UPDATED: March 22, 2022 at 3:40 p.m.
The Harvard Divinity School will increase its stipend payouts for need-based and merit scholarship packages beginning this fall.
The change, which was announced by HDS Dean David N. Hempton earlier this month, will apply to incoming and returning students.
The Divinity School currently provides three levels of need-based financial aid — a package covering 75 percent of tuition, a second package that covers full tuition, and a third that covers full tuition and provides a stipend. The change will increase stipend amounts, but need-based aid that covers tuition will remain the same.
“Our grant aid packages of 75 percent and 100 percent will remain the same, but HDS remains committed to working to identify opportunities to continue to strengthen our aid programs in the years to come,” Tim Whelsky, HDS’s associate dean for enrollment and student services, said in a Q&A posted on the Divinity School’s website.
Whelsky said in the Q&A that the change reflects increases in the cost of living for students.
“Our hope is that the new stipend levels will allow us to provide meaningful support to our students and keep pace with the rising cost of living,” he said.
In a message sent to HDS affiliates announcing the change, Hempton wrote that the stipend increases would help make the school more accessible to students.
“This latest increase in vital financial support will enhance both our merit and need-based offerings and ensure an HDS education is accessible to a greater number of students,” Hempton wrote. “Our commitment to investing in our students will open doors of opportunity and will serve to strengthen HDS overall.”
Whelsky added that the increase in stipend amounts for merit packages will help HDS remain competitive.
“While our need-based programs are our priority and comprise much of the aid we award, merit awards remain a valuable tool for helping us stay competitive amongst other institutions who only award based on academic merit,” he said in the Q&A.