Types of Aid

Bangor Theological Seminary offers a variety of financial aid programs from federal, state and Seminary sources. These types of financial assistance require at least half-time enrollment in a degree program.

1. Grants
are awarded to students demonstrating exceptionally high financial need. Scholarships are typically awarded based on merit, achievement, need or a combination of these factors. Receipt of a scholarship must be included as part of the student's financial aid award and may, in some cases, result in adjustments to the existing award. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Bangor Plan
(undergraduate only):
• Federal Pell Grants
• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
• Maine State Grants

All students:
• Bangor Theological Seminary Grants and Scholarships
• Denominational Scholarships
• Community/philanthropic scholarships
(See the "Scholarships and Grants" page for specific information)

All students are automatically considered for BTS grants and scholarships by virtue of their application. You are encouraged to view the denominational and community scholarship opportunities available. We post all opportunities that we are made aware of.

2. The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program
helps students pay their expenses through part-time employment. Students usually work between 10 and 20 hours per week. Opportunities exist for employment on campus (library, bookstore, administration, maintenance, etc) or off-campus (literacy or community service). Students indicate their interest in FWS on the BTS application for financial assistance.

3. Educational Loans
may be borrowed to defray educational expenses. Loans must be repaid after the student leaves school. These types of loans are discussed in more detail in the following section:
• Federal Perkins Loans
• Federal Direct Loans
• Private Loans

Want more information?
The U.S. Department of Education Student Guide provides additional information on Federal student aid programs.

More about Educational Loans

Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Perkins Loans are available to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. The interest rate is fixed at 5% and interest does not begin to accrue until repayment begins 9 months after the student leaves school or graduates.  For Perkins Loans Bangor Theological Seminary is the lender.
Direct Loans
Stafford Loans are obtained through the U.S. Treasury and they come in two varieties: subsidized and unsubsidized.  The main difference is that subsidized loans are only available to students demonstrating financial need, whereas unsubsidized loans are available to all students; and the interest on a subsidized loan is partially paid for by the government, while the interest on an unsubsidized loan is paid entirely by the borrower.

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
Available to students demonstrating financial need who are enrolled at least half time in a degree program. The interest rate for graduate students is fixed at 6.8%. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized Stafford loans while the student is enrolled. Loans go into repayment six months after the student leaves school or graduates.

Annual loan amounts vary by grade level:

1st year undergraduate (Bangor Plan)


2nd year undergraduate


3rd, 4th, 5th year undergraduate


Graduate Students (M.Div, M.A., D.Min)


Loan funds will not be applied to a student's account until all necessary paperwork is received by the Financial Aid Office, including Entrance Interviews.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
This non-need-based program is very similar to the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, except the interest is not paid by the federal government. The student is responsible for any accrued interest from the time of the first loan disbursement. The student has the option of paying the interest while in school or having the accrued interest capitalized when the loan repayment period begins. Capitalized interest is added to the student's principal loan balance.

Independent undergraduate students may borrow through the Subsidized DirectLoan program as well as through the Unsubsidized Direct Loan program if they demonstrate sufficient need.

Again, amounts vary by grade level:

1st and 2nd year undergraduate (Bangor Plan)


3rd, 4th, 5th year undergraduate


Graduate Students


Note: there are limits on the TOTAL amount of Direct Loan borrowing allowed:

Independent undergraduate students: $46,000
(with a maximum $23,000 in subsidized loans)

Graduate/professional students: $138,500.
(with a maximum of 65,500 in subsidized loans)

A good way to track all your outstanding student loans is to check the National Student Loan Data System (see the links page for more information)

Private Loans:
Most are credit-based loans, and will require periodic payments of principal and interest once disbursed. Interest rates vary, and a separate application is usually sent directly to the lender. The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid has more information on private loans.

Talk with an Expert

Your lender, accountant, or a Financial Planner, may be able to give you specific advice relative to your own particular financial situation, and provide suggestions as to how to tap into other resources. Possibilities might include home equity loans, lines of credit, loans against retirement funds or life insurance policies, or any number of other ideas.

The BTS Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is available for your questions and to discuss your options, however, we are not financial planners or consultants.  If you feel you would benefit from such advice, please consult a professional.