Applying for Financial Aid
To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These forms may be obtained from high school guidance offices, the Financial Aid Office at BHSU or online at www.fafsa.gov . Black Hills State University's federal school code is 003459.
Applications mailed later than March 1 may not be considered for some programs because of limited funding.
Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid awards may include scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. See expanded topics under Financial Aid (to the left) on loans, grants, student employment and scholarships for a further description of each of the types of financial aid available, along with the Award Handbook. You may also go to Student Aid.
Determining Financial Need
The information reported in the FAFSA is used in a formula to calculate Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC is the amount the student and family are expected to provide toward educational expenses.
To determine financial need, the EFC is subtracted from the cost of education (tuition, fees, room, board, personal and transportation expenses).
- Cost of education (-) Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Once financial need is determined, BHSU will award the student financial aid up to that amount.
Students are classified as dependent or independent. The main difference between dependent and independent students is parental support - those who have that access are dependent and those who don't have that access are independent. Dependent students must report their own income and assets as well as their parents; independent students must report only their (and spouse's) income and assets.
You are considered independent if you are one of the following:
- born before January 1, 1992
- a graduate or professional student
- have legal dependents other than a spouse
- an orphan or ward of the court
- serving on active duty in the U.S.Armed Forces for purposes other than training
- a veteran
- emancipated student
There are certain requirements for financial aid if you are taking correspondence courses, please review the data by linking here, Correspondence Courses.
Students in graduate studies must be attending at least 1/2-time to qualify for aid, which is mostly loans, and must be accepted into the graduate degree program at Black Hills State University. The federal TEACH grant does allow less-than-1/2-time students to receive this grant. Half-time is at least 5 credit hours.
Paying of Bill for Fall 2015
Financial Aid Paid/Financial Aid Remaining
Financial aid is based on full-time status; some aid is prorated if you are less than full-time. Awards can be accepted on Web Advisor. All paperwork needs to be completed in time for processing of loans and class registration needs to be in place, PLUS you MUST complete Attendance Confirmation on Web Advisor to receive a refund. Complete financial aid is scheduled to be applied to your bill on August 16, 2015. After this date you should review Web Advisor's Statement History for "Financial Aid Payments" (aid applied to your bill). If not all your aid is applied to your bill there are some issues to be resolved, please contact Student Financial Services for assistance. We will be able to give you a deferment of payment if we have confirmation there is other aid that will be applied to your bill.
Refund of Excess Financial Aid - No lines, checks will be direct deposited or mailed
A refund is created after your "Financial Aid Payments" are greater than your bill. The refund check will be direct deposited (preferred method) or mailed to you at the local address (please confirm during the attendance/registration confirmation process). All students need to complete the attendance/registration confirmation process to receive their refunds. Estimated processing date for direct deposit or mailing of checks is August 21st, however, again you must complete Attendance Confirmation before refund is released. Remember, if you changes classes, you may now owe a bill; the refund of your excess aid may already be in process so make sure you check your Current Activity throughout census.
Mid-year transfer students may need to provide official college transcripts prior to the processing of federal Direct or private/alternative loans.
Financial Aid not yet available
If you have applied for financial aid and have not yet received your award letter, please allow four to six weeks of processing time. Please be prepared to pay your bill through the monthly payment plan or SDePay.
Certain types of financial aid may not appear on your bill (e.g. some non-federal loans, alternative loans that are not transmitted via electronic funds transfer, WIA funds, state Voc-Rehab, Higher Ed grants). Funds from sources which require manual checks sent to our office will be available at the cashier's window on or after August 17th. A reminder: Stafford Loans have a 1-2% fee assessed and PLUS loans have 4.0-4.3% fee assessed by the federal government deducted from loan proceeds prior to application on your account. Outside scholarships must be applied to your account for federal reporting purposes and are divided equally between semesters unless otherwise designated in writing by the donor.
Review of Current Activity on SDePay
Please make sure you are reviewing your charges and aid applied to bill, especially if you have made changes at any point to classes and/or other items which get charged to your bill -- it could possibly be your changes crossed after the refund was issued and you may have different bill now. It is your responsibility to review your Current Activity on SDePay throughout the semester. If you should have questions about the current charges, make sure you contact Student Financial Services for clarification. Remember, your full payment of your bill, or arrangement to pay your bill, must be made by September 4th.
Student Financial Services - Financial Aid
1200 University Street Unit 9670
Spearfish, SD 57799-9670
phone: 605.642.6145 or 1.800.255.BHSU