2013-14 Financial Aid Award Information
Funding your education is critical to achieving your goals in life. The Student Financial Services Office at BHSU is here to help you (and your parents) design an overall plan to pay for your education. We are a resource to help you negotiate the many rules, deadlines, and requirements placed on student aid funds. The financial aid programs at Black Hills State University have been established by the alumni and friends of the school, federal and state governments, and the University. The aid that is available can be divided into three categories: gift aid, employment, or loans. Gift aid consists of scholarships and grants. Employment is provided through federal or college supported job opportunities. Loans are federally or privately funded and made available through Black Hills State, federal government and participating lenders. You must accept or reject the award or any portion of the award offered to you on the award letter. In addition, complete other requested information as directed then sign, date and return all documents to BHSU's Student Financial Services Office/or complete the on-line accept/reject through Web Advisor. This also applies to any revised award letter sent to you. Your accepted financial aid in the form of gift assistance and loans will be available to apply toward your institutional charges and other costs of education. With your acceptance, any aid able to be disbursed directly to your University student account will be applied to your account prior to fee payment each semester.
*Changes in current federal or state laws, funding levels and regulations or in institutional policy may revise this information.
You have been offered the award(s) found on your financial aid award letter because you have met, or will meet, the following criteria:
Have financial need (except for some loan programs and some scholarships)
Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development certificate
Have been admitted and enrolled at BHSU as a regular student in an eligible degree-granting program
Academically eligible as a continuing student
Making satisfactory academic progress, in accordance with the BHSU Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (enclosed)
Plan to enroll (and subsequently attending classes) in at least 6 credit hours each semester for which you have been awarded as an undergraduate student. (Some exception for the Federal Pell Grant- See Federal Pell Grant under Gift Assistance). You have been awarded based upon full-time status.
Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 4.5 credit hours per semester to qualify for Stafford Loans.
Have a valid Social Security Number
Not in default on any Federal education loans, or owe a repayment on any Federal education grant
Be registered for Selective Service, if required.
Your award is based on attendance in regular, semester, on-campus classes, Rapid City classes or internet classes. Correspondence classes have additional restrictions; see section on correspondence courses. You do not have to be enrolled as a full-time student to qualify for financial aid. However, some Federal Aid Programs also have additional restrictions for students enrolled less-than full-time. If it becomes necessary for you to withdraw from the University, it is imperative that you follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. Further information is available in our office.
Outside Gift Aid – If you expect to receive scholarship or grant assistance not included on your award letter, you must report it either on your award letter or call the Student Financial Services Office with the information. This allows us to properly apply estimated credit toward your University student account until the granting agency or donor payment is received. Most scholarships or gift aid expects you to be full-time to receive the award. Also, an adjustment may need to be made to your financial aid to avoid an overaward in accordance with federal regulations.
Institutional Scholarships, Awards and Grants – All BHSU gifts are credited to the student’s account prior to fee payment each semester upon you being full-time. To allow for any institutional gift aid to be applied to your account you must accept, sign and return your award letter. Institutional gift assistance may be cancelled by the awarding department if you fail to meet the eligibility requirements and if so, you will need to make payment of any financial obligation created by the reduction in aid. The BHSU Scholarship Listing and General Application is available on our website at www.BHSU.edu/scholarships ; note the priority date.
Federal Pell Grant – The amount shown on your award letter is an estimate of your Federal Pell Grant. Eligible students are paid this award through Black Hills State University; the U.S. Department of Education determines your eligibility and provides the funding. Disbursement of a Federal Pell Grant is credited to the student’s account. (Students with less than 6 credits per semester may still be eligible upon being in a degree-or certificate-granting program.) Pell Grants are available to first-time undergraduates, find more at Pell Eligibility.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – Provided by the Federal Government for distribution by BHSU if you have exceptional financial need (determined by a low expected family contribution) while allocated funds are available. When awarded FSEOG and accepted through your signed award letter, it will be credited to your student account. SEOG grants are available for first-time undergraduates. Pell Grant has a lifetime eligibility of 12 semeters full-time.
