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2014-2015 Graduate Catalog


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Application Process

Graduate Assistantships

Financial Aid Programs

Disbursement of Financial Aid

Satisfactory Progress


For need-based financial assistance, the contribution toward college costs expected from the student is calculated according to a federally mandated system called federal need analysis, which takes into account many factors representing the family's financial situation.

To receive financial aid, you must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits per term in a program leading to a degree or the residency teacher or principal certificate.

To apply for need-based financial aid through Seattle Pacific University, you must do the following:

  1. Complete the admission process and be fully admitted to the graduate/doctoral program.
  2. Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal student aid processor. The FAFSA may be completed online. SPU's school code is 003788.
  3. Submit additional documentation as requested to verify eligibility.

Application Deadlines
Seattle Pacific does not have a deadline for financial aid applications for graduate students. However, it is to your advantage to apply as early as possible.

Note: 2014-15 SPU financial-aid year is summer through spring; a Post-Bacc/Graduate form is needed to determine your financial aid eligibility for the year.

The Financial Aid Offer
Students qualifying for financial aid receive a financial aid package containing information regarding their eligibility for various kinds of loans. The proportion and type of loan aid varies from student to student and from year to year depending upon the student's eligibility and level of enrollment.

Graduate Assistantships
Limited graduate assistantship funds are available each school year. These part-time employment positions are not considered a part of your financial aid award. Contact the appropriate graduate director regarding eligibility, open positions and to obtain a Graduate Assistant Agreement (GAA) form.

Financial Aid Programs

SPU-Church Matching Scholarships up to $500 are awarded to students who are awarded a scholarship from an organized Christian church or missionary organization in the United States or Canada as a result of a scholarship section process. Contact Student Financial Services for further information.

SPU endowed gifts and scholarships. You may contact your respective graduate school coordinator to learn more about endowed gifts and scholarship opportunities that may be available to you. Scholarship and grant directories are available at the Seattle Pacific University Library and in public libraries. Suggested resources include:

  • Grants for Graduate Students, Peterson’s Guide.
  • How to Find Out About Financial Aid: A Guide to Over 700 Directories, Gail Schlachter, ed.
  • Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans, Feingold and Feingold.
  • Students may also search for scholarship resources at

Federal Direct Stafford loans. Borrowers must submit a FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate and professional students may borrow up to $20,500 annually. The maximum outstanding total Stafford Loan debt is $138,500 for a graduate or professional student (including loans for undergraduate study). No more than $65,500 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.

Clinical Psychology doctoral students may borrow up to $33,000 (nine-month academic year) or $37,167 (12-month academic year) annually in unsubsidized Stafford loan for a maximum outstanding total subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan debt of $224,000.

The federal Stafford loan interest rate for graduate students is fixed, determined annually. Information about interest rates is available at (  Interest begins accruing immediately on unsubsidized loans; any unpaid interest will capitalize (be added to the loan principal) at repayment. Repayment begins at the conclusion of the six-month grace period following graduation, withdrawal or a drop to less than half-time enrollment. Additional information regarding types of payment plans and deferments is available on the loan master promissory note and from the Direct Loan Program.

Federal Direct graduate PLUS loan. You may request a Grad PLUS loan up to the cost of attendance minus current financial assistance. You must complete the FAFSA and utilize your federal Stafford loan eligibility.

Grad PLUS loans are made through the U.S. Department of Education. Any student is eligible to apply who satisfies the eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education.

Eligibility also depends on a credit check to determine whether the borrower has an adverse credit history. Interest begins accruing immediately and is a fixed, determined annually. Information about interest rates is available at ( Direct Grad PLUS loans will receive in-school deferment while the student borrower is enrolled at least half-time and a six-month deferral beginning the day after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. This program benefits current and prospective teachers who agree to teach full time for four years in a federally designated eligible school. This grant is available to students in the ARC, MIT, and MAT programs, seeking/intending to receive endorsements in math, science, a foreign language, bilingual education, special education, or as a reading specialist.

The funds from this program are automatically credited to your student account at the beginning of each quarter, provided the following:

  • All requested documents have been submitted to Student Financial Services.
  • You are registered for the number of credits upon which your financial aid award was based.
  • Verification (if required) has been completed.
  • You continue to meet the grant requirements.

