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Charlotte Financial Overview
"Okay, I've been called into the ministry and the Lord has confirmed it in a number of ways, but how am I going to afford to pay for it?" This question is a challenging one for most of our students. It takes a great sacrifice to come to seminary, and it is not something that is an easy thing to afford. It is a time of growth in learning to trust that the same God who called you here will provide, but also requires sacrifice, dipping into savings and exhausting other means to be here. Because RTS is a challenging academic institution, we do not recommend that a full-time student work more than 20 hours a week. And as a private, religious institution we do not accept government loans, or other kinds of federal funding. So, in light of these issues, we have some suggestions and recommendations to help you consider how you can afford to come here.
First, we need you to assess your personal resources and speak with your church about supporting you. We expect you to rely on your own resources, as much as you are able to do so, as you make it through the program. We view it as a great ministry and important relationship to get your local church involved in your study. They can provide great encouragement, financial and spiritual support, accountability, and even opportunities to serve while you are in seminary. (See the Church Partnership Program below)
This is our most popular partnership and the one we encourage the most. If you qualify for this, for every dollar that your church invests towards your tuition, RTS will match that with equal funds up to 1/3 of your tuition. So, if your church pays 1/3, RTS will pay 1/3, and you'll only have 1/3 left to pay! To be approved for this we need a letter from the church as to how much they will pay per year and the duration of their commitment. If you do not have a church willing to participate with this, it is possible to find employment in a local church in Charlotte who will participate as part of your compensation!
Beyond your own personal resources and church support, we do have some other types of scholarships and help. But, if you want to explore these, you need to submit to us a financial aid form. Unfortunately, though our costs are comparatively low, we cannot give a lot of aid to everyone, so we need to individually consider each applicant. Plus, by filling out this form you can get an idea of how to budget for seminary and perhaps ways to trim some non-essentials. Make sure you get the financial aid form to us by the deadline!
Once you've filled out the form, it's time to consider our ministry partnerships. Remember that partnerships are exclusive and are done in lieu of grants. (See above for Church Partnership) Currently, we have partnerships with RUF, Campus Crusade For Christ, Campus Outreach, Inter Varsity, and Young Life. If you've been involved with these ministries you might be able to receive a discount on tuition. The Director of Admissions will be able to help you know if you qualify for these.
WORK- church, campus, and secular employment
Charlotte has been called by some the city of churches. With over 700 churches and growing in the city, and 3000 within an hour of the city, we have a lot of options for part-time ministry work. In fact, we keep a list of ministry positions that you can follow up with if you are looking. Contact the admissions office to request this list.
On our campus we also have various work scholarship positions in the different offices like the Library, Bookstore, Admissions, and other administrative areas. For job availability, contact the Director of Admissions.
Outside of the churches and seminary, there are many positions in various businesses throughout the area. A number of our students work at Caribou Coffee Shop, Starbucks, local restaurants, and other places. Occasionally, we will have a local business or person contact us directly requesting a student to work with them. We'll make those public to our students and post them on a notice board.
This section often causes anxiety to rise and blood pressures to increase dramatically, but it should not, as it can be a great encouragement and bring you closer to those willing to support you. We encourage you to contact friends and family to see if they'd be willing to support you in this valuable preparation for ministry. These supporters can know that their investment in you will be multiplied as you enter the pastorate, mission field, and other forms of ministry. Some churches have been known to set up funds for people as they do this. For a sample support letter, contact the Admissions office.
Once you've fully explored the financial aid options above, you may still be saying, "It is helpful but still not enough for my family." The next step would be to explore the Grants and Scholarships page of the application. It is helpful to speak with the Director of Admissions directly about these and any other financial aid options available.
Remember, as mentioned above, the Lord will provide for you to be here if that is his will for you. We can rest on his promises that he will care for his children. It just may not be on our time frame, or it may require some sacrifices that may be challenging for us. However, in the end he'll have crafted us even in this process, and prove, to us who easily forget, that He is a gracious God who does not leave his children.
In order to complete registration you need to pay for your classes. Payment can be made through IQ Web with a credit card. However, RTS will still need to receive a church check for all church partnership scholarships. If you prefer to pay with cash or check you may send your payment to the Charlotte campus attention: Tari Williamson.
During the Fall and Spring semesters, you will have a week after classes begin to complete payment. During the Summer and Winter terms, you will have until the second day the class meets to complete payment. If payment is not complete by these deadlines, your registration is not complete, and you will be dropped from your classes.
All exceptions to paying in full, such as installment payments for full-time students, will need to be pre-approved by the Director of Admissions (Stephane Jeanrenaud). Brief delays in the payment policy, due to church checks for example, may be reported to Tari Williamson. A one percent finance charge is added to all balances at the end of each month.
If paying in installments, the student is responsible each month for paying a portion of their tuition balance, with final payment being no later than the last day of class during the fall and spring semesters. Students with a debt will be unable to register for upcoming courses.
I hope that this has been helpful, and my assistant, Holley Gregory (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would be glad to help you in this process. Feel free to contact us.
In His Grasp,