Oct 01, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Financial Aid

Student Financial Aid Sources

The Dakota State University Financial Aid Office is here to assist eligible students secure the finances needed to begin and complete their college education. Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, loans and work study and all sources of student financial aid (agency, private, federal, state and institutional) are coordinated through the Financial Aid Office. Any funding outside of student and family personal funds is considered financial aid and is processed through this office.

For a complete listing of financial aid programs, policies, and alternative financing options, visit the Financial Aid Office or the DSU website. Application information, eligibility requirements, and links to alternative loan information can be accessed via the Financial Aid page in the MyDSU portal. Eligibility is determined annually based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), DSU scholarship application, student date of application, available funds and student financial aid satisfactory academic progress. Electronic applications for institutional, federal aid and other aid sources may be done through links found on the DSU website and in the MyDSU portal.

Professional staff are available to assist students in determining educational funding options and in understanding available programs. If students have a change in their family situation during the school year, they should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding the special circumstance process.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order to receive Federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education requires that students maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their chosen degree. Federal student aid includes Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), TEACH Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Work Study, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and PLUS Loans. Other Federal agencies may require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress for their aid programs as well. The academic record of all students will be monitored to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. The academic record of those who have not received Federal student aid in the past may impact future eligibility. Failure to meet the following standards will result in suspension of eligibility for all types of Federal student aid.

Qualitative Measures (cumulative grade point average)
Undergraduate Students:

An undergraduate student must meet minimum academic progression standards as established by the South Dakota Board of Regents. These standards are based on the student’s cumulative grade point average from credits earned from the six Board of Regents universities. The cumulative grade point average includes all credits earned (transfer plus system credit) and recorded on a student’s academic record. All remedial and audited coursework is excluded from this calculation. Making satisfactory academic progression is as follows:

An undergraduate student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better is considered to be in good academic standing (varies slightly from the academic policy). A student on financial aid probation must obtain a 2.0 or greater term GPA for each semester on probation.

Graduate Students:

A graduate student with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is considered to be in good academic standing.

Quantitative Measures (completed credits versus attempted credits)

In order to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of their chosen degree, all students must successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted credit hours. Attempted credit hours include all hours that would appear on a student’s academic transcript at the end of any given term, including withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, remedial coursework, transfer credits and credits attempted at any time when not receiving Federal financial aid. Audited coursework is not included. Hours that are part of a successful academic amnesty appeal will be included, though they are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation. If a student changes majors, the credits earned under all majors will be included in the calculation of attempted, earned, and maximum attempted credits, as well as the GPA calculation. Successfully completed hours for both graduate and undergraduate students include grades of A, B, C, D and RS. A grade of EX for undergraduate and graduate students is also considered successful completion. All other grades would not be considered successful completion.

Evaluation Evaluation of this quantitative standard will be measured once per year, at the end of the spring term for students in good standing, or the last semester attended. Students on financial aid probation will be evaluated after each semester while on probation. Students enrolled in a financial aid-eligible certificate program will be reviewed at the end of each semester. A student may be academically suspended as well as being suspended from federal financial aid. Being reinstated academically does not guarantee financial aid reinstatement. The student must separately appeal the financial aid suspension as outlined in this policy.

Maximum attempted Credit Hours

The U.S. Department of Education has established a limit on the number of credit hours a student can attempt and still remain eligible for federal student aid. This limit is 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree for which the student is pursuing. Only the certificate programs listed below are eligible for federal financial aid; all others, undergraduate and graduate, are not eligible for federal financial aid.                                                                                             

Type of Degree and Maximum Credit

Hours to Attempt

Certificate - Health Care Coding (39-hour program)


Teacher Certification (44-hour program)        


Associate of Science (60-hour program)         


Associate of Arts in General Studies (60-hour program)         


Associate of Science in Health Information Technology (64-hour program)




Bachelor of Business Administration (120-hour program)


Bachelor of General Studies (120-hour program)       


Bachelor of Science (120-hour program)        


Bachelor of Science in Education (120-hour program)           


BSE Elem Education/Special Education (141-hour program)  


Bachelor of Science in Professional Accountancy (150-hour program)           




Master of Science (30-hour program)


Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management (33-hour program)   


Master of Science in Education in Educational Technology (30-hour program)


Master of Business Administration in General Management (36-hour program)




Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (72-hour program)


Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations (61-hour program)


Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (72-hour program) 108
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (72-hour program) 108


Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

Students who have had their eligibility for federal student aid suspended may complete an appeal form to explain extenuating circumstances. There is no guarantee of approval of a financial aid appeal. Such appeals will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by a committee. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is available in the DSU Financial Aid Office or on the MyDSU portal on the Financial Aid page. To ensure a timely review, students must have submitted an appeal prior to the start of the term for which they wish to receive federal aid.

