Financial Aid Disbursement Policy



Theological Seminary to process and disburse Federal Direct Loan funds in

compliance with Department of Education guidelines for Federal Financial Aid

awards (when they become available). The Financial Aid Office will award financial

aid to students based on federal guidelines.  Once the student

has been awarded financial aid, the award and amount is communicated to the

Business Office for disbursement.  In order to process a financial aid award the

student must be actively participating in a class.


Credit balances resulting from Financial Aid awards are disbursed according to the schedule below.  Students may request a partial advance of their Financial Aid refund (Book Allowance) to cover expenses ahead of the processing date. 


Financial Aid – OTHER -Processing Schedule for 2018-2019

Financial Aid IS available FROM OTHER NON-FEDERAL SOURCES for qualifying students for their educational costs at Jackson Seminary.  In an effort to simplify the processing of Financial Aid and provide our students with a schedule for each semester, Jackson is streamlining the timetable for Financial Aid advances, disbursements, and refund checks.


Refunds for Financial Aid credit balances will be processed per the following disbursement schedule:


Bachelors of Arts Completion Program Students and Master of Divinity Students


Fall Semester 2017

Financial Aids awards for MDiv students active in first session classes  

  • Financial Aid Advances (Book Allowances) August 18, 2018

  • Credit Balance release (Refund Checks) September 15, 2018


Financial Aid awards for MDiv students that begin classes in the second session  

 Financial Aid Advances (Book Allowances) October 27, 2018

  • Credit Balance release (Refund Checks) November 24, 2018


Spring Semester 2018

Financial Aids awards for MDiv students in first session classes  

  • Financial Aid Advances (Book Allowances) January 19, 2018

  • Credit Balance release (Refund Checks) February 16, 2018


Financial Aid awards for MDiv students that begin classes in the second session  

 Financial Aid Advances (Book Allowances)


March 30, 2018

The primary purpose of Financial Aid at Jackson Theological Seminary is for students who do not possess the financial resources to gain the education necessary for effective service in ministry. AT THIS TIME JACKSON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENTAL FINANCIAL AID.  WHEN JACKSON BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL AID, THE POLICY/PRACTICE BELOW WILL BE FOLLOWED.


Financial Aid is a cooperative venture involving both the student and the school. It is expected that a faithful effort on the part of the student and the institution is made to acquire financial resources.

Jackson makes every effort to meet the financial needs of its students. Financial need is defined in the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Regulations (The Blue Book) as the difference between the total cost of attending Jackson and the total resources available to the student. The available assistance is directed primarily to educational costs including tuition and fees.  


The Financial Aid Program at Jackson is based on three areas of support. All three areas are utilized to provide the maximum possible assistance for the student based on demonstrated financial need.


  1. (When applicable)Federal Financial Aid is available to students taking a minimum of six hours per semester and may be increased to accommodate educational expenses such as additional credits and travel for intensive classes.  The Financial Aid Office is in charge of administrating these programs.

  2. The African Methodist Episcopal Church’s General Scholarship Fund may make an annual contribution for each A.M.E. residential student enrolled in at least six credit hours in the Seminary during the Fall semester.

  3. Funds from A.M.E. Episcopal Districts may be given in support of their students, as well as other outside scholarship resources.


Regulations for Students Receiving Financial Aid

Jackson Theological Seminary defines a full-time student as anyone enrolled for nine or more credit hours per semester in the Master of Divinity program and 8 credit hours per semester in the Doctor of Ministry program the maximum time allowed for the completion of the Master of Divinity program by a student receiving federal financial aid is ten years.  


Satisfactory Academic Progress

Jackson Theological Seminary is required to determine if students are making measurable progress toward the completion of their degrees by these standards: Qualitative, Quantitative and Maximum Time Frame in completing the degree. All credits counted toward the degree must be included in the calculations of each standard. The academic record (transcript) of all students is reviewed at the end of each academic semester. For purposes of financial aid, satisfactory grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, or P; they are counted as attempted and earned credit hours. Unsatisfactory grades do not count as earned credit hours but as attempted credit hours. Unsatisfactory grades are F, W, and I. Repeat courses count as attempted hours each time they are taken and as earned credit hours when they are passed. To make Satisfactory Academic Progress each semester, students must earn satisfactory grades in at least 67 percent of the total credits attempted.


Qualitative Standard

Each graduate student in the Master of Divinity Program is expected to maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.


Quantitative Standard

Each graduate student in the Master of Divinity Program is expected to maintain a completion rate of at least 67 percent of attempted coursework. Withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses and courses with failing grades are not considered completed credits.


