Information in this section is an outline of GCD students' financial responsibilities. More details can be found in the Finances for Graduate Programs guide. Full information about student costs and payment methods is available in the Southern Financial Policies section of the Catalog. If you need assistance with financial planning, please contact the Graduate Finance Counselor.  

Contact Finance Counselor

Tuition and Fees

Effective May 1, 2017, graduate tuition is $625 USD per one credit hour. Students are expected to pay the semester balance (less any financial aid) before the beginning of classes.

The following special fees and charges are assessed individually as applicable:

Application Fee - online $25.00
Application Fee - paper $40.00
Add/Drop Fee $25.00
GCD Experiential Learning (Rotation 2) Fee $3,200.00
International Student Deposit $3,000.00
Southern Transcript Fees:
Printed Transcript (per destination)
Electronic PDF Transcript
FedEx Service (U.S. and Canada destinations only)

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Books and Learning Materials

All required books and learning materials for online learning are provided online free of charge. During experiential learning and internships students may inquire some expenses depending upon individual needs.

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Payment Plan and Methods

Student Account
This is a 24x7 payment system that lets students and their families view bills, make payments, and manage the student account funds. Students log in using their Southern username and password. Parents, guardians, or employers are required to obtain student permission through the student's authorized user process. 

Student Account

Monthly Payment Plan
Southern offers a monthly installment plan so you may spread the cost of tuition over the semester. Sign up for a

Payment Plan 

Students and/or authorized users can make payments in person, via mail, or online through the Student Account.

Credit Card Payments
For making payments on a student’s account, Southern honors VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and debit cards. No cash withdrawal service is available from these cards (this service may be obtained from a local bank). Automatic credit card payments can be set up when the student and/or authorized user enrolls in a payment plan.

Personal Check Payments
Payments made to a student’s account through mail or in person by personal check should have the student’s six-digit ID number written on the check. If the ID number is not written on the check when it is received, it will be written on the check by a Southern Adventist University employee for posting purposes. Payment via electronic check can be made online.

Financial Aid 

Financial aid is available to qualified GCD students in the form of scholarships, assistantships, and loans. The first step in exploring financial assistance options is to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at»

Stafford Loans
Graduate students registered for a minimum of five credit hours per semester may qualify for a Stafford Loan. 

Unsubsidized loans aren’t based on financial need, and interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed. Although, repayment does not begin until after graduation or until a student takes less than five credit hours per semester.

GradPLUS Loan
These are low-interest, federally backed student loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. government. These loans are similar to private student loans (below), but with the benefit of having fixed interest rates.

Private Loans 
Personal loans are available from lending institutions nationwide. For advice on which loans may be right for you, you may talk with Southern’s graduate finance counselor.

Tax Credits 
You may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit when filing your taxes and claim up to $2,000 per student. For more information, contact your tax adviser or consult the IRS booklet "Tax Benefits for Education," available online at»

Employee Programs
Many employers have programs set up to help their employees obtain a graduate education. You may check with the human resources department at your organization.

Southern Union Teacher Subsidy
Southern Union teachers receiving tuition subsidy must obtain prior approval from their conference superintendent. Teachers then follow the regular admission process. Here's how»

Global Community Development Scholarships. The Community Development Society offers scholarships to GCD students in support of academic efforts and research projects.

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Refund Policies 
for Dropping a Class or Complete Withdrawal

A student who withdraws completely or drops a class during the semester will receive a refund of tuition and fees based on the date the completed withdrawal/drop form, with all required signatures, is filed with the Records and Advisement Office. Financial aid received will also be adjusted based on the refund amount that a student receives. 


1st week 100%
2nd and 3rd weeks 80%
4th and 5th weeks 60%
6th - 9th weeks 40%
10th week through end of term        0%


1st week 100%
2nd week 50%
3rd week through end of session 0%

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International Student Deposit

In addition to the regular University costs, international students must pay an International Student Deposit of $3,000 (USD). This applies to all international students except documented permanent residents of the U.S. or residents of Canada, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. The deposit must be received before the classes begin and prior registering for the classes.

Because mail service from many foreign countries takes time, this deposit should be sent at least six weeks prior to enrollment. This deposit will be refunded once the student graduates, withdraws from Southern, or finishes their Optional Practical Training (OPT), at which time the international deposit will be applied to the student’s account and used to cover any remaining balance before credit is returned.

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Graduate Finance Counselor

Ginger Cheney


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