South Dakota Education Assistance Foundation (SDEAF) - The award amount shown on your award letter is an estimate of your SDEAF Grant. This grant is given to students who have need (determined by the expected family contribution and listed in the grant proposal) and must be full-time, first-time undergraduates; allocated while funds are available. -
TEACH Grant – The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program was established to benefit current and prospective teachers. Award amount up to $4,000 per academic year, with aggregate amounts of $16,000 for students on their first undergraduate degree, and up to another $8,000 for graduate students. The award, when combined with other aid, cannot exceed the cost of attendance and student must have at least a 3.25 GPA for each payment period unless qualified under other criteria, along with other requirements such as an Agreement To Serve/promise to pay (ATS). For further requirements, refer to www.studentaid.ed.gov. The TEACH Grant,due to Sequestration, has reduced student's eligibility by 12.6% for the 13-14 academic year.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) – A federally-funded employment program matched by institutional, agency and private organization funding. The amount of your FWS award is the amount you are eligible to earn during the academic year. The wage rate will vary from $7.25 to $10.00 per hour; you can work approximately 10-12 hours per week. Positions are available in most departments on campus, as well as some off-campus locations. If awarded Federal Work-Study and you accept it on your award letter:
You will receive your federal work-study authorization via email after July 1, 2013. A work-study job listing (Jacket Job Link
) will be available on the BHSU website after July 1, 2013.
Review the student information on the Student Employment Authorization Form carefully.
Contact the supervisor of the position(s) you are interested in for an application and interview. Departments may begin interviewing for their open positions as soon as students receive the federal work-study authorization. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for the positions in which you’re interested!
After being hired, forward the federal work-study authorization to your supervisor and go to the Human Resources office in Woodburn Hall room 201 to complete payroll paperwork.
Each pay cycle runs from the 22nd of the month through the 21st of the following month. Hours worked are reported on SNAP. Your earnings are paid on the last working day of the month. As an employee of BHSU through Federal Work-Study, you are expected to maintain professional work standards in your position to continue employment under the program.
Off-Campus Employment – Students are assisted in locating part-time off-campus positions during the school year and over the summer by campus personnel. This service attempts to match your abilities, interests and schedules with employers’ needs. All part-time and full-time students may use these services located in the BHSU Career Center, Student Success Center in Woodburn Hall, or call 605-642-6219.
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Perkins Loan – An exceptional need-based, long-term, low interest (5%) loan provided by Black Hills State University and federal contributions. It does not require a separate application; however, borrowers do have to sign a master promissory note and rights and responsibilities statement. BHSU is your lender. Upon acceptance of this loan, the promissory note and the rights and responsibilities will be mailed to you under a separate cover. If you already have a master promissory note on file at BHSU, you will not receive another one. Once the Student Financial Services Office receives all documents and the Perkins Entrance Counseling requirement is met for first-time borrowers at BHSU, the Perkins Loan disbursement will be applied as a credit to your student account. Perkins Loan Counseling is available at www.BHSU.edu/loans ,Counseling tab. Repayment begins 9 months after you graduate, drop below 6 credit hours, or leave school. Further information concerning the Federal Perkins Loan can be found in the Federal Student Aid site at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
Your maximum Federal Direct Loan and /or Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Eligibility has been determined by the Financial Aid Office as the maximum eligibility for your grade level listed on the FAFSA. Maximum loan amounts are:
freshmen - $3500 (Subsidized or Unsubsidized based on need) + $2000 Unsubsidized
sophomores (30 credit hours) - $4500* (Subsidized or Unsubsidized based on need) + $2000 Unsubsidized
juniors (60 credit hours) and seniors - $5500 (Subsidized or Unsubsidized based on need) + $2000 Unsubsidized
*If you are in an associate degree program, your loan maximum may not exceed the sophomore loan maximum regardless of the number of credit hours you have completed.
Interest rate is based on the T-bill each July 1st. The current year 13-14 it will be fixed 3.86% for the undergraduate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans. Also each grade level can receive an additional $2000 Unsubsidized Loan. You may choose to borrow less than your maximum awarded loan amount; if so, write in the lesser amount on your award letter. For determining annual loan limits, BHSU’s scheduled academic year runs from the summer semester to the following spring semester.
Subsidized – financial need-based loans made available to you by the federal government. Interest is subsidized (paid) while you are in school at least half-time, by the U.S. Government; up to 1.2% fee will be assessed.
Unsubsidized - not based on financial need (though you must apply for need-based aid first) and you must pay the interest while you are in school or request a deferment of interest and allow it to capitalize on the principal during in-school and grace periods; up to 1.2% fee will be assessed.
If you are considered an independent student for Federal Financial Aid, you may have been awarded up to the maximum your estimated educational budget allows through the Independent Extended Unsubsidized maximum limits. This allows an independent student to borrow up to an additional $4000 in Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan:
Freshman – total of $9,500
Sophomore - total of $10,500
Junior or Senior to borrow up to an additional $5,000 for a total of $12,500.
Due to this high amount of potential annual indebtedness with the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan availability, be sure to borrow only what you absolutely will need to cover your direct and indirect costs. You may want to refer to www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov , Borrower Services, Online Calculator to review possible repayment amounts. Remember, the interest is not paid by the government for the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan while you are in school.
