Tuition & Fees: Tuition and fees are subject to change each fiscal year. RTS's fiscal year is from June 1 to May 31 so that it corresponds with the academic calendar. This site lists current tuition and fees for this fiscal year.
Financial Aid Application: To apply for Grants or Partnerships, students must apply for financial aid every year. See a fuller description of the process and kind of scholarships below.
Local Job Listings: Most students work part-time jobs while in school. Begin your job search here and be sure to network with the Admissions office.
As we all know, a student, though he may gain the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge during his course of study, will not pocket much change in the meantime. Seminary often is a sacrifice, a time for dipping into savings, for resting in God’s providence. Because of the academic rigor of RTS Washington, we cannot recommend working over twenty hours a week. As a private, religious institution we cannot accept government loans or other federal funding. How will you make it through? We have put some materials together to give you some suggestions—how we can help and what others before you have done.
Thanks to donations and endowment, the standard cost of tuition has already been greatly underwritten. The full cost of tuition represents only one-third of what your education actually costs, and then there is financial aid on top of that. We also make life easier by providing very affordable campus housing. If you compare our costs for room and board with other seminaries or private graduate schools, you'll find you're already somewhat ahead financially.
To start, you must assess your resources and consult your church about support. We expect you to rely on your own resources as much as possible to make it through your program. An important first step is to contact your local church. Apart from your personal finances, the church can be your greatest resource as they invest in you spiritually and financially. (See Church Partnership Program below.)
There are two kinds of financial aid available at RTS—you can receive either a Partnership or a Grant. For both kinds of scholarship you will need to fill out a financial aid application once you have been accepted into a degree program. We will award the Partnership or Grant that will be most beneficial to you. So check all that apply, and be sure to submit the accompanying paperwork for each one. Make sure you submit everything to us by one of the deadlines!
Grants. Priority is given to full-time students and grants are always need-based. The Grant portion of the financial aid application enables us to see how much you need by showing us your personal resources as well as the difference between your monthly income and approved monthly expenses. There are a wide variety of Grants, including the Deacon's Grant (for extreme need), the Presidential Grant (for outstanding achievement), the Minister's Family Grant, the International Student Grant, and the Basic Grant (for everyone!). If your spouse is a full-time student, you are eligible for the Spouse Grant. We will find the best Grant that will award you the most help.
Partnerships. Partnerships are for full or part-time students, and, since they are the byproduct of a relationship with another organization, they are not dependent on financial need. We encourage students to pursue the seminary Partnerships since they represent more than we are able to do through seminary Grants.
The Church Partnership Program is simple. If your home church contributes up to 1/3 the cost of your tuition, RTS will match their funds up to 1/3 of the cost of tuition. To be approved, you must turn in a completed financial aid application before the deadline accompanied by a letter from your church indicating the quantity and duration of support. The Admissions office will let you know whether or not you have qualified for the Church Partnership Program.
Other partnerships include: students who have been significantly involved with Reformed University Fellowship, Campus Outreach, or Mission to the World, and current staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ, Young Life, and InterVarsity. Contact the Admissions office for more information about seminary partnerships, including their rates.
If you look on page four of the financial aid application, you will see that we have listed On-Campus Work as an option. If you desire to work on campus and are approved, hours will be allotted for you to work. Those hours are limited (see the form), and you will not be paid if you work more than the hours that you are awarded. Please note that all recipients of scholarship grants must work at least 10 hours a week, but that work does not necessarily have to be on campus.
Washington D.C. and the surrounding community boast a wide variety of different kinds of employment. Local employers frequently contact RTS looking for part-time employees because of our long-standing presence in the community. Students work at UPS, Starbucks, local restaurants, and of course in the many churches in the area. Ministry internships abound in the local churches, and students serve in a wide variety of areas: Christian Education, Discipleship, Missions, Visitation, Youth, College Ministry, and Pulpit Supply. For a listing of current local jobs, click here.
You can build a support network from individuals as well. Many students, by casting a vision of the ministry to which God has called them, will raise support from among family and friends. Often the student’s home church will set up an account in the student’s name as a mechanism to collect those funds. Enclosed in this packet is the documentation of a former student's support letters. They may provide valuable help in understanding how to rely on the body of Christ as you raise support.
Debt & Loans
Not many students decide to take out loans for their seminary education, and we don't typically recommend it. Since the White House federalized student loans in March 2010 and RTS does not accept federal funding, the only remaining opportunity for loans would be private loans secured through a local bank.
If you have outstanding educational debt from your undergraduate degree or are considering using private loans to pay for seminary, here is a helpful handout that outlines what to expect financially as you work through paying off that debt after graduation.
You may be able to find exterior scholarships or private grants which are not listed on page four of the financial aid form. For a fairly extensive list, visit our "Grants Page." You are welcome to search on your own there or elsewhere for any that might fit your situation!
Finally, you have the option of looking into private loans. The key here is that RTS does not accept any government funds. In November 2008, due to the economic crisis which hit the loan market especially hard, the companies that had offered private loans to RTS students ceased offering loan options to our students. Since RTS does not accept federal funding, the only remaining opportunity for private loans would be through your local bank. RTS is searching for other loan options for our students. When they become available we will change this web page. For more information, contact our Admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, how will you make it through seminary? This is a challenging time. And God makes it challenging for a purpose. In seminary, you will be acquiring knowledge, gaining wisdom, sharpening skills. And the danger that creeps in here is to start to think, "I can do ministry." But God longs for broken and humble servants who depend on Him. He wants pastors, teachers, counselors and missionaries to come to Him with empty hands relying wholeheartedly on Him for their very sustenance. God makes this a challenging time so that again and again we might run to Him, and therein establish a pattern for ministry.