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 MyBHSU. 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.

General Information/Eligibility

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 attend 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.

Gift Assistance

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 ; 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. Pell Grant has a lifetime eligibility of 12 semesters full-time. More... 

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, pro-rated based on enrollment, but not for less-than-half-time students.

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.

South Dakota Need-Based Grant Program (SDNBGP)
The award amount shows on your award letter is an estimate of your SD Need-Based Grant. This grant is given to students who are SD residents who have a financial need (determined by the expected family contribution) and must be full-time, first-time undergraduates; allocated while funds are available.

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 (minus sequestration amount), 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

Work Assistance

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 start at $9.25 per hour (amounts can vary based on qualifications); 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. A work-study job listing (Jacket Jobs) or will be available on the BHSU website.
  • Review the student information on the federal work-study 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 electronically 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 by contacting the Retention & Recruitment Specialist for your major.


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. A fixed 4.53% rate will begin July 1, 2019 for the 19-20 year for 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 , 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 $28,087 which in part is the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan where the interest has not been paid prior, could be approximately $300/month repayments.

If you want to apply for a Federal Direct Loan, you should review and complete all loan information found in award notice email, accept the amount you want to borrow totaling both subsidized and unsubsidized loans on Web Advisor. If you only wish a part of the loans, follow instructions within Banner Self-Service on how to contact Student Financial Services through email. 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, or prior Direct federal loan is paid in full, 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 6.08% for the 19-20 academic year.  Interest rate will change every July 1st.

Also: First-time borrowers at BHSU, or prior Direct federal loan is paid in full, are required to complete an Entrance Counseling session (see sections “Helpful Hints About Your Direct Loan” and “Entrance Loan Counseling”).

Please refer to the Federal Direct Loan for all rights and responsibilities. Listing of loans borrowed can be found at

Helpful Hints About Your Federal Direct Loan

Net Disbursement Amount – All Federal Student Direct Loan Disbursements have required fees. Federal regulation requires up to 1.2 percent fee.

Interest – The Federal Undergraduate Direct Loans have a fixed interest rate for the 19-20 year of 4.53% for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans. All Graduate Direct Loans are Unsubsidized and have a fixed rate of 6.08%. Interest rates will change on July 1st each year, according to T-bill + add-on determined by the federal government.

Initial Borrowers – All first-time first-year borrowers attending BHSU, or prior Direct federal loans paid in full, must complete a loan counseling session before you may receive your loan disbursement. This can be done on-line, (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 19-20 year is fixed at 7.08%; up to 4.5% fee. Repayment begins 60 days after disbursement. Interest rates will change each July 1st.  Call the BHSU Student Financial Services Office at 1-800-255-2478 for information. Parents may apply for the PLUS loan at Direct PLUS Loans. The student must fill out the FAFSA to be eligible for the PLUS loan.

Alternative Loans
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; 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.

Financial Aid Disbursement Requirements

Correspondence Course(s)
These courses will be calculated and/or disbursed differently from the other coursework. Please refer to Correspondence Course(s).

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 15 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 2017 income and assets, with the assumption that 2019 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 , 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 MyBHSU 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 here, 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, and 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 For Cashier or Payment questions, please call 605-642-6531 or email

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.

NSLDS Website

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 student aid ID (FSA ID), . 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.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) 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 degree. Federal Student Aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), and Federal PLUS Loan. Also, other Federal Agencies may require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for their aid programs. The academic record of all students will be monitored to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. Therefore, even 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.

The academic record of all students will be monitored to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. Therefore, even the academic record of those who have not received federal student aid in the past may impact future eligibility.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured once a year, both qualitative and quantitative – at the end of the spring semester, or the last semester attended in that academic year. All terms of enrollment are included in the evaluation – summer term, fall semester, and spring semester.

Qualitative Measurement
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 and system term grade point average. The system term grade point average is based on credits earned from the six Board of Regents universities during a given term. The cumulative grade point average includes all credits earned (transfer plus system credit). All remedial and audited coursework is excluded from this calculation.

Failure to meet any of the three following standards will result in the suspension of eligibility for federal student aid.

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average - Qualitative Measurement    
    • Undergraduate Students:
      Federal regulations require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for undergraduate students. The cumulative GPA is calculated on all BHSU and transfer undergraduate credits (excluding remedial and audited coursework).
    • Graduate Students:
      Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all BHSU and transfer graduate credits.
  • Completion percentage - Quantitative Measurement
    All students (both undergraduate and graduate) 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, and transfer hours. 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, and S. A grade of EX for undergraduate students is also considered successful completion. All other grades would not be considered successful completion (such as F (failure), W (withdrawal), U (unsatisfactory), RU (remedial unsatisfactory), or I or IP (incomplete).
  • Maximum attempted credit hours - Quantitative Measurement
    There is a limit on the number of credit hours a student can attempt and still remain eligible for federal student aid. All credits attempted (except audited coursework) are included. This limit is based on 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree that the student is pursuing.
    Type of Degree Attempted Maximum Credit Hours
    Associate Degree (60-hour program) 90
    Bachelor’s Degree (120-hour program) 180
    Bachelor’s Degree (128-hour program) 192
    Bachelor’s Degree (150-hour program) 225
    Master’s Degree (35-hour program) 53