BHSU undergraduate students’ average indebtedness last year was $26,601 which in part is the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan where the interest has not been paid prior, could be approximately $350/month repayments.
If you want to apply for a Federal Direct Loan, you should review all loan information found in this packet, list amount you want to borrow totaling both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, sign and date, and return the 2013-14 Financial Aid Award letter to our office. You will need to complete a promissory note for your Federal Direct Loan(s) electronically if you are borrowing a Direct Loan for the first time. First-time borrowers at BHSU are required to complete an Entrance Counseling session (see sections “Helpful Hints About Your Direct Loan” and “Entrance Loan Counseling”).
Graduate students must be at least half-time per semester (4.5 credit hours) in order to qualify for Direct Loans. Maximum amounts vary based on the student’s budget, other aid and expected family contribution. Possible loan to borrow is Unsubsidized Direct Loan of $20,500. All Graduate Direct loans are Unsubsidized and a fixed rate of 5.41%.
Please refer to the Federal Direct Loan for all rights and responsibilities.
Helpful Hints About Your Federal Direct Loan
Net Disbursement Amount – All Federal Student Direct Loan Disbursements have required fees. Federal regulation requires up to 1.1 percent fee.
Interest – The Federal Undergraduate Direct Loans have a fixed interest rate for the 13-14 year of 3.86% for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans. All Graduate Direct Loans are Unsubsidized and have a fixed rate of 5.41%.
Initial Borrowers – All first-time first-year borrowers attending BHSU must complete a loan counseling session before you may receive your loan disbursement. This can be done on-line, www.studentloans.gov (See “Entrance Loan Counseling” below.)
Parent Loan For Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – If you are a dependent student, your parents may borrow a PLUS loan through the Direct Loan Program. PLUS is a non-need based loan. The loan maximum is figured individually, based on your total cost of education minus any financial aid eligibility. Interest rate for the 13-14 year is fixed at 6.41%; up to 4.5% fee. Repayment begins 60 days after disbursement. Call the BHSU Student Financial Services Office at 1-800-255-2478 for information. Parents may apply for the PLUS loan at www.BHSU.edu/loans Direct PLUS Loans. The student must fill out the FAFSA to be eligible for the PLUS loan.
There are many alternative educational loan programs that exist for students. A partial listing of programs and lenders is available from the BHSU Student Financial Services Office at 1-800-255-BHSU or go to Outside Resources listed under www.BHSU.edu/FinancialAid; comparison chart is available. Those that we list offer certain benefits to you as a student borrower through the same lender as your Federal Direct Loan. Some of the loans are available for students who are less than half-time.
These courses will be calculated and/or disbursed differently from the other coursework. Please refer to
Financial Aid Educational Budget
An estimated educational budget for a student includes: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal/miscellaneous, and transportation costs. We set up the original award for a student based upon: the average of 16 credit hours per semester, double room, basic board plan if on campus, and a reasonable estimated cost of room and board if living off campus or with parents, and estimated books and supplies, personal, and transportation costs. Budgets vary based upon living arrangements, the residency status of students, enrolled courses and other variables.
Estimated Family Contribution
The family contribution calculated is an estimate of the family’s ability to contribute toward education expenses. For dependent students, this may include a contribution from the parents as well as the student. The contribution shown is based on 2012 income and assets, with the assumption that 2013 figures will be similar. Therefore, the expected contribution is the amount the family/student is expected to contribute over the nine month academic year. If the family is unable to meet the estimated family contribution (from current income and savings) and cover the expected university cost with aid that has been awarded, an alternative may need to be investigated.
Reminder: Is there any outside funding not included on the award letter? If so, you must inform the Student Financial Services Office of any resource outside of the family which may reduce the calculated unmet need and therefore reduce your out-of-pocket costs or reduce awarded work or loan.
Changes That May Require Revisions To Financial Aid Awards
Reasons for reduction, cancellation or even repayment of previously disbursed aid may include, but are not limited to, the following: a change in residency status; change in living arrangements; award changes due to verification and/or as a result of updated information; receiving aid not previously shown on your award letter; drop in credit hours; did not start attending classes; or any other reason unknown to our office at the time of disbursement. Reduction or cancellation of aid is done in the following order: loans, work-study and then grants. Unless you are a National Science Scholars Program scholarship recipient, the Pell Grant is not reduced or cancelled. Failure to notify our office of information that could affect your aid awards may jeopardize continuation of eligibility or necessitate repayment of previously disbursed aid. In some cases, we may even have to report you to the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General, and to local law enforcement agencies, for appropriate action.
