A complete investment in you.
We are committed to making sure that your pursuit of a meaningful theological education does not leave you with significant debt. Through generous scholarships, stipends, work-study awards, and payment plan options, we work to ensure that all students receive a comprehensive financial aid package that works for them. A typical financial aid package includes scholarships or grants, federal student loans, and federal work-study employment. A variety of resources are also available, from denominational awards to leadership scholarships.
Is there a separate application for financial aid?
No, your admissions application is used to consider you for scholarships or grants awarded by the School of Divinity. Candidates are encouraged to complete an application by the priority deadline of January 15 for full consideration of merit scholarships and awards.
Do I need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
All students who are U.S. citizens and wish to be considered for federal aid (loans and/or work-study) must complete the FAFSA using school code E00429. Students use their tax return from the prior prior year to complete the FAFSA (ex: applying for Fall 2019, tax return to use is 2017). Divinity students are considered independent students on the FAFSA even if they are still claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.
Scholarships, Federal Aid, and Other Resources
Take a look at what types of awards and resources are available to you as a graduate student, from our merit scholarships and work-study jobs to external aid opportunities.
The Samuel and Sarah Wait Graduate Fellowship in Theology and Ministry is the most selective and comprehensive of the School of Divinity’s merit awards. The fellowship includes full tuition and a $7,500 annual stipend. It is named for the University’s principal founders and is awarded to entering students who demonstrate strong potential for graduate-level work and exceptional promise for Christian ministry. Wait Fellowships are awarded each year to applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Faith and Health Fellowship includes full tuition and provides a summer stipend of $5,000 for at least one internship at a partner site focused on faith and health. The stipend is available for only one academic year. Through a fellows cohort model, fellows will have curricular and cocurricular opportunities to be specifically educated about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern U.S. and to learn about inclusive practices that can lead to stigma reduction in faith communities. Faith and Health Fellows will be expected to earn a concentration in Religious Leadership in Food, Health, and Ecology (track: Health). The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Jeanette Wallace Hyde Award provides full tuition and a $2,500 annual stipend for strong candidates who demonstrate exceptional promise in religious leadership and strong academic ability. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The School of Divinity is committed to assisting students in meeting basic educational and living expenses while they are enrolled. Most students receive grants and scholarships to cover at least fifty percent of the cost of tuition. The average award is about 70% of tuition. Merit scholarships are granted to candidates who demonstrate in their application high academic achievement and outstanding promise for ministry. Most are renewable for three years, but there is no automatic increase in amount awarded to compensate for increases in tuition and fees. Merit scholarships only cover tuition and fees, not living expenses. All candidates for admission are considered for these awards. Scholarships are funded by several endowed scholarships from generous donors.
Merit awards include the following:
The Frances and Charles R. Council Award provides full tuition for candidates who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and show financial need. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Baugh Divinity Scholarship provides full tuition for candidates who demonstrate academic excellence and intend to lead in justice, ministry, and service to church and community. Recipients must be committed to acts of compassion, inclusivity, and ministries in Baptist traditions, with preference given to students who are active members of a moderate to progressive Baptist church. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Established by Mack Edward and Virginia Vestal Smith in memory of Dr. W. Randall Lolley (DDIV ‘71), the Randall Lolley Scholarship provides full tuition for Master of Divinity students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and financial need. Preference will be given to students who intend to enter into congregational ministry.
Dean’s Scholarship provides full tuition, funding for one summer internship, and a mentor-based financial well-being program for promising candidates who are committed to limiting their educational loans to no more than $20,000 of debt for Divinity School. Candidates will be required to participate in the programmatic components of the Dean’s Scholars initiative in order to maintain the scholarship. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Honors Scholarship provides full tuition and is renewable for up to three academic years. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding promise for ministry and academic achievement.
Divinity Grants provides 33%-50% of tuition for candidates with previous GPAs below 3.0.
How do I apply for federal aid?
Need-based financial aid is granted by the Financial Aid Office of Wake Forest University. This includes state and federal loans, grants, and work-study. All students who are U.S. citizens and wish to be considered for scholarships and other financial aid must complete the FAFSA using school code E00429. Students use their tax return from the previous year to complete the FAFSA. Divinity students are considered independent students on the FAFSA even if they are still claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns. Learn more about applying for financial aid as a graduate student at Wake Forest University.
How do I receive federal aid?
Federal student loans pay directly to a student’s account immediately before the first day of class each semester. If a student’s grants, scholarships, and loans exceeded their WFU charges, then he or she is eligible for a refund from Student Billing to use for living expenses. Refund checks are prepared the week after classes begin. Please plan accordingly.
Useful Information on Borrowing
With the introduction of the Debt Ceiling Bill there have been changes to Graduate Student Financial Aid.
- Elimination of the in-school loan interest subsidy for graduate and professional students on Federal Subsidized Loans. Amounts of loan eligibility will stay the same, but only unsubsidized loans will be offered for graduate students.
- Elimination of Direct Loan repayment incentives (interest rate reduction for automatic payments, etc.)
- Direct Lending. All federal student loans will originate through the Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program. Private lenders like SallieMae, College Foundation of NC, and Citibank will no longer administer federal Stafford and PLUS Loan programs.
Below you will find helpful links as you consider borrowing. You can view your loan history and calculate repayment options based on the amount you have borrowed (or will borrow), your income and family situation, and any additional repayment options that may interest you, such as graduated, extended, and income sensitive. For more information on borrowing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NSLDS: National Student Loan Data System
- FAFSA Pin Site
- Standard, Extended and Graduate Repayment Calculator
- Income Based Repayment Calculator
- Federal Consolidation
Is work-study available?
Federal Work Study positions are available in the School of Divinity for qualified students to serve in positions like faculty research assistants, admissions office assistants, spiritual life coordinators, community lunch coordinators, and coffee hour coordinators. Students may earn up to $2,000 per year. Positions are posted the first week of classes via an online portal. Students will be notified annually when the application process is available.
Some positions are available across the University in divisions like:
- Residence Life and Housing
- Campus Recreation
- Several of these positions are also available for spouses\partners: Group Fitness Instructor, Personal and Small Group Trainer, Facility Attendant, Welcome Desk Assistant
- Z. Smith Reynolds Library (ZSR)
- Benson Student Center
- LGBTQ Center
- Pro Humanitate Institute
- Anna Julia Cooper Center
- Office of Student Engagement
- Learning Assistance Center
- Intercultural Center
- Student Bookstore and Deacon Shop
Have questions? Contact Mary Ellen Walter, admissions office manager, who oversees the work-study program at the School of Divinity.
Many divinity students receive financial aid from other agencies, such as local churches, denominational offices, and foundations. Students need to apply for such funds directly to the agencies involved.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship offers financial aid through the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to divinity students who are members of that body.
- NationalMinistries.org (American Baptist)
- General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- College Net
- Next Student
- The Financial Aid Information Page
- FAST Web Scholarship Search
- Colleges Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Winston Salem Foundation
- Zinch Scholarship Search
Financial Well-Being for Pastoral Leaders
We are committed to financial well-being and forming ministers who engage finances responsibly. For that reason, we seek to create a culture that shapes the habits and skills of pastoral leaders, promoting financial well-being for themselves and the communities they serve.
This process begins as you consider theological education and continues with on-campus opportunities and online tools, financial peer mentoring, and career services and vocational discernment. The program is centered around four core elements.