Financial Aid & Cost of Attendance

Financial aid at ULS may consist of internal scholarships, federal aid, and external support which can help you fund your seminary education. An institutional Financial Aid Application must be completed annually before aid can be administered. For information on the cost of attending ULS and other pertinent financial aid information, click on a header below to expand.

View the 2023-2024 Financial Aid Policy in its entirety

Cost of Attendance (COA)

Cost of Attendance (COA) is not what a student is billed, but rather an estimated dollar amount that a financial aid package is based on. Students may receive financial aid up to, but not exceeding, the total Cost of Attendance dependent upon the program and location. Cost of Attendance is recalculated annually using allowable educational fees and adjusted estimates. The Cost of Attendance amounts shown below are based on an entire academic year and student enrollment status equivalent to 12-15 credits for MDiv/MA degrees, and 6 credits for STM/DMin students. The COA will be prorated for students enrolled in fewer credits.  Financial aid support that exceeds a student's COA will result in a reduction or cancellation of previously offered or disbursed scholarships and/or federal aid.


ULS Tuition Scholarships

The ULS Tuition Scholarship fund comprised of restricted and non-restricted funds, is offered to minimize student loan debt and cover expenses that exist after external payments and outside resources have been credited to student accounts. These in-house scholarship funds are applied to tuition charges only. Dissertation, Colloquium, and other fees or expenses that are not part of tuition will not be covered by ULS Scholarship Funds.

Domestic students enrolled in a degree-seeking program either full-time (12-15 credits per semester) or part-time (3 to 9 credits), are eligible to receive up to full tuition in ULS scholarships. Students in first theological degree programs (MDiv|MA) may receive scholarships for up to five courses per semester, including associated short terms noted below. Advanced-degree students (DMin|STM) may receive tuition scholarships for up to two courses per semester, including associated short terms. August intensive courses will be combined with fall coursework and June intensive courses will be combined with spring coursework for tuition, enrollment, and loan purposes.

Scholarship Eligibility

All students must complete a ULS in-house financial aid application annually in the Henry student portal before any tuition scholarships can be awarded. Students are expected to seek and utilize all available funding support from personal, congregational, synodical, judicatory, and/or external agency resources. Beyond these funds ULS will provide additional support up to the tuition owed.

International Student Scholarships

ULS recognizes the invaluable contributions that our international students contribute to the life of the Seminary. However, due to limited funding, international students will need to provide proof of sufficient resources to cover their studies and will not receive tuition scholarships during their first year of study. After their first year of study, international students can be considered annually for ULS scholarships on a case-by-case basis not to exceed 2 courses per year.

Affiliate Student Scholarships

ELCA Affiliate students are eligible to receive ULS tuition scholarship funds for up to six courses during their time at ULS (18 semester credit hours). To be eligible, students must be admitted to ULS as an Affiliate Student, complete the in-house financial aid application, pay the required Affiliation fee, and have the Theological Review Panel Report (TRP) and Entrance Decision on file. A reduction or cancellation of ULS scholarship funds will occur for students receiving outside tuition support. Note: Affiliate students who complete the full six courses for which they are scholarship-eligible may elect to receive a Certificate in Lutheran Studies from ULS at Commencement.

Faculty/Staff Tuition Scholarships

Employees of ULS are eligible for ULS scholarships for up to 3 credits or 1 course per semester.

ULS Housing Scholarships

Full-time residential students living on either the Gettysburg or Philadelphia campus will receive a housing scholarship in the amount of 50% of their rental rate which will be applied to their student account at the beginning of the semester. (1 award per unit). The full rental cost minus the 50% scholarship will be reflected on the student’s statement. If a student drops below full-time enrollment status (<12 credits), the student will be responsible for the full rental fee on the 1st of the month immediately following the ineligible enrollment status. No housing funds will be provided for part-time or Distributed Learning students. Please note that room and board scholarships are considered taxable income and must be included in gross income for tax purposes.

Outside/Private (Non ULS) Assistance

Outside financial assistance including scholarships, congregational, synodical, and private support will be applied to tuition unless otherwise specified by the donor. Because the sum of all financial aid support may not exceed the student’s total COA, ULS scholarship funds and/or federal loans will be adjusted or canceled for students that receive outside assistance. Consequently, it is important that donors providing funds for housing, books, and other living expenses indicate this intent clearly when submitting payments to the Student Billing Office, so the support may be properly applied. Students should notify the Financial Aid Office of any/all expected assistance to avoid the possibility of having to return refunded aid that was already disbursed.

