For need-based financial assistance, the contribution toward college costs expected from the student is
calculated according to a federally mandated system called federal need analysis, which takes into account
many factors representing the family's financial situation. To receive financial aid, a student must be enrolled
for a minimum of 3 credits per term in a program leading to a degree. Certification programs do not qualify
for federal financial aid.
To apply for need-based financial aid through Seattle Pacific University, the student must do the following:
- Complete the admission process and be fully admitted to the graduate/doctoral program.
- Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal student aid processor.
The FAFSA may be completed via paper (a form can be obtained at any college financial aid office)
or by clicking here. SPU's school code is 003788.
- Submit additional documentation as requested to verify eligibility.
Seattle Pacific does not have a deadline for financial aid applications for graduate students. However, it is to
their advantage to apply as early as possible.
Note: SPU financial-aid year is autumn through summer; summer financial aid requires an additional form that is available in SFS beginning in April.
The Financial Aid Offer
Students qualifying for financial aid receive a financial aid package containing information regarding their
eligibility for various kinds of loans. The proportion and type of loan aid varies from student to student and
from year to year depending upon the student's eligibility and level of enrollment.
Limited graduate assistantship funds are available each school year. These part-time employment positions are not considered a part of the student’s financial aid award. To be eligible, students must be currently taking at least 6 credits and must be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion, as determined by an advisor. Contact the appropriate graduate director regarding open positions and to obtain a Graduate Assistant Agreement (GAA) form.
Scholarships and Grants
SPU-Church Matching Scholarships are awarded to students who are chosen by a scholarship committee within an organized Christian church in the United States or Canada. Churches must be approved by Student Financial Services and must provide the office with a letter of confirmation for each scholarship awarded by October 1. Contact Student Financial Services (SFS) for further information.
Students may contact their respective graduate school coordinator to learn more about endowed gifts and scholarship opportunities that may be available. Scholarship and grant directories are available at the Seattle Pacific University Library and in public libraries. Suggested resources include:
- Grants for Graduate Students, Peterson’s Guide.
- How to Find Out About Financial Aid: A Guide to Over 700 Directories, Gail Schlachter, ed.
- Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans, Feingold and Feingold.
- Students may also search for scholarship resources at www.fastweb.com.
Financial Aid Programs
- Federal Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). Students may borrow up to $8,500 annually in subsidized Stafford loans, and the unsubsidized Stafford loan cannot exceed $18,500 alone or in combination with the federal subsidized Stafford loan. These loans are made through banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. Any student is eligible to apply who satisfies the eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education. The federal Stafford loan interest rate may vary depending on when the student borrows the funds and when he or she enters repayment. Payment terms may also vary; students are encouraged to check with their lenders. No interest is charged while students are enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program and during a six-month grace period thereafter for subsidized loans. Interest begins accruing immediately on the unsubsidized loans. For information regarding types of payment deferments, students must contact their lenders.
- Federal graduate PLUS loan. This aid program is effective July 1, 2006. Students will be considered upon request after full utilization of their federal subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan eligibility; students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus current financial assistance; these loans are made through banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions; any student is eligible to apply who satisfies the eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education. Eligibility also involves a credit check; interest begins accruing immediately; no grace period, payment begins 60 days after end of the loan period; borrowers may apply for in-school deferment in order to postpone payments, but should contact their lenders.
- State work-study employment, off campus. Students must have applied for financial aid and been awarded work study to be employed in the state work-study program — graduate students must request consideration for state work-study through Student Financial Services. This program is sponsored by the state of Washington, and the participating employers are reimbursed by the state for a portion of the wages they pay work-study students.
- Federal work study, on campus. Part-time employment opportunities for students on campus; students must have applied for financial aid and been awarded work study to be employed in the federal work-study program — graduate students must request to be considered for federal work-study through Student Financial Services.
Note: The combination of all sources of financial aid
(grants, scholarships, loans, and work study)
cannot exceed the cost of attendance as determined by
Disbursement of Financial Aid
Once a student has completed the financial aid application/award process, fulfilled all the requirements listed
on the offer of financial assistance, and his or her enrollment matches the level of enrollment indicated on
the post-baccalaureate/graduate information sheet (pdf) he or she submitted to SFS, these funds will be applied to the student's tuition account in the following manner:
Once the student has notified SFS of his or her
preferred lender (pdf), and completed a Master Promissory Note (MPN), the bank will send the funds to SPU in
one of two ways. If the bank participates in electronic funds transfer, the funds will be automatically applied
to the student's account; if the bank does not participate in electronic funds transfer, it will send a check
each quarter, which the student will need to endorse in SFS. Continuing students who have already signed a
master promissory note for their federal Stafford loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) in a previous year will not need to complete another loan application. Instead, loan
information will be automatically sent to the lender the student used previously.
To remain eligible for financial assistance, a student is expected to complete his or her degree within a
specified period of time and maintain a minimum GPA. In addition, the student must complete a minimum
number of credits each academic term.
Minimum Grade Point Average
A financial aid recipient must be in good academic standing at the University. At the completion of the
second year of study, the student must have maintained a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students who do not
achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be ineligible for further financial assistance until the minimum cumulative
GPA is achieved.
Minimum Credit Requirement
First-time financial aid applicants will have their previous academic records measured for satisfactory
completion of 80 percent of the credit hours attempted at Seattle Pacific University. Students averaging 80
percent satisfactory completion of credits attempted will be eligible to be considered for financial aid.
Graduate students must complete a minimum of 3 credits per quarter or 80 percent of all attempted credits,
whichever is greater. The calculated percentage will be rounded up to the nearest full credit hour.
Completed credits are determined from coursework, which has received a grade of A, B, C, D, or P at the
end of the academic term.
Maximum Time Frame
A student receiving financial aid must complete a degree within a reasonable time. Financial aid will be
awarded to students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree for a maximum of six years.
of Unsatisfactory Progress
A student who completed 3 or more credits each quarter, but less than 80 percent of attempted credits each
academic year, will be placed on financial aid probation during the subsequent quarter of attendance. During
the quarter of probation, the student will be eligible to receive financial aid and must complete all attempted
credits to have the probation status removed. If the student does not complete all attempted credits, the
student will be ineligible for further financial assistance until enough credits have been completed to bring
the student back into compliance with SPU's satisfactory-progress requirements.
A student who completes less than 3 credits in any quarter will be ineligible for further financial assistance.
To regain eligibility for financial assistance, the student must complete a minimum of 3 credits in a term.
These credits may be taken at another institution and transferred to Seattle Pacific or they may be taken at
SPU without receiving aid.
Reinstatement of Eligibility
Students have the right to appeal their eligibility for financial aid. Written appeals due to extenuating
circumstances should be submitted to the appropriate SFS counselor.
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