Maximum Time Frame

The maximum time limit for a student to receive financial aid is 150 percent of the published program length. Jackson Theological Seminary requires 82 credit hours to complete a Master of Divinity degree. The maximum number of attempted credits for a student may not exceed 123 and must not exceed ten (10) years. Total credits to be counted include all attempted and earned credits at Jackson Theological Seminary plus any transfer credits that are counted toward the Jackson  Theological Seminary’s Master of Divinity degree regardless of whether the student was on financial aid.


Financial Aid Warning

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is checked at the conclusion of each semester. A student who was previously making satisfactory progress and then fails to meet SAP standards will be placed on financial aid warning and will be notified of the consequences of not achieving the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress required to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students on financial aid warning continue to receive financial aid for the next semester in which they enroll. A student who meets SAP standards at the end of the warning period will be removed from financial aid warning.


Financial Aid Suspension

If the student on financial aid warning fails to achieve minimum progress standards at the end of the semester, suspension of financial aid eligibility occurs. A student who loses eligibility for Financial Aid may appeal, in writing, his/her suspension to the Academic Review Appeals Committee and request to be placed on Financial Aid probation. An appeal may be submitted for unusual or mitigating circumstances including (but not limited to):

  • Serious illness or accident on the part of the student;

  • Death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family; and

  • Other extenuating circumstances - out of the student’s control - that impact the student’s ability to sustain Satisfactory Academic Progress


A student who has been suspended from financial aid eligibility and who has not successfully appealed the suspension is responsible for all charges until he/she is able to achieve compliance with satisfactory academic standards.


Financial Aid Probation

A student who has appealed his/her financial aid suspension successfully will be placed on financial aid probation. Students on financial aid probation must meet the qualitative and quantitative requirements at the next evaluation of academic standing. If it is determined that the student cannot achieve compliance with the satisfactory academic standards at the end of the semester, the student will instead be placed on probation with an academic plan that outlines specific benchmarks that should be met each semester and the estimated time it will take for the student to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress.


A student who is placed on financial aid probation with an academic plan must be able to reasonably meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in the time specified in the plan. The student must meet the completion rate of 67 percent and achieve a 2.5 grade point average each semester while on the plan. At the same time, the student’s progression must be sufficient enough for him/her to bring his/ her cumulative grade point average and completion rate up to Jackson Theological Seminary’s minimum compliance standards by the designated time. The academic plan must be approved by the Academic Review Appeals Committee and contain the student’s written, signed, and dated appeal with the appropriate documentation.


Return of Federal Financial Aid (When made available)

A student must complete at least 60 percent of the calendar days of the semester in order to have earned 100 percent of awarded federal financial aid. The Return of Unearned Title IV Funds Policy applies if the student withdraws from or ceases class participation, activity, and/or attendance before the sixty percent point in the term.


If a recipient of Title IV federal financial aid completely withdraws from the Seminary prior to having completed at least 60 percent of the calendar days of the semester, a portion of the federal aid received will have to be returned to the appropriated federal aid programs by the school, student or both. Therefore, a student cannot earn all of his or her financial aid unless he or she attends and participates in class(es) for at least 60 percent of the term.


The calculation counts all calendar days, including the first and last day of each term, weekends and holidays. The percentage of federal aid “earned” is equal to the percentage of days completed out of the total number of calendar days in the semester, beginning with the official start date of the term through the last day of classes. Breaks of five (5) days or more are excluded for this percentage calculation. The number of days completed is based on the official withdrawal date as determined by the Seminary.


Unearned Title IV funds are returned to the Title IV programs based on a federally mandated formula. Under this formula, institutions are obligated to return unearned funds collected for institutional charges to the U.S. Department of Education. The Seminary will be responsible for determining the amount of federal financial aid that is unearned and the amount that must be returned to the appropriate aid program.


Allocating Returned Title IV (Federal Aid)

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reimburse the individual federal programs from which the student received the aid. Financial aid returned (by the Seminary and/or the student) must be allocated, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan

  • Federal Perkins Loan

  • Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan or Grad PLUS Loan

  • Federal Pell Grant

  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

  • National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

  • Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance


In some instances, the student may be required to repay some of the Title IV aid he or she received for non-institutional charges. The Seminary is required to notify the U.S. Department of Education when a student is obligated to return unearned funds beyond the institutional charges.


Non-Title IV financial aid is not affected by this calculation of earned aid. State, institutional and private assistance are subject to the normal refund guidelines established for the program or by the donor.


Scholarships and Awards


Note: The faculty reserves the right to choose which scholarships and awards are presented in a given year.  No student on academic probation is considered eligible to compete for or receive any of the awards based on merit and/or where the recipient is determined by the vote of the faculty.