Scholarship Retention

Students must complete the in-house financial aid application annually and send a note of gratitude to their assigned donor (c/o Advancement Office) to retain tuition scholarships. Students must also complete the courses in which they are registered to retain the full amount of ULS scholarships awarded. Dropping a course will result in a full reversal of both tuition charges and ULS scholarship funds for the course. Students who withdraw from courses after the add/drop date will be assessed a fee per the scheduled below which is the student’s responsibility to pay.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits

ULS supports veterans and/or spouses and dependents of veterans of the United States military by offering VA Educational Benefits through Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill), Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), and Chapter 35 (Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Bill), to eligible individuals enrolled in approved programs. Students pursuing VA benefits must apply for benefits at,and submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Registrar's Office ULS Registrar’s Office  or Financial Aid. A School Certifying Official will certify your enrollment at the beginning of each academic semester for which you are enrolled. (Note: Chapter 33 students are now required to complete monthly enrollment verification via the text, telephone, or email options selected by the student through the VA website).

Federal Direct Graduate Loans

Students interested in Federal Direct Graduate student loans must be enrolled at least half-time (≥ 6 credits) in a degree-seeking program and must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) here. To avoid delay of the financial aid department receiving your ISIR (FAFSA information), students should add the ULS Federal School Code G03291 when completing their FAFSA.  

A Master Promissory Note and loan Entrance Counseling must be completed before an initial loan can be disbursed. Students selected by the Department of Education for Federal Verification must submit additional documentation before disbursement. (See the ULS Financial Aid Policy for more details). Loan Exit Counseling is required upon graduation or when a student’s enrollment status drops below half‐time enrollment (< 6 credits) or withdraws completely. Loan offers are subject to annual and aggregate loan limits. Please see to review your current outstanding loan balance or to find detailed information on loan guidelines and repayment options.

*ULS students on internship, or who are completing their project required for their degree will be considered as enrolled at least half-time and are eligible to borrow federal student loans for up to two consecutive semesters.

Federal Graduate Unsubsidized Loan

Eligible students should indicate their desire to pursue loans on the in-house ULS Financial Aid Application. Graduate federal direct loans are unsubsidized and will begin accruing interest (set by the federal government annually) at the time of disbursement. A 1.057% loan fee will be immediately deducted from each disbursement. Loan offers are subject to annual and aggregate loan limits. Students may reduce or decline the maximum eligible amount (usually $20,500/academic year) offered on their award with the knowledge that they can borrow any remaining eligible amount throughout the fall or spring semesters should an emergency arise.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

Federal Graduate PLUS loans are credit-based and may be applied for when a student has exceeded their lifetime aggregate loan eligibility ($138,500 combined total). PLUS loan interest rates are higher than that of other federal unsubsidized loans and a loan fee of 4.228% will be immediately deducted from each disbursement. Students may apply for a PLUS loan on-line by visiting

Federal Verification

Federal verification is a process used by institutions to confirm that data reported on the student’s FAFSA form is accurate. Students are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education and must provide certain documentation verifying information entered on the FAFSA before current or future federal aid can be processed. After submitting your FAFSA, you might see a note on your Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating that you have been selected (in Group V4 or V5). Students selected will receive a notification from the Financial Aid Office along with the appropriate forms and list of required documentation that must be submitted to satisfy the federal verification flag.

Enrollment Census & Disbursement Information

Enrollment Census occurs immediately following the add/drop deadline each semester. After this point in time, the Financial Aid Office works in consultation with the Student Billing Office, to verify student registrations and eligibility for offered funding. On or about the second week following the Enrollment Census, financial aid is disbursed to student accounts. Students with outstanding balances after disbursement may make payments through Henry or directly to the Student Billing Office.


Remaining credit balances, if any, from federal student loans and/or outside support will be refunded to eligible students within two weeks after the funds are applied to student accounts. Not all students will have a credit balance and not all anticipated credit balances will occur at the same point in the term. Aid and expenses such as tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other miscellaneous student account charges will vary from student to student based on enrollment, on‐campus purchases, and housing for students living on campus. Please monitor your financial aid and refund status via the Henry account portal.

Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Funds

ULS is required to return a calculated amount of Title IV funds for students who borrow federal graduate unsubsidized or PLUS loans and withdraw before completing at least 60% of the semester for which they are enrolled. These unearned Title IV funds must be returned to the Department of Education within 45 days from the determined withdrawal date. This could result in a student owing a balance to ULS and/or the federal government. The withdrawal date will be the date the student submits an official withdrawal notice to the Registrar, or the last date of attendance for students who cease attending without officially withdrawing. Official withdrawals from all courses after the 60% point in the semester will be considered to have earned 100% of the federal aid received for that term. The return of Federal Title IV Funds is based on the number of days in the semester and the number of days that a student attends. The percentage of unearned aid to be returned is equal to the number of days remaining in the semester, divided by the number of calendar days in the semester.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

To learn about your rights under the FERPA law including access, amendments, and disclosure of educational records, directory information, legitimate school officials, violation complaints, and more, please review the Eligible Student Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  

 For questions about financial aid at ULS, email or call 717-338-3020.