loans and future annual income

Federal Loan Borrowing and Future Annual Income

For U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents only:

As you consider whether to request federal loans, we strongly encourage you to consult the following resources to help you make an informed decision on your financial needs.  When you think about borrowing federal loans, you should take into account:

  • your present educational and living expenses
  • the future annual income necessary to repay the loans.

The purpose of providing the following information and resources is to encourage informed financial choices and assist School of Theology students in pursuing their call to ministry with a minimum of financial debt from theological education.

For example, if you borrow $30,000 at 4% interest with repayment over 10 years, you will need an annual income of $45,560:


If you borrowed $70,000 at 4% interest with repayment over 10 years, you will need an annual income of $106,307:


* Source: Auburn Theological Seminary

According to a 2010 article published by the United Methodist Church Office of Public Information “the average salary of a full-time pastor not living in a parsonage was $55,000 in 2008.”

The School of Theology provides a resource page of Scholarships and Outside Awards.   Students are encouraged to review this page to determine if there are any scholarships they are eligible to apply for.  A student’s local church or denomination are often good sources of scholarship opportunities.  Outside awards are an excellent way to minimize federal loan borrowing.

Students are expected to indicate on the STH Financial Aid application any awards for which they are applying and to notify the School of Theology in writing of any outside awards received. These awards must be factored into the student’s financial aid package. Outside awards may reduce the student’s eligibility to borrow federal funds or receive work study.

Students can use this budget calculator to tally their anticipated educational and living expenses and potential aid sources.

Financial Aid Budget

The 2015-2016 Financial Aid Budget is the estimated cost for a full-time student to attend the School of Theology.  The 2015-2016 Financial Aid Budget is as follows:

  • Tuition $18,900
  • Fees $890
  • Room & Board $12,620
  • Personal $3,050
  • Transportation $1,120
  • Books & Supplies $1,412
  • Direct Loan Fee $220 (applicable only if the student borrow federal loans)
  • Total $38,212

Some of the costs in the Financial Aid Budget, such as room and board and books, will depend on the individual student’s situation. Many students also keep the Boston University medical insurance.  The 2015-2016 BU basic medical insurance rate is $1,945.  The cost of BU medical insurance is assessed in full to the student’s account in the fall semester (for a student who is full-time through the entire 2015-2016 academic year).

The 2015-2016 tuition and fees can also be found here.

Resources – Information to help students make informed financial decisions regarding topics such as: the value of obtaining an advanced degree, potential future earnings, responsible borrowing and spending, and compound interest. – Manage your personal finances –  Savings and budgeting tips to help you identify your habits and reduce debt. – How to Save Money – 100 Great Tips for Saving Money

Smart Money 101 is a BU Financial Assistance initiative established to provide the Boston University community with online tools, information and other resources to promote effective money management.” Information and tips on: budgeting, credit cards/scores, student loan repayment, identity theft and scams, workshops and more.

Your Loan History 

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a tool for students to review their loan history.  More information on NSLDS can be found here.

Through, users can now

·        view their federal student aid history, including loan detail, grant detail, and overpayment detail;

·        get their loan servicer’s contact information;

·        download their federal student aid history into a text file using the MyData Download function.


It is very important to review your current debt level when considering requesting new loans.  Questions to consider include:

How will I repay the federal loans I have already taken? Information on repayment plans can be found here.

How much will I need to repay with interest? Students can estimate the repayment amount for their loans using the Repayment Estimator which shows repayment plan options and amounts.  Students with previous loans should contact their lender directly to determine their exact repayment schedule. is your source for information from the U.S. Department of Education on how to manage your student loans.

  • Entrance Counseling – required if the student did not complete it at a previous institution
  • Financial Awareness Counseling – required for first federal loan borrowed at STH (basics of financial management, current federal student loan debt, estimate of student’s loan debt at the time they leave school)
  • Exit Counseling – required prior to graduation
  • Master Promissory Note – required for first federal loan borrowed at STH
  • Managing Repayment

Financial Awareness Counseling can be found at  It provides borrowers the basics of financial management, shows their current federal student loan debt, and provides and estimate of what their student loan debt is likely to be at the time they leave school.

This tool will help bring new transparency to the process of debt management on the front end and empower students to keep their school loan payments on track and on time after graduation.

The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool provides students with five interactive tutorials covering topics ranging from managing a budget to avoiding default. Students are able to access their individual loan history and receive personalized feedback that can help them better understand their financial obligations.