Institutional financial aid comes in the form of merit-based scholarships and federal aid comes in the form of work-study and loans. Scholarship funds are available through the gifts of individuals, families, churches, organizations, and foundations. Merit-based scholarships are awarded to candidates who demonstrate in their applications both high academic achievement and outstanding promise for ministry. These scholarships are awarded to full-time degree-seeking students and are usually renewable for up to three years (six semesters) based on continued academic success. Fellowship recipients must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher, while all other scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA. Merit awards may range from 33% to 100% of tuition and a stipend.

There is no application for School of Divinity scholarships; students are automatically considered for all scholarships. The School of Divinity has received generous gifts to fund scholarships for students. During the process of awarding scholarships, these funds may be noted in the scholarship award letter to specify where monies have been designated and for students to be able to thank donors for their generosity. All candidates for admission are given consideration for these awards.

Priority for merit-based scholarships is given to applicants who apply by January 15.

Fellowships and Scholarships

The School of Divinity is committed to assisting students in meeting basic educational and living expenses while they are enrolled. Merit scholarships are granted to candidates who demonstrate in their application high academic achievement and outstanding promise for ministry. These scholarships are awarded to full-time students enrolled in degree programs. Most are renewable for three years, but there is no automatic increase in the amount awarded to compensate for increases in tuition and fees. Scholarships only cover tuition, not living expenses. All candidates for admission are considered for these awards. Scholarships and fellowships are awarded from funds provided by generous gifts to the University from individuals and organizations.  

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 form. 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. For more information, visit http://grad.financialaid.wfu.edu/, the Graduate School and School of Divinity Financial Aid website. The FAFSA form is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Non-degree seeking students and international students are ineligible for federal aid programs.

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 exceed their Wake Forest University charges, then the student is eligible for a refund from student billing to use for living expenses. The process for generating credit balance refunds begins the first week of class.

Federal Work-Study positions are available in the School of Divinity for qualified students. Students may earn up to $2,000 per year. Positions are posted the first week of classes. Students apply to the designated contact person on the available jobs. Work-study is overseen by Mary Ellen Walter, admissions office manager, in the School of Divinity.

Veterans Educational Benefits

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved Wake Forest University School of Divinity as an eligible institution at which students may use its Education Benefit Programs. Wake Forest University’s “school certifying officials” for VA Education Benefits are happy to assist recipients by completing enrollment certifications to the VA. Please contact the Student Financial Aid Office with any questions, concerns, or requests for enrollment certifications.

Pursuant to The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018

GI Bill® and VR&E beneficiaries (Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 beneficiaries) may attend a course of education or training for up to 90 days from the date the beneficiary provides:

  • A certificate of eligibility, or a “statement of benefits” obtained from the VA’s eBenefits web site, or a valid VAF 28-1905 form for Chapter 31 authorization purposes, provided that the student beneficiary provides such documentation to the appropriate VA Certifying Official no later than the first day of a course of education, and provided that the student provides any additional payment amount due that is the difference between the amount of the student’s financial obligation and the anticipated amount of the VA education disbursement to Wake Forest University.

This policy allows a student to attend the course until the VA provides payment to Wake Forest University. Wake Forest University will not impose a penalty, or require the beneficiary to borrow additional funds to cover tuition and fees due to late payments from the VA.

Outside Scholarships

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. Additional financial aid information is available at https://divinity.wfu.edu/admissions/financial-aid under “Non-Institutional Aid” and “Additional Aid Resources.”

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility

Scholarship Renewal

Scholarships awarded by the School of Divinity are awarded to full-time degree-seeking students and are usually renewable for up to three years (six semesters) based on continued academic success. Students receiving fellowships are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. Other scholarship recipients are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA. Students who fall below the minimum GPA requirement will be given a semester of scholarship probation. If students remain below the stated requirement after the scholarship probation semester, the scholarship will cease or a smaller award may be provided. The School of Divinity may immediately discontinue scholarship support for students who earn a 2.0 GPA or below either cumulatively or for the term.

