Financial Matters and Procedures How to Apply for Outside Financial Aid Programs

Financial Obligations

Applicants who have unsettled financial obligations to their former institutions will not be admitted, nor will those be re-admitted whose financial accounts with Notre Dame Seminary have not been settled. Also, failure to settle financial accounts will result in the student’s transcript being suspended and the diploma not being issued. Other services, such as reporting to employers or to other institutions, will also be suspended until accounts are settled.

Federal Student Financial Aid

To be eligible for federal student financial aid programs at Notre Dame Seminary (NDS), a student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). In addition, students must be meeting NDS’ Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines .

Students may be eligible for financial aid to help them meet the cost of attending NDS. To determine the annual cost of education, NDS creates an Institutional Student Expense Budget that covers tuition, books, supplies, transportation, medical and living expenses.  Contributions from dioceses, and other student benefit programs are subtracted from the budget to determine the student’s remaining eligibility to borrow under the federal student loan program.

Graduate and professional degree students may be eligible to receive aid from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Under this program, the Department of Education is your lender rather than a bank or other financial institution. There are two types of Direct Loans that graduate  students may receive:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans—Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 per school year (less any other aid received)
  • Direct PLUS Loans—Eligible graduate and professional degree students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts to meet their education costs may apply for a PLUS loan. A credit check will be performed during the application process.

If you have to borrow funds to meet your expenses, you should first look at borrowing through the Federal Student Loan Program . Federal programs normally offer greater protection to borrowers during the repayment process

Students must meet the following basic eligibility requirements to apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS  Loan :

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a “regular student” in an eligible degree program (A “regular student” is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree or other recognized education credential offered by that institution.
  • be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours each semester;
  • annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the “FAFSA”) ; NOTE: Our FAFSA school code is 002022.
  • not be in default on any prior federal student loans;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress towards completing their degree requirements. We check your progress at the end of every academic term.


After We Receive Your FAFSA

Please notify the  Registrar’s Office as soon as you have received a notice that your FAFSA has been successfully processed by the Department of Education. To help us accurately calculate your estimated “cost of attendance” for a federal unsubsidized loan, please complete a Loan Application Addendum and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. A student will be notified by award letter or a letter of non-eligibility after the financial aid office certifies their loan eligibility and forwards that information to the Department of Education.. If a student does not return the documents at the specified time, the Registrar’s Office will assume that the student is no longer interested in receiving funds. In addition, no federal funds can be paid to a student who is in default on a prior federal student loan.

Financial Aid may be withdrawn if the student fails to make “satisfactory academic process” towards completing all degree program requirements.  The financial aid office reserves the right to revise student’s financial assistance. Modifications to your original aid award  may be required by changes in your enrolled hours, corrections or changes in the data reported on your FAFSA, receipt of additional resources, or other eligibility criteria.

The student aid application process is separate from the admission process of NDS. Acceptance of your FAFSA  by the Department of Education does not constitute acceptance for admission to NDS.

Seminarian Responsibility for Financial Aid

Financial aid for a seminarian is usually provided through the vocations office of his diocese. Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans are available to all seminarians who qualify. A seminarian may borrow up to the difference between his annual costs less all aid provided by his diocese and any other outside aid program.

BORROW ONLY WHAT YOU NEED:  Interest on an unsubsidized direct student loan begins to accrue as soon as the funds are fully disbursed. NDS recommends seminarians receive counseling from their Ordinary or Vocation Director as well as completing both the online Entrance and Financial Awareness Counseling modules on the website prior to applying for a student loan. NDS also recommends seminarians do not apply for loans exceeding $4,000 per academic year, bearing in mind the earning potential of a diocesan priest and his ability to repay

  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). This will significantly increase the overall cost of the loan.

RIGHT TO CANCEL : Students have the right to cancel all or any portion of the loan(s). The student is required to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing of any cancellation request prior to disbursement. Students have a right to cancel loans up to 15 days after funds have been disbursed to their accounts. However, they will be responsible for paying any remaining balance on their NDS account.

Other Available Funds

Veterans’ Benefits may be used to pay for a student’s expenses while attending NDS. Learn more about the application process.

Vocational Rehabilitation is available to students who qualify. Louisiana students can learn more about this state aid program. Students who are permanent residents of other states should be able to find contact information online.

Notre Dame Seminary Work Study Fund is a financial aid program available to students at Notre Dame Seminary. Applications for this program should be made to the NDS Financial Aid Office.

Archdiocese of New Orleans Handing on the Faith Program

The student must complete the one-time Theology Scholarship Agreement which requires either: a) a commitment to full-time employment in a Catholic parish, school, office or approved ministry of or located in the Archdiocese of New Orleans for three years; b) repayment of all tuition remission received through HOF.

The student must also complete the Application for Scholarship, which must be submitted every semester. All forms must be submitted to the Master of Arts Department by the appropriate deadline (i.e. 1st Monday of April for Summer, 2nd Monday of July for Fall, and 1st Monday of December for Spring, unless these dates are seminary holidays. In the latter case, students will be notified and the date will usually be postponed one week.).

Students who meet the above requirements must attach a Written Explanation of their Financial Need to the Theology Scholarship Agreement. A new written explanation of financial need must be submitted every two years.

Finally, the Catholic Foundation will make the final decision regarding funding. Preference is given to students who have made significant progress toward degree completion and who have demonstrated strong academic success in the Theology Program.