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Federal and State Aid

We want to help you become you with as little debt as possible. Here, you'll find information on both federal and Tennessee state financial aid options. If you have any questions or need guidance, the Bethel University Financial Aid Office is here to help.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Students Financial Aid Office
(731) 352-6418
financial-aid@bethelu.edu

Graduate Programs Financial Aid Office
(844) 415-2151 (toll-free)
studentservices@bethelu.edu

Adult Degree Programs Financial Aid Office
(844) 415-2151 (toll-free)
studentservices@bethelu.edu

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Grants for part-time students will be based on the number of hours enrolled. Pell Grant is limited to 12 semesters or its equivalent.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The SEOG Grant is awarded to Pell-eligible students who have exceptional financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The award ranges from $500 to $4,000 per year.

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan Program offers government-guaranteed loans to degree-seeking students enrolled at least half-time. Payment begins six months after a student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time. There are two types of direct loans. The direct subsidized loan is need-based. The federal government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. The direct unsubsidized loan is not need-based. The student is responsible for the interest which may be paid while enrolled or capitalized (added to the principal of the loan). The FAFSA determines the type of loan a student receives.

Once awarded a direct loan, a new borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling. The MPN is a Serial Note that is good for up to 10 years.

The maximum amount a student may borrow in a given year (which includes a fall, spring, and summer semester) is based on their academic grade level and dependency status as determined by the FAFSA. The chart below lists the maximum annual amounts allowed.

Annual Undergraduate Direct Loan Limits *

  • Grade Level

    Hours

    Dependent Student **

    Independent Students

  • Freshman

    0-27

    $5,500 (no more than $3,500 can be subsidized)

    $9,500 (no more than $3,500 can be subsidized)

  • Sophomore

    28-59

    $6,500 (no more than $4,500 can be subsidized)

    $10,500 (no more than $4,500 can be subsidized)

  • Junior

    60-95

    $7,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized)

    $12,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized)

  • Senior

    96 +

    $7,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized)

    $12,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized)

* The total amount of Financial Aid received (including loans) cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
** If a parent is denied a parent PLUS loan, a dependent student may be eligible for an additional direct unsubsidized loan.

Annual Graduate Direct Loan Limits:

$20,500 Direct unsubsidized loan. The total amount of Financial Aid received (including loans) cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

Aggregate Loan Limits (effective July 1, 2008):

Undergraduate Dependent Students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Undergraduate Independent Students: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 can be subsidized)
Graduate and Professional Students: $138,500 (no more than $65.500 can be subsidized)

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program is designed for credit-worthy parents of undergraduate students. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student may receive. Repayment of the PLUS loan begins within 60 days of the final disbursement and has a repayment term of ten years. Beginning July 1, 2008, a parent borrower may choose to defer payments until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. If a parent is denied a parent PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for an additional Stafford unsubsidized loan.

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Program

The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Program is designed for credit-worthy graduate students who require additional funds after the student has received the Stafford loan. The total of all aid (including Stafford and Grad PLUS loans) cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Grad PLUS loans can be consolidated with the Federal Stafford loan.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program is assigned to students who have a federal need as determined by the FAFSA. They will usually be assigned a job on campus. The student may choose to apply their work-study checks to their Business Office account as payment. Please note that this is NOT a scholarship or grant. The student must WORK the assigned hours to receive the amount awarded.

Teach Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.

Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)

TSAA is awarded to Tennessee residents with financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The student must be enrolled at least half-time. Funds are limited, so it is important that Tennessee residents complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 each year. The award will be assigned to the first Tennessee school listed on the FAFSA; this may be changed by notifying the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp. on the TSAC student financial aid portal. Bethel University's school code for this program is 12. The award for full-time enrollment at Bethel University is $4,000.

Tennessee Hope Scholarship

Tennessee Hope Scholarship provides funding for both traditional and non-traditional learners.

The HOPE Scholarship for Traditional Students is established and funded from the net proceeds of the state lottery and awarded to entering freshmen who are enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution within sixteen (16) months after graduating from a TN eligible high school.

The HOPE Scholarship for Non-Traditional Age Students (Adult Learner) is established and funded from the net proceeds of the state lottery and awarded to entering freshmen or students who have not been enrolled in any college for at least two (2) years from the date of last enrollment in college.

Tennessee Promise Scholarship

Tennessee Promise is for students enrolled in an Associates program. Students must attend full-time, participate in a mentoring program, and perform 8 hours of community service each term.

Other Tennessee Scholarships

There are other scholarships available to Tennessee residents based on academic and other criteria. Click here to learn more.

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants are made through the Tennessee Department of Human Services. The student should contact their local Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in their home county for more information.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Need-based scholarships are available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Contact your local American Job Center for more information.