Frequently asked questions
- How am I going to pay for college?
- What's the difference between a scholarship, a grant, and a loan?
- Do I need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for PC(USA)scholarships/grants/loans?
- How do we renew my scholarship?
- How do I contact my loan service provider?
- Are international students eligible for undergraduate scholarships?
- Will the scholarship award be mailed directly to me?
- If I qualify to apply for more than one grant program, can I receive more than one grant?
- What does the deadline date really mean?
- Need based? What does that mean?
- What is the expected family contribution (EFC)?
- What is ‘financial reliability’ for a student or parent loan?
How am I going to pay for college?
Through scholarships, grants and loans.
What's the difference between a scholarship, a grant, and a loan?
Scholarship and grants do not have to be repaid. Loans do.
Do I need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for PC(USA)scholarships/grants/loans?
Yes, all of our programs require that the applicant demonstrate financial need. This application is available at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Web site.
How do we renew my scholarship?
Renewal applications are mailed annually to the address designated on your original application through this office. You may anticipate receiving this form by April 1 of each year.
How do I contact my loan service provider?
Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), (800) 693-8220
Are international students eligible for undergraduate scholarships?
We have limited funding for new immigrants. Generally we do not believe that students in the United States on a student visa are de facto immigrants to the United States. Currently the only students on student visas that we fund are those who are the children of Religious Workers in the United States serving Presbyterian congregations and students who are under care of a PC(USA) presbytery in the process of becoming ordained.
Will the scholarship award be mailed directly to me?
Funds are sent to your college/university/theological institution and applied to your account. The funds are designated for educational expenses.
If I qualify to apply for more than one grant program, can I receive more than one grant?
Students are limited to one grant/scholarship and one loan per year, so generally speaking, no, you can't qualify for more than one grant/scholarship from PC(USA). There is one program for seminary students with supplemental grants, but the rule of thumb for PC(USA) grant and scholarships is that if you have to complete more than one grant/scholarship application, you probably aren't eligible for both awards.
What does the deadline date really mean?
All of the deadline dates on the web site are 'mail by' dates—sort of like your incomes taxes. You need to have your application postmarked by the deadline date. We do not accept any application materials by fax or email attachment. If you fail to mail them in on time, the application will be received late. With limited scholarship and grants funds we are unable to consider late applications for funding.
Need based? What does that mean?
The need rationale that we use in the Office of Financial Aid for Studies is cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution, free forms of aid and the maximum subsidized Stafford whether the student accepts the loan or not. It is unfortunate, but our financial aid decisions are predicated on the notion that all students will absorb some educational debt. Our priority is to assist students whose need exceeds what is generally available from the subsidized Stafford program.
Most of our scholarship and grant programs have a need based requirement. Loans are not need based, however the loan must fit inside the cost of attendance. To determine loan eligibility we subtract free forms of aid and the subsidized Stafford from the cost of attendance.
What is the expected family contribution (EFC)?
The expected family contribution or EFC is a figure that is a product of the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). It represents the family's contribution to a student's education for calculating financial aid, most typically where free forms of aid such as grants and scholarships are concerned.
What is ‘financial reliability’ for a student or parent loan?
The Office of Financial Aid for Studies considers information from the application and the credit report to determine financial reliability. Borrowers are presumed to be reliable unless:
- They are in default or past due on a significant element of debt such as an educational loan, auto loan, mortgage or revolving credit account.
- The credit report for borrower or co-signer has unpaid collections, public records, delinquent accounts or write-offs to bad debt.
- There is a pattern of late payments over one or more accounts in the previous twelve months.
- The borrower or cosigner has been late in making payments on PC(USA) student loans they are a party to, or a member of the borrower or cosigner’s immediate family has a history of late payments.
- The borrower has excessive educational debt, as defined by PC(USA).
Excessive Educational Debt. Amended in September 2010 by action of the General Assembly Council, the financial reliability standard for Education Loans will now distinguishes between undergraduate and graduate students:
- Undergraduate total educational debt must be below $25,000
- Graduate student educational debt must be below $50,000
- Theological Student Loan (Forgiveness) educational debt must be below $75,000
Reported by one or more of the following sources: the student, credit bureau, or the student’s college/university/seminary as a portion of the student’s award for the academic year.
Note: Excessive Educational Debt was amended, September 2010 by action of the General Assembly Mission Council and was formerly capped at $38,000 of educational debt for students. Parent borrower’s educational debt is not considered under the debt cap, but may be considered as a part of the borrower’s payment history.