not believe that students should strip themselves of these important assets in order to attend seminary.
In a survey of our entering students conducted by the Association of Theological Schools in the fall of 2006, 16 of 21 respondents reported that our financial aid assistance was "significant" in their choice of school. Seven of 21 reported that it was of "great or greatest" significance.
In the same survey "financial aid assistance" ranked even with "faculty" when students were asked for the top five reasons for their choice of school.
Tuition and fees at the Seminary of the Southwest have not been increased for the 2010-2011 academic year, and the Seminary will continue to be in the lower middle range of the eleven accredited Episcopal seminaries. Full-time tuition will stay at $13,150 for 2010-2011.
Students qualifying for financial aid receive grants ranging from 80 percent to 100 percent of full tuition, depending upon need. For the 2010-2011 academic year, those amounts range from $10,520 to $13,150.