How do I apply for financial aid?

Steps 1 and 2 apply to all students seeking the CTSFW tuition grant (M.Div., A.R., M.A. in Deaconess Studies Programs) or a Federal Student Loan or a Federal Work-Study job (M.Div., A.R., M.A. in Deaconess Studies, D.Min., M.A., Ph.D., or S.T.M. Programs).

Step 1 Complete and transmit to us your CTSFW Financial Aid application electronically by clicking here. To receive a Direct Loan for summer Greek or other courses offered during the summer 2022 sessions, you need to submit the CTSFW Financial Aid application and FAFSA for the 2021-22 academic year. If you take classes during the academic year that begins with Fall 2022, you must submit a CTSFW Financial Aid application and FAFSA for 2022-23.

Step 2 – Use the online form at to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate year. The FAFSA on the web form will include an option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. We STRONGLY encourage you to utilize this option if at all possible. Doing so will ensure the accuracy of your tax data, which will result in a more accurate financial aid award. See note below for more details. The CTSFW Federal School Code is G20876.

Please note: The Department of Education will more likely flag your FAFSA for verification if you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are selected for verification and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to request a copy of your tax transcript from the IRS and provide it to CTSFW before any need-based Federal Student Aid (work-study) can be disbursed.

Steps 3 and 4 apply only to those in the M.Div., A.R., or M.A. in Deaconess Studies Programs who qualify for LCMS District and/or congregational aid.

Step 3 – Apply to your LCMS District using the “District Financial Aid Application” (available in PDF), type in your information on Section I, print the form, sign it, ask your pastor to sign it, and mail it to us. Do not mail it to your District. We will complete Section II and then forward it to your district. Your district’s application deadline is on the list of District Financial Aid Contact Persons (click here and use the drop-down menu to find your district information.) Be sure to check for any notation on whether your district requires any different or additional application steps. Nebraska District students should visit the Nebraska District website (click here) for instructions and application forms that apply to their financial aid requirements.

We must receive your FAFSA, your CTSFW Financial Aid application, and your District Financial Aid Application at least two weeks before your district’s deadline in order to have time to forward your application to your district office before the deadline. If you are a new student, please be aware that the Seminary and your district cannot process your District Financial Aid application until you have been granted admission to CTSFW, and have submitted your FAFSA and CTSFW Financial Aid application. If you are a returning student, please note that your financial aid deadline is May 1 (or two weeks before your district deadline–whichever comes first).

Step 4 – Ask your pastor and the leaders of your home congregation to support your seminary studies. We will also write on your behalf, asking your home congregation to consider supporting you with gifts totaling $4,500 for the 2022-23 year ($1,500 per quarter). Your congregation may or may not be able to help that much. Ask early in order to give your congregational leaders time to plan for your support.  We recommend that congregations send their support shortly before the beginning of each academic quarter to the CTSFW Financial Aid Office with a check payable to Concordia Theological Seminary and include the student remittance coupon.

Application Deadlines – If you are a returning student, you must submit your CTSFW Financial Aid application and FAFSA by May 1. This deadline does not apply to you if you are a new student. However, you will miss out on many other scholarship opportunities if you wait too long. Many scholarships have early deadlines. Please see the Outside Scholarship Opportunities webpage for details. Whether you are new or returning, you must submit your district application form to the CTSFW Financial Aid Office at least two weeks before your district deadline. Remember that you must submit your FAFSA and CTSFW Financial Aid application before we can complete the financial aid section of your district form and send it to your district.

If you are applying for admission as a new student, you are welcome to submit your financial aid forms before your application has been accepted. They will be processed as soon as the CTSFW admission requirements have been met and you are officially accepted.