It’s no surprise that the cost of a college education isn’t cheap. Paying for any schooling can be very costly especially now with the cost of college increasing each year. In fact, the student loan debt has reached over $1.5 trillion since 2019.
Whether you’re interested in attending seminary, rabbinical, or another religious school there are many ways you can pay for your education. As a student interested in religious studies you may qualify for federal student aid, scholarships, student loans, and private grants from fellowships and associations.
Paying for school
Pursuing any type of degree can be detrimental to your bank account. Attending a religious school is no different. Many schools engaged in training religious professionals have taken the initiative of providing more financial resources to those interested.
College funds make up an enormous part of the financial aid resources available to you. Most of these colleges offer their own grants but have strict requirements. Therefore, you should reach out to their financial aid office and ask if your religious studies can be funded.
Federal Student Aid
The United States Department of Education provides over $120 billion in Federal Student Aid (FSA) every year to those who qualify. It consists of federal grants and loans. FSA covers the cost of religious education as long as the institution participates in the program and the student qualifies.
To qualify you must meet all the eligibility requirements and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If your school doesn’t participate in the federal student aid programs, you won’t be able to use federal student aid to cover the cost of your education.
There are many scholarship websites where you can find year-round opportunities. Scholarship money is both need and merit-based. To give you a better idea of the scholarships you may qualify for, we put together a list of possible scholarship sites. By clicking on the scholarships below, you may be eligible to win year-round scholarships. Be aware that each individual scholarship comes with its own eligibility requirements and application process.
- College Scholarships
- Religious Scholarships
- Religious Studies Scholarships
- Religious Education Scholarships
The scholarships/grants you may qualify for are not limited to this list. To find more scholarships and grants, visit scholarships.com.
Fellowships & Associations
Fellowships and associations are established to financially aid individuals. In this case, fellowships and associations are also available to students like you, who are interested in attending or already attend religious school. It’s important to denote that each financial assistance program comes with its own rules.
Institutional scholarships sponsored by religious schools and/or churches:
- Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty: Calihan Academic Fellowships
- American Academy of Religion Collaborative Research Grants
- American Academy of Religion Individual Research Grants
- American Theological Library Association
- Asian Art and Religion Fellowship Program
- Bellhaven University
- Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship
- Greenville CollegeDiamonds in the Rough Ministry Scholarship
- Harvard Divinity School Center for the Study of World Religions
- Harvard University Edmond J, Safra Center for Ethics
- Hispanic Theological Initiative
- International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons
- John Haynes Holmes Memorial Fellowships (Unitarian Universalist)
- Justin Haruyama Ministerial Scholarship
- Northern Baptist Education Society
- Oklahoma Baptist University
- Oral Roberts University Paulist Center
- The Harold Wilke Scholarship
- The Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
- University of Notre Dame Center for Philosophy of Religion
- W.B Small Trust
- William R. Johnson Scholarship
Private student loans
Private loans are available to everyone. With that being said, as a student, you have many options to choose from.
Taking out private student loans is not ideal, but certain circumstances leave no other options. These loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Everyone dreads taking out loans in particular private loans because of their high-interest rates, fees, and strict repayment plans. If private loans are something you’re looking for, then consider Discover, Ascent Student Loans, and/or Sallie Mae.
Though pursuing higher education can be overwhelming and costly, there are many resources out there for you. Just be sure to conduct thorough research on the grants, loans, and scholarships you may qualify for.
Tip: Many states have their own financial aid programs for students like you. So, always be on the lookout for them.