Federal Aid Continuation

Federal regulations require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant who applies for and/or receives federal aid. Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards their academic objective in order to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

To determine financial aid eligibility for the following academic year, the Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid annually evaluates students’ satisfactory academic progress at the end of the second summer session. Additional evaluation is made at a student’s re-admittance.

The receipt of federally-controlled aid requires half-time enrollment (4.5 or more hours) during the fall and spring semesters and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on work attempted in the Wake Forest School of Divinity. Institutional aid is generally not awarded for summer sessions, and not awarded beyond the sixth (fall or spring) semester; this limit can be prorated for transfer students. Certain institutional aid programs have higher academic and/or other requirements, which are communicated to students through the Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee. The Committee may revoke institutionally-controlled financial aid for violation of University regulations, including its honor code, or for violation of federal, state, or local laws.

The Higher Education Act mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving federal aid. Wake Forest University makes these minimum standards applicable to all programs funded by the federal government. Certain federal aid programs have higher academic and/or other requirements, which are communicated to recipients. To maintain academic eligibility for federal aid, a student must:

  • Complete the requirements for a master of divinity degree within a maximum number of hours attempted (including transfer hours) of 135. During a semester in which a student drops courses or withdraws, the maximum number of hours attempted includes those hours attempted as of the earlier of:
  1. the withdrawal date, or
  2. the last day to drop a course without penalty (as published in the academic calendar).
  • Pass at least two-thirds of those hours attempted (including pass/fail courses, and hours attempted as a visiting or unclassified student) in the School of Divinity. Incompletes count as hours attempted, unless from a non-credit course. Audited classes do not count as hours attempted. During a semester in which a student drops courses or withdraws, hours attempted includes those hours attempted as of the earlier of:
  1. the withdrawal date, or
  2. the last day to drop a course without penalty (as published in the academic calendar). For purposes of this policy, hours attempted also include all instances in which a course is repeated.
  • Maintain the following minimum cumulative grade point average on all graded hours attempted (including incompletes from graded courses, but excluding pass/fail courses) in the undergraduate schools of the University, for graded hours attempted: at least 9, fewer than 135, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

The Wake Forest University grade point average calculation also excludes pass/fail courses. In cases where a student repeats a course for which he or she received a grade of C- or lower, the cumulative grade point average is calculated by considering the course as attempted only once, with the grade points assigned reflecting the highest grade received. However, this provision does not apply to any course for which the student has received the grade of F in consequence of an honor code violation. During a semester in which a student drops courses or withdraws, all graded hours attempted in the undergraduate schools of the University include those graded hours attempted as of the earlier of:

  1. the withdrawal date, or
  2. the last day to drop a course without penalty (as published in the academic calendar).

The policy on satisfactory academic progress applies only to the general eligibility for aid consideration. There are other federally mandated requirements a student must meet to receive federal aid. For instance, certain federal loan programs also require either the passage of a period of time or the advancing of a grade level between annual maximum borrowing, regardless of general eligibility for aid. Other general student eligibility requirements for a student to receive federal financial aid are listed in Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, a publication of the U.S. Department of Education.

Appeal Procedure

Denial of aid under this policy may be appealed in writing to the

Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid
P.O. Box 7246
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7246

or delivered to the Office of Student Financial Aid, Reynolda Hall Room 4.

The Committee may grant a probationary reinstatement of one semester (in exceptional cases this period may be for one full academic year) to any student, upon demonstration of extenuating circumstances documented in writing to the satisfaction of the Committee. Examples of extenuating circumstances and appropriate documentation include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: illness of the student or immediate family members – statement from physician that illness interfered with opportunity for satisfactory progress; death in family – statement of student or minister; temporary or permanent disability – statement from physician. During a probationary period, students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress under this policy and may continue to receive aid. A determination of satisfactory academic progress for any period of enrollment after the probationary period is made, upon the student’s written request, at the end of the probationary period. Reinstatement after probation can be made only after the student has received credit for the appropriate percentage of work attempted with the required cumulative grade point average. Any student determined ineligible for any academic year may request a special review at the end of one semester or summer term and may thereby be reinstated for all or part of the academic year. The student must request any such mid-year review in writing; otherwise only one determination of satisfactory academic progress will be made each academic year. Reinstatement cannot be made retroactive.