Awarded Aid And Not Enrolled or Drop Below Half-time
If you are awarded aid for the full academic year (fall & spring semesters) and you do not attend classes for the fall semester, your aid for both the fall and spring semesters will be cancelled. You will not be notified of this cancellation. If you do not enroll for the fall semester, but you plan to attend Black Hills State during the spring semester, it is imperative that you notify our office of your planned enrollment in writing immediately. If you drop below 1/2-time in fall semester, your loans will be canceled for the spring.
Please refer to www.BHSU.edu/PayforCollege , for the most recent information, or contact the cashier/Student Accounts office.
Payment Of Charges
If you have pre-registered for the fall or spring semester, your billing information will be available to you online approximately one month prior to the start of each term. Your electronic bill (eBill) is accessible through WebAdvisor (WebAdvisor.BHSU.edu) by clicking on SDePay.
Payment for tuition & fees and on campus room & board (if applicable) is due the next business day after census each term and may be done electronically through SDePay. Paper checks will still be accepted at the Cashier windows or through the mail, but credit card payments may only be done electronically. Monthly Payment Plan can be found at www.bhsu.edu/payforcollege , payment information or call 605-642-6480. In addition to making payment, Attendance Confirmation must be completed each term to confirm you will be attending the classes.
Our vendor accepts MasterCard, Discover, and American Express (sorry, no VISA). They do assess a 2.75% service charge for credit card payments but offer an eCheck option at no additional cost. If your financial aid has not been applied to your bill by the due date, completing a Deferred Payment Agreement will prevent your classes from being cancelled. Contact a Financial Aid Representative for information on Deferments.
If your financial aid is not sufficient to cover your entire balance, the difference must be paid by the due date to avoid class cancellation or late charges. Questions regarding financial aid or payment will be answered in the Student Financial Services Office. Late payment charges are assessed according to South Dakota Board of Regents Policy .
For Financial Aid questions, please call 605-642-6145 or email BHSUfinancial@BHSU.edu. For Cashier or Payment questions, please call 605-642-6531 or email BHSU-ARCR@BHSU.edu
Refund and Repayment Policy
Students who withdraw from college may be entitled to a partial refund of tuition and other fees. Refunds to students who received financial aid will be applied to the financial aid program(s) from which the students received assistance. In addition to this, students who receive cash disbursements of Title IV funds (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, TEACH Grant), and subsequently withdraw before the end of the semester, may be required to repay a percentage of the funds disbursed. See the University Catalog and Website for the withdrawal procedure and for the refund and repayment schedules.
Most federal grants and loans are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which the student (or parent for a parent PLUS) can review using their federal pin number, www.nslds.ed.gov . This will give the student the most recent information (when updated by holders of loans and schools) with contact names and phone numbers, and some addresses should there be questions.
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 degree. Federal Student Aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), and Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Also, other Federal Agencies may require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for their aid programs. 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 financial aid suspension of eligibility for Federal Student Aid.
An undergraduate student must meet maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0.
A graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
In order to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree, all students must successfully complete 67% of 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 hours and hours attempted at any time when not receiving Federal Student Aid.
Audited coursework is not included. Hours that may have been part of a successful academic amnesty appeal will still be included. Successfully completed hours for both graduate and undergraduate students include grades of A, B, C, D, RS, P and S. A grade of EX and N for undergraduates students is also considered successful completion. All other grades would not be considered successful completion. Evaluation of this quantitative standard will be measured once per year, generally at the end of the spring term.
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 based on 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree for which the student is pursuing.
Type of Degree Maximum Credit Hours Attempted
Two-Year Associate 90
Four-Year Bachelor 180
Two-Year Master 53
Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
Students who have had their eligibility for Federal Student Aid suspended may complete an appeal form to explain mitigating circumstances. There is no guarantee for approving a financial aid eligibility appeal. Such appeals will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. An appeal form is available in the BHSU Student Financial Services Office or on their website. To ensure a timely review, students should make an appeal at least one month in advance of the start of the term for which they wish to receive aid. Being reinstated academically does not guarantee financial aid reinstatement. Based upon the circumstances of an approved appeal, the Appeal Committee reserves the right to place conditions which the student must meet in order to be considered for financial aid on a probationary basis for subsequent terms. Appeal Form
Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who have lost their Federal Aid eligibility, but have subsequently met the qualitative (GPA) and /or quantitative (%) standards as stated above, will have their aid eligibility reinstated. Reinstatement will be considered effective with the next term of attendance.
Satisfactory Academic Progress & Non-Federal Aid
There are also non-federal sources of financial assistance (institutional, local, private, state) which may require students to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students who apply for non-federal forms of aid are advised to review their academic standards in order to determine or ensure continued eligibility. BHSU’s institutional aid has the same Financial Aid Suspension guidelines as stated above.