Types of Aid

ESR provides both merit-based and need-based financial aid to assist students in meeting their education expenses, and to encourage full-time participation. Financial Aid is available to Degree-seeking and Certificate students.

Type of Aid Student Type Minimum credits Award
Regular and Minority Cooper Scholar Program Residential 9 each session, continuously Full tuition
MA: 27 credits
MDiv: 54 credits
International Cooper Scholar Program International Residential 9 each session, continuously Full tuition, plus living stipend
MA: 48 credits
MDiv: 84 credits
Leadership & Service Scholarship Residential 9 each session, continuously Full tuition
MA: 48 credits
MDiv: 84 credits
Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship Residential Cooper Scholar in good standing 9 each session, continuously Full tuition
MA: 21 credits
MDiv: 30 credits
Need-based Aid Residential and Access 6 each session 10-50% of tuition
Awarded per credit, per year
Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship Residential and Access 6 each session Full tuition, 27 credits, one award per year
Tom Mullen Ministry of Writing Fellowship Any One Class, for credit or audit $2,500 plus various fees
Federal Student Aid Loans Residential and Access 6 each session Varies according to need

The Cooper Scholar Program

In honor of ESR’s founding Dean, Wilmer Cooper, and his wife, Emily Haines Cooper, the ESR Board of Advisors established the Cooper Scholar Program. Wil Cooper envisioned ESR as a place where the most gifted leaders from all branches of the Society of Friends would come for study. Priority is given to Quaker students who have been identified as promising leaders and ministers by their monthly and yearly meetings. As funds allow, Cooper Scholar Awards may also be granted to non-Quaker students who have similarly been identified by their denominations.

Cooper Scholars sign a Moral Obligation Covenant agreeing to contribute volunteer service to the ESR community (MA: 108 hours, MDIV: 216 hours; Int’l MA: 192 hours, Int’l MDIV: 336 hours). In addition, they agree to remain in good academic standing and heed the advices and requests of ESR on personal and moral concerns.

There are three types of Cooper Scholar awards: Residential, Minority and International. The Award varies, but the eligibility and selection requirements are the same for all three.

  • Regular Cooper Scholar Award - For Residential students. Full tuition for 54 credits for M.Div/M.Min. students, 27 credits for M.A. students.
  • Minority Cooper Scholar Award - For African-American or Hispanic members of a Christian denomination, with preference to those affirming an intention to serve as pastors. Full tuition for 54 credits for M.Div/M.Min. students, 27 credits for M.A. students.
  • International Cooper Scholar Award - For non-U.S.-resident students. Full tuition for 84 credits for M.Div/M.Min. students, 48 credits for M.A. students, plus a living stipend and rent, for a total of approximately $30,000 per academic year. The award is limited to two years for M.A. students and three years for M.Div/M.Min. students. Preference is given to Quaker students from outside of the United States who agree to return home immediately after graduation and complete no less than three years of service in their country of origin. The living stipend may not be sufficient to cover the student’s entire living expense, so other sources of income may be needed. The living stipend does not provide sufficient funds to support the student’s family.

Eligibility:Cooper Scholars must be full-time, residential, degree-seeking students. A minimum of nine credit hours must be taken every session. International Cooper Scholars must take 12-15 credits per session in order to graduate in the 2/3 years the award is available (M.A./M.Div, respectively). If a student takes less than nine credits in any session, their scholarship may be suspended. If/when the student returns to full-time, they must request re-instatement of their scholarship from the Business Manager.

In addition, Cooper Scholar recipients will meet the following criteria:

  1. 1. Be active members of the Religious Society of Friends or other Christian group
  2. 2. Demonstrate personal qualities of leadership
  3. 3. Have a commitment to ministry and/or service
  4. 4. Reflect spiritual sensitivity and maturity
  5. 5. Have demonstrated strong academic ability
  6. 6. Plan to complete a degree program at ESR

Click here for information on how to apply for a Cooper Scholar Award.

Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship

In 2010 Jay Marshall, Dean of ESR, established this scholarship in memory of former Dean Tom Mullen. It is a merit scholarship available to a limited number of Cooper Scholars each year, providing full tuition for their final degree credits (30 for MDIV, 21 for MA). Students submit essays and letters of support that are evaluated for:

  • Clarity of ministerial identity and growth in understanding of the applicant’s call to ministry (preference is not given to a particular type of gift or ministry).
  • Self-awareness of the processes involved in the applicant’s own spiritual formation.
  • Evidence of meaningful engagement in community life at ESR and in one’s chosen external faith community (e.g., involvement in worship, committees, or other community activities).
  • Potential for continued leadership and/or service through one’s gifts of ministry, as perceived by those providing letters of support.

Applicants must be in good standing academically and have met the Cooper Covenant agreement at the time of application. Financial need will be considered only to decide between equally deserving applicants.

Award: Full tuition scholarship for the final 30 credits of the M.Div./M.Min. degree, or the final 21 credits of the M.A. degree. Up to 4 Scholarships will be offered each year, as funds permit.

Eligibility: The Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship is available to Cooper Scholar students in good standing, in the year in which they will successfully complete 48 hours of the M. Div. or 21 hours of the M.A. degree. A Call for Applications will be issued each January to eligible students.

Leadership & Service Scholarship

Award: Full tuition scholarship for 84 credits for the M.Div./M.Min. degree or for 48 hours for the M.A. degree.

Eligibility: There are two categories of the Leadership and Service Program Scholarship.

