The Cost of Attending Brite
Tuition and fees are not the only costs associated with attending Brite Divinity School. There will also be books, supplies, housing, food, transportation, clothing, insurance and perhaps child care. All of your living expenses plus the specific costs of your education combined equal the cost of attending Brite.
We do not want to discourage you from attending Brite, but we do want you to have an understanding of the financial realities. Here is a link to a video prepared by Candler School of Theology that addresses the financial issues related to attending seminary. We encourage you to watch the video so that you think about how you will pay for your education at Brite.
If you have not reviewed the section on Budgeting, Saving and Managing Money, please visit Financial Literacy and review those materials. If you have already spent time with those materials, you’re ready to begin.
Knowing what your expenses will be/are and what your income will be/is are essential to creating a meaningful budget. At the end of this section, there is a link to a Monthly Budget Schedule and a Spending Worksheet. In order to complete these helpful tools, you will need to know your estimated expenses and your estimated income. Each of the following categories will become a line item in your budget. To complete your budget you will need dollar amounts for each line item in both expenses and revenue.
For someone moving to Texas from another location, here is a helpful site for estimating the cost of living in Texas. While not specific to Fort Worth, it will provide general information. www.leavingthefolks.com/cost.php
Sources of expenses while attending Brite
Tuition and Fees
Masters $1,000 per credit hour
Ph.D. $1,000 per credit hour
D.Min $4,400 flat rate per semester (inclusive of fees)
Application Fee $50
D.Min and Ph.D. Application $75
Background Check Fee $20
Audit Fee $1,000 per semester (limit 3 hours)
Community Audit Fee $490 per course (limit 12 hours; non-degree)
Masters, D.Min & Ph.D.
Full-time $1,110 9 hours or more
Part-time $135 per hour not to exceed $1080
Dissertation/Thesis Research $1,000 students enroll for 1 credit hour, plus fee
Library Use Fee $1,000 applies to students not enrolled for credit or audit course at Brite
Student Government $20 per semester (full-time) 50% for PT
There are many options for housing while attending Brite.
For information about on-campus housing at Leibrock Village, CLICK HERE
Online resources for locating apartments are too numerous to list here. Be sure to apply the knowledge gained concerning Comparison Shopping and Conflict of Interest when looking for housing!
Utilities include electricity, gas, water, telephone, internet service, and television. Some of these might be included in your rent; always clarify what is and is not included.
Because we have some control over our diet and eating habits, these costs vary greatly from person to person. Be sure to include groceries, eating out, snacks, etc.
Books and Supplies
It is impossible to know with certainty what your book and supply costs will be. Some classes will have higher costs than others. We recommend that you budget $125 per class for books and supplies.
There are public transit options in Fort Worth and Dallas, but the majority of students find that having a vehicle is important. Include fuel, repairs and toll costs here. Brite students are eligible for TCU’s free transit pass that is accepted for Fort Worth Transit Authority, the Trinity River Express (rail link between Fort Worth and Dallas) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (bus and rail).
Include health, life, automobile and renters (homeowners) insurance here. Brite students can access health insurance through TCU at a cost of $935 per semester. If not otherwise insured, check www.HealthCare.gov for information on other sources of health insurance.
Do you make payments on a car loan/lease? Do you make monthly payments on credit cards? Do you make payments on personal loans or other educational loans? Those amounts go here.
Costs for child care vary widely. If this is a need, you will want to explore options available to you.
There are always expenses that don’t fit neatly into categories. You will need to know what those are for you and how much you spend.
Sources of Revenue While Attending Brite
Are you working or will you work while attending Brite? Do you have a spouse/partner who is or will be working? Include the total earned income available to pay expenses
Grants, Scholarships and Stipends
These are financial awards that do not require repayment. Your tuition grant from Brite would be one example.
If you are using savings to pay or partially pay your expenses, be sure to estimate how much you will use per semester or annually, so that they are available throughout your time at Brite.
Sometimes we’re fortunate to have financial support in the form of gifts – from family, friends and/or supporting congregations.
Funds from loans require repayment; sometimes deferred, but still payable. There are educational loans, personal loans (from family and/or friends) and credit card loans (money we are lending to ourselves, usually at very high interest rates).
And, finally, you might have sources not listed above.
Here are some additional resources for funding your education at Brite.
The Fund for Theological Education maintains an extensive searchable online database of scholarships and fellowships for theological education. www.fteleaders.org/fundfinder
The Fund for Theological Education also has programs and fellowships primarily for racial/ethnic theological students , and Calling Congregations. www.thefund.org/programs.
An extensive set of online tools for student loans, mortgages, credit card debt, etc. is available at www.bankrate.com.
Useful information on student discounts, credit card savings, budgeting, etc. can be found at www.nelliemae.com/finman.
Information on government subsidized loans is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
A general source of information on loans, scholarships, savings, military aid, calculators, etc. can be found at www.finaid.org.
Using the information you have gathered about your expenses and your revenue, you are now ready to build your Monthly Budget Schedule and your Spending Worksheet.
A Special Word about Loans
Loans must be repaid. They are advances on future income. It is important to understand the variety of loans, to understand interest rates, how to rank your loans by interest rate, and how to evaluate loan/debt consolidation opportunities. Since most education loan payments are future payments, it will be helpful for you to project costs and affordability of your loans. The Loan Affordability Calculator below can be used to calculate monthly repayment amounts based on total loans, interest rates and number of years of repayment. This Calculator will also help you calculate reasonable levels of debt based on loan amounts and monthly payments on the one hand and expected salaries on the other. The Calculator will also calculate payments based on what percentage of your income you are able to devote to loan repayment.
The Auburn Institute for Theological Studies has created the chart below. As a general rule, repayment for educational debt should not exceed 8% of your annual income. Exceeding that percentage could adversely affect your credit score, creating additional financial hardships.