the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Student Loans

Using Student Loans to Pay for Seminary

Southern Seminary does not participate in Title IV funding (federal or state student aid programs) involving loans or grants. Therefore, it is unnecessary for SBTS students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Private loan options:

Smart Option Student Loan for Graduate School

Sallie Mae and Fifth Third Bank offer a private student loan which is not federally funded. Students can apply for the Smart Option Student Loan online by contacting Sallie Mae (1-800-695-3317) or Fifth Third Bank (1-800-222-7192).

  • Variable Interest Rates from 2.25% APR to 7.27% APR
  • Fixed Interest Rates from 5.74% APR to 8.56% APR
  • No origination fees
  • Choose the repayment option that works for you while you are in school – defer all payments, pay just $25 a month, or pay only the interest on your loan
  • Smart Reward(2% of on-time scheduled monthly payments made while in school) in Upromise account  with Interest or Fixed Repayment Options.
  • 0.25% automatic debit reward while enrolled

Discover Graduate Student Loan

Discover also offers a private educational loan option for graduate students. Students can apply online or over the phone by contacting Discover (1-800-788-3368).

KY Advantage Loan and KY Advantage Parent Loan

The Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation offer two private loan options, one for students and another for parents of students. Application can be made online at KHEAA or by calling 1-800-988-6333.

  • Immediate Repayment – Principal Plus Interest
    • 5.79% to 7.09% Fixed interest rate
    • 2% Guarantee fee
  • Postponed Repayment
    • 6.49% to 7.59% Fixed interest rate
    • 3% Guarantee fee

How to apply:

  1. Complete the online application with Sallie MaeFifth Third Bank, Discover, or KHEAA. Students may borrow a maximum of $15,000 per year. Requests exceeding $15,000 require special approval by the Financial Aid Office.
  2. If approved, the lender will contact SBTS Financial Aid with approved loan amount.
  3. Student will receive an email from Financial Aid with a Cost Estimator Worksheet, requesting an itemized breakdown of the requested loan amount. (Students can apply for funding for tuition, fees, books, dorm/rent, and a campus meal plan.)
  4. The Financial Aid Office will certify the student loan with the lender after completed Cost Estimator Worksheet is received.
  5. Loan is disbursed by term to student tuition account.
  6. Student can request check from the Accounting Office for rent and books by logging into e-Campus, selecting “Accounting” tab, and completing the “Refund Check Request” document.

Please note, while students can apply for a loan at any point during the semester, loan paperwork should be completed one month prior to the first day of class to ensure receipt of funds by tuition payment due date.

Institutional loan option:

SBTS Short Term Loan

Southern Seminary offers a short term loan to currently enrolled, continuing students for a maximum of $2,000 with an annual interest rate of 7%.  Students may apply for a short term loan in the Financial Aid Office (Norton 154) for tuition or living expenses. The repayment period for the loan is 6 months. Please allow one week from the time of application for processing.


  1. Student must be currently enrolled at Southern Seminary and a continuing student (first semester students are not eligible to apply).
  2. Student must not be on academic probation, academic warning, or under disciplinary action.
  3. Loans are not available for students who have filed bankruptcy.
  4. Student must have completed one semester at SBTS.
  5. Loan applications must be accompanied by a Self-Certification Form (available in the Financial Aid Office).
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.