1) Residential students who, within the past 3 years, are recommended by and have participated in a service or leadership program including: a Quaker College Leadership program, Quaker Voluntary Service or another “Service Programs that Change the World” program, or a year-long internship with Friends Committee on National Legislation, QuEST Seattle, Quaker United Nations Office, or other approved service organization

2) Residential students who, within the past 3 years, are recommended by and have participated in a Bonner Scholar or Bonner Leader program.

Up to 4 scholarships will be awarded each year, with a limit of 2 Bonners at any one time.

Recipients will sign a Moral Obligation Covenant agreeing to contribute volunteer service to the ESR community (MA: 192 hours, MDIV: 336 hours). In addition, they agree to remain in good academic standing and heed the advices and requests of ESR on personal and moral concerns. Bonner Program students will complete their volunteer hours in the Bonner Scholars Program office at Earlham College. M.Div. students can choose to complete their volunteer hours in the first two years of the program in order to leave their final year free for their Supervised Ministry placement.

Click here for information on how to apply for a Leadership & Service Scholarship

Need-Based Aid

Award: Except in cases of exceptional need, Need-based Aid covers up to 50% of tuition for degree-seeking students, and up to 25% for certificate students.

Eligibility: Need-based Aid is available to all degree-seeking students taking a minimum of six credits per session (3 credits for certificate students) who have not been awarded any other full-tuition scholarship. Need is calculated from information provided by the student on their FAFSA and Financial Aid Application.

Click here for information on how to apply for Need-based Aid

Federal Student Aid (FSA) Loans

Through Earlham College, ESR participates in the Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan Program. The Federal Budget Control Act of 2011 limits graduate students to Direct Unsubsidized and GradPLUS loans. FSA loans are used by students to cover Cost of Attendance expenses, such as Tuition and Fees, rent, food, insurance, and certain other personal expenses as defined by the Department of Education.

Before applying for FSA loans, ESR counsels students to carefully consider their ability to repay loans, based on expected future income and other factors. The Business Manager can assist you in this determination. Students who request FSA loans must complete the Federal on-line Entrance Counseling process, and ESR’s “A Guide to Thoughtful Student Debt Planning” video series, both of which provide detailed information on receiving and repaying FSA loans. The student must also electronically sign a Master Promissory Note and participate in the Developing Financial Acumen Workshops.

A student’s Cost of Attendance and total credit hours covers any or all parts-of-term in which the student takes classes, including 2-week and weekend Intensives, full-semester and full-year classes and summer CPE courses. All FSA loans are disbursed in two payments. If the loan covers the full academic year, those two disbursements come at the beginning of each semester. If the loan is for one session only, the first disbursement is at the beginning of the semester, and the second at the half-way point of the semester, mid-October, or mid-March.

If the student has requested loans in an amount that exceeds tuition and fees, that amount will be refunded to the student to use for those living expenses detailed on their Financial Aid Application Budget Worksheet. Refund checks are issued within 14 days of the loan disbursement. If a student requires a small advance for books and supplies, they should see the Business Manager.

Loan Amount: Using Department of Education guidelines, the Business Manager determines the amount for which a student is eligible. Calculations are based on information received on the student’s ESR Financial Aid application and FAFSA. The student may request all or part of the eligible amount, which is disbursed to the student’s account in equal payments at the beginning of each Session. The Unsubsidized Loan maximum per year is $20,500; GradPLUS loan amounts vary according to a student’s financial need.

Eligibility: FSA loans are available to all degree-seeking students enrolled in at least 6 credits per session. FSA Loans can be used for living expenses after tuition and fees have been deducted.

Special Scholarships

Generous donors provide some scholarships with unique awards, guidelines, requirements and application processes. The Business Manager issues a “Call for Applications” at appropriate times during the year, with details on eligibility and restrictions. Currently, there are two special scholarships:

The Tom Mullen Ministry of Writing Fellowship awards $2,500 to a student who spends the Spring Semester at ESR working on a “publishable” manuscript while attending a Ministry of Writing class. Applicants need not be current students, but they are required to attend a Ministry of Writing course on campus. Click here for information on how to apply for the Fellowship.

The Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship was established to honor the courage and compassion of Nancy Mullen, the wife of former ESR Dean Tom Mullen. It awards full tuition payment for 27 credits to any degree-seeking student. Click here for information on how apply for the Nancy Mullen Scholarship.

Certificate Program Prepay Discount

A student admitted to an ESR Certificate Program may choose to prepay tuition for the entire 6-course (18 credit) program and receive a 25% discount, based on the tuition rate for the first year in which a certificate class is taken. See Certificate Program Prepay Discount Procedure and Application under Important Documents

Other Financial Resources

Arthur Vining Davis Grant
Up to $1,000 is available through an Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant in support of M. Div. students’ participation in approved cross-cultural experiences. Except for courses offered by ESR and Bethany, application for course approval by the faculty should be made using this form. Application for funds should be made to the Business Office using this form.

Spiritual Direction Assistance
In support of student self-care, ESR offers up to $25 per session for three sessions of spiritual direction annually. A list of available spiritual directors may be found here. Reimbursement processes may be found here.

Developing Financial Acumen (DFA) Matching Investment Grant
A $500 matching investment grant is available to degree-seeking students who complete the Financial Acumen Workshops, made possible through a Lilly Endowment grant. Funds must be used for retirement purposes. A form to request these funds may be found here.

Non-ESR Aid

ESR encourages students to utilize all other resources of financial aid. The Business Office will cooperate with outside agencies to coordinate aid. For confidentiality reasons, a written request from the student is required before ESR will release a student’s aid application, or information contained therein, to an outside agency. Some sources students should explore are denominational support, family support, and non-ESR scholarships. Click on this link for a comprehensive list of non-ESR aid and scholarships that is continuously updated.