A student should select a school on the basis of educational opportunity. At the same time, financial consideration will be a legitimate and often pressing concern. Each student should formulate at least a tentative plan for financing the entire seminary education. Although the exact method of financing the full theological degree may not be assured at the beginning, a student should have a clear understanding of the expenses and available sources of income for the first year and the assurance that there exist ways of financing subsequent years. As Duke Divinity School seeks to handle its financial resources with a view toward Christian charity and stewardship, the school expects responsibility and integrity of students befitting their Christian commitment. While the financial aid office is willing to aid students with financial counsel, the student and the student’s family will bear a significant share of the educational expenses. In addition to personal and family resources, earnings, and loans, a student may seek financial assistance from a local church, civic groups, and foundations. The Divinity School financial aid may include scholarships, field education grants, employment, or loans. Students should plan a financial program that incurs as little indebtedness as possible.
Most Duke Divinity School students receive some form of financial assistance, and the school encourages students to be mindful that such aid is a privilege to be enjoyed thanks to the many benefactors who have graciously given funds to the school. The total amount of aid available through the Divinity School is limited. Further, the conditions set forth by the individual or institutional donors determine the circumstances under which the grants can be made. Almost without exception, the donors require ecclesiastical endorsement and/or declaration of ministerial vocational aim.
In the interest of providing reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Divinity School will permit students with appropriately documented disabilities that prevent them from carrying a full course load (minimally three courses per semester) to enroll in either one or two courses per semester and retain eligibility for Divinity School financial assistance. Such accommodation will be authorized by the Divinity School disability liaison. Contested decisions regarding this accommodation may be brought before the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Students so authorized are free to reduce their course load accordingly while maintaining Divinity School aid and, where applicable and permitted other forms of financial assistance. Students so authorized to enroll less than full-time and retain eligibility for Divinity School financial aid are expected to return to full-time enrollment if and/or when their medical condition improves sufficiently to permit it.
Students who have questions about Duke Divinity School’s response to their financial aid request should first contact the Financial Aid Office. Where desired, students may file an appeals form for full review by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
Ministerial Tuition Scholarships
All admitted MDiv students are eligible to receive a Ministerial Promise scholarship that covers 33 percent of tuition costs in the first year of the program, and 25 percent in years two and three. Admitted MDiv/MSW students are eligible to receive a scholarship that covers 25 percent of tuition costs for the two years of tuition charges. A 25 percent tuition scholarship is offered to MTS, MA, and DMin students. The principles regarding the disbursement of institutional scholarships are:
In order to receive ministerial tuition scholarships from the Divinity School, a student must be enrolled full-time and maintain an overall academic average of 2.0 or higher.
Ministerial tuition scholarships will be made within the limits of the conditions set forth governing each source.
Financial aid awards are made on an academic-year basis. The financial aid award may consist of ministerial tuition scholarships, field education grants, federal work study, and federal student loans. A new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed each year to be awarded federal student financial aid.
Financial aid resources for MTS, MA, DMin, and ThD students are limited. Candidates are encouraged to apply early.
Special students and ThM students (with the exception of one international scholar annually) are not eligible for any form of institutional financial assistance from the Divinity School. ThM and ThD students are eligible to apply for denominational assistance, federal student loans, and federal work study.
Financial Aid on Student Bills
Financial aid awards will appear as anticipated aid on a student’s billing statement once a student has accepted their financial aid awards. A student billing statement will include anticipated financial aid transactions when calculating the amount the student needs to pay. Financial aid is credited to a student’s account ten days before the start of each term. Disbursement of a student’s awards will occur once the student has completed all required applications and provided all required documentation and information. Students may check the status of their financial aid awards on DukeHub.