Federal work study, on campus. This work study provides part-time employment opportunities for students on campus. You must have applied for financial aid and be awarded work study to be employed in the federal work-study program — and graduate students must request to be considered for federal work-study through Student Financial Services.

State work-study employment, off campus. Students must have applied for financial aid and been awarded work study to be employed in the state work-study program — and graduate students must be Washington state residents and request consideration for state work study through Student Financial Services. This program is sponsored by the state of Washington, and the participating employers are reimbursed by the state for a portion of the wages they pay work-study students.

Washington State Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program. The Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment program is designed to encourage outstanding students and paraprofessionals to become teachers, and to encourage current teachers to obtain additional endorsements in teacher-shortage subjects.

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a resident student of Washington state.
  • Plan to complete an approved program leading to a residency teacher certificate or an additional shortage subject endorsement.
  • Plan to be employed as a certificated classroom teacher in Washington K-12 public schools.
  • Plan to attend an eligible college at least half time. (Note: Some online programs are not eligible for funding under this program.)
  • Not be pursuing or planning to pursue a degree in theology.

Visit the Washington Student Achievement Council for additional information and application process.

Note: The combination of all sources of financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, and work study) cannot exceed the cost of attendance as determined by SFS.

Disbursement of Financial Aid
Once you have completed the financial aid application/award process, fulfilled all the requirements listed on the offer of financial assistance, and your enrollment matches the level of enrollment indicated on the post-baccalaureate/graduate information sheet (PDF) that you submitted to SFS, these funds will be applied to the your tuition account in the following manner:

  • Once you have completed a Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling, the funds will be automatically applied to your student account.
  • Once you have completed a Grad PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling, the funds will be automatically applied to your student account.
  • As long as you are enrolled for the appropriate number of credits, scholarships and grants will disburse into your student account.

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To remain eligible for financial assistance, you are expected to meet qualitative and quantitative academic requirements. 

  • Qualitative: You are expected to maintain a minimum GPA for all financial aid and minimum GPAs for SPU merit-based aid. 
  • Quantitative: You must complete a minimum number of credits each academic year, and you are to complete your degree within a specified period of time.

Satisfactory progress is evaluated annually at the end of the academic year (Spring Quarter) and applies to all students (current, past, or first-time financial aid applicants).

Minimum Grade Point Average
A financial aid recipient must be in good academic standing at the University. You must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA to remain eligible for financial assistance, including Title IV (federal) funding. Students who do not achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be ineligible for further financial assistance until the cumulative GPA is achieved. (Note: A higher minimum GPA may be required for scholarship recipients.
If you are receiving SPU scholarships, check with your department about this.

Minimum Credit Requirement
Students must complete at least 80 percent of all attempted credits to be eligible for financial assistance. Each accepted transfer credit will be considered both an attempted and completed credit. The calculated percentage will be rounded up to the nearest full-credit hour. Completed credits are defined as coursework that has received a grade of A, B, C, D, or “P” at the end of the academic term. Grades of E, W, G, I, or N do not receive any credit; therefore they do not count as completed credits each quarter.

Maximum Time Frame
A student receiving financial aid must complete a degree within a reasonable period of time. Financial aid will be awarded to students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree for a maximum of six years.

Consequences of Unsatisfactory Progress
A student who does not maintain satisfactory progress (minimum GPA and completed credit requirements and complete his or her degree within the maximum time frame) will be ineligible for financial assistance.

Appeals for Reinstatement of Eligibility
Students have the right to appeal their eligibility for financial aid. Written appeals due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., death of a relative, illness or injury of the student, or other special circumstances) should be submitted to the student’s financial services counselor. Please note that some financial-aid programs may have criteria that vary from the above-stated progress standards. Detailed information about these programs is included in Managing Your Financial Aid.

Results of Appeals (Probation)

Appeals will be approved only if the student will be able to meet satisfactory progress after the next quarter or Student Financial Services has approved an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure the student is able to make satisfactory progress by a designated point in time.

Students with an approved appeal will be considered to be on financial aid probation. Students on probation may receive aid for one probationary quarter. After the probation quarter, students must meet the Satisfactory Progress standards or the requirements of their academic plan, failure to do so will mean a forfeit of eligibility for financial assistance.


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