Financial Aid Probation

If a financial aid appeal is approved, the student will be placed on mandatory financial aid probation. Terms of financial aid probation are 100% completion of semester courses with a 2.0 or greater semester GPA. Based upon the circumstances of an approved appeal, the FA Appeal Committee reserves the right to place additional conditions which the student must meet in order to be considered for financial aid on a probationary basis for subsequent semesters. Students can continue on probation for the number of semesters outlined in their probation letter by meeting the terms of the probation each semester. Students not meeting the terms of the probation will again be suspended from federal financial aid.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who have lost their federal aid eligibility but have subsequently met the qualitative and/or quantitative standards as stated above, will have their aid eligibility reinstated upon receipt of appeal form.  Reinstatement will be effective with the next term of attendance or the term indicated by the student in their appeal.

Withdrawal Process: 

See Registration for Courses section for registration policies. The effective date of withdrawal is the date the student initiates the withdrawal process officially, either verbally or in writing, with the appropriate office. Failure to officially withdraw may result in failing grades, forfeiture of any possible refund of charges, and will impact federal financial aid eligibility. Additionally, a student is withdrawn from the University if classes have begun and the University has administratively suspended a student for reasons such as non-payment of tuition and fees, disciplinary sanctions, etc.

Refund Policy:

Refunds for housing and meals are based on the percent of the enrollment period remaining after the date of withdrawal or on actual usage. No refunds for room or board will be issued after 60% of the enrollment period has been completed.

Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled from the University within the drop/add period receive a 100% reduction of tuition and related fees. The drop/add period is 10% of the number of calendar days between the first and last day of the class. Breaks of five or more days are not included when counting the total number of days but Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are.

Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled from the University after the 60% point of the enrollment period will receive no reduction of charges.

Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled from the University after the drop/add period and before 60% of the enrollment period has been completed will have a reduction of charges calculated on the percentage of the enrollment period remaining after the withdrawal date. The percentage is based on the date of withdrawal, dividing the number of completed class days by the number of days in the enrollment period (minus breaks of 5 days or more).

Students Who Do Not Receive Federal Title IV Financial Aid 

The refund shall be determined by computing the percentage of the enrollment period remaining after the date of withdrawal times the tuition and fees originally assessed the student. At no time will refunds be processed after the 60% point of the enrollment period.

Students Who Receive Federal Title IV Financial Aid (R2T4 Policy) 

General Information:

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to apply the Return to Title IV Funds policy for students withdrawing from the university who receive Title IV financial aid. Title IV funds include the following financial aid programs: Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. The percentages for returning Title IV program funds are separate from the SDBOR refund policy. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. DSU may also charge the student for any Title IV program funds that were required to be returned that were initially used to cover institutional charges.

A student who withdraws after the 60% point of a semester is entitled to retain all Title IV aid for that semester. However, if the student withdraws prior to the 60% point of the term, unearned Title IV funds as determined by the federal policy must be returned to the various programs. These funds must be returned even if the University provides no refund to the student.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement:

If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned prior to withdrawing, a post-withdrawal disbursement may be due. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the student must give permission before the funds can be disbursed. DSU may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, housing and meal charges. Permission is required to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. Students will be notified of post-withdrawal disbursement eligibility within 30 days of the date of withdrawal determination.

Determining Earned Aid:

Title IV financial aid is earned by the calendar day, not class day. This includes weekends, holidays, and breaks of less than five consecutive days. The University is required to determine the amount of Title IV aid the withdrawing student has earned and then either disburse any additional funds the student may be entitled to up to the amount earned, or return funds in excess of the amount earned which the student has already received. If an amount to be returned to a federal program is determined, then a further calculation is made to determine how much of the amount needs to be returned by the University and how much, if any, needs to be returned by the student.

For example: If $1,000 in federal aid is disbursed, and the student withdraws at the 30% point of the term, $700 of the aid is unearned and needs to be returned to the identified aid program.

Order of Aid to be Returned: The amount to be returned is distributed in a specified order - Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, SEOG, TEACH Grant, Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant, and last to the student.

Grant Overpayment: Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment the student must repay is half of the grant funds that were received or scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. Arrangements must be made with DSU or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds. The student will be notified of any grant overpayment within 30 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew.

Timeframe for Returning Title IV Aid: The R2T4 calculation will occur as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the date the University determined the student withdrew. Funds will be returned to federal sources within 45 days.

Notification to Student: Once the R2T4 calculation has occurred, the DSU Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the results of the calculation, the aid that was returned, and any outstanding balance now due to the institution as a result. Students may consult with the Financial Aid Office to determine the financial impact of withdrawing before making a final decision.

Unofficial withdrawals (all failing unearned grades): Title IV aid recipients who fail to withdraw but stop attending class prior to the 60% point of the term are considered unofficial withdrawals. Either the last day of academically related activity or mid-point of the term will be used to determine the amount of Title IV funds that must be returned. The student’s charges will not be reduced which may result in a balance owed after the return of Title IV funds. The last date of attendance for unofficial withdrawals is calculated within 30 days of determining the student was an unofficial withdrawal and the R2T4 calculation and return of funds is processed within 45 days.