Additional information that may impact satisfactory academic progress

Grade Changes If the grade change occurs after the annual Satisfactory Academic Progress review has been done, the grade change will be reflected in the next review unless the student notifies the BHSU Student Financial Services Office of the grade change and it changes the student’s status from suspended to good standing. Since incomplete grades are counted as unsatisfactory attempts, the potential impact would be an increase in grade point average and/or increase in percentage completion.

Repeated Courses: Students will be allowed a total of three (3) takes for undergraduate courses (course number 001-499) for which credit is only counted toward graduation once. The student must petition the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs for permission to take an undergraduate course more than three times. When a student repeats a course, only the latter grade, even if it is a lower grade, is used in the computation of the grade point average. If the last grade is a failing grade earlier credit will be lost as well. All grades remain on the transcript. All attempts will count toward percentage completion and maximum credit hours for financial aid satisfactory academic progress.

Remedial Courses:All credits, whether remedial or non-remedial are assigned a credit value. Remedial coursework is included when determining enrollment status for financial aid purposes, but are not included toward graduation requirements or grade level progression. Grades of RS or RU are assigned to remedial coursework. All remedial coursework is included in the financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculation for percentage completion and maximum credit hours.

Withdrawn and Incomplete Courses: Courses that a student drops after the term census date will appear on the transcript with a grade of “W”, "I" or "IP" whether the student was passing or failing the class at the time of withdrawal, or has an incomplete. These credits are not used when calculating the grade point average, but do count as credits attempted but not satisfactorily completed and impact the percentage completion and maximum credit hours.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
Note that an academic suspension appeal is a separate process. Students who have also been academically suspended must be academically reinstated prior to submitting a financial aid appeal. Being reinstated academically does not guarantee financial aid reinstatement.

Students are notified in writing when placed on financial aid suspension. Students may submit a written appeal to explain extenuating circumstances as to why they were unable to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Appeals must be submitted no later than mid-point of the term for which it applies. An appeal form is available at the BHSU Student Financial Services Office or at FA Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

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. Reinstatement will be considered effective with the next term of attendance. 

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. 

Financial Aid Offer

Based upon your meeting the appropriate program eligibility requirements, your Financial Aid offer lists the financial aid (grants, loans, work-study, scholarships, and outside assistance) you have been awarded for attendance at Black Hills State University. Please carefully review the information listed below to ensure that the Federal Student Aid you wish to receive is processed in a timely manner. If there is anything you do not understand or need to have clarified, contact our office by any one of the means listed at the bottom of this page or use the Student Financial Services contact form

If you are receiving outside scholarships (non-BHSU), please complete an Outside Scholarship form for each scholarship so we can help contact the donor to assist you with their payment.

Based on the financial aid that you have accepted on your electronic financial aid offer through Banner Self-Service, please review “finalize your award” as well as all other information on aid for which you have accepted.

To finalize your electronic award letter:

  • Log into Banner Self-Service, go to Financial Aid tab,  select BHSU campus, then Award tab, Award by Year, Year to view, accept, print
    • Accept or Reject my Financial Aid tab, Award, then Award by Year, Year selection
      • Review instructions on Awards page
        • You can accept/reject  all aid by checking box with “Accept Full Amount All Awards" or can accept by each term
        • Please make sure if accepting the individual amounts of aid you take an action in each term (we certify your loans by the year, not just one semester at a time unless you are graduating mid-year)
        • Whether you check accept/reject all, or you accept aid by each term, you will need to read the statement at the bottom of the page, click the "Submit Decision" button
        • Inform us of any outside scholarships you are receiving using contacting us and filling out the Outside Scholarship form
        • If corresponding to Financial Aid Office about items below, make sure you include your full name and your Student ID (not your Social Security Number)    
        • Requesting lower amount of loan - Contact Us 
        • Requesting greater amount of loan (mid-year grade level change) - Contact Us
        • Rejecting all aid - please let us know the reason why rejecting all aid - Contact Us
        • Upon having aid listed that has already been accepted and you have no other aid to accept, you will just need to click the box next to "Please review the accept/reject selection..." and submit.  This will send notice to us that you are reviewed the aid and you wish to accept. 
    • Review all instructions once you have submitted your aid to the Financial Aid Office electronically
    • Upon having $1.00 listed from an outside agency this means you will need to follow-up with that agency to complete their process before receiving money from them, if they can offer money this upcoming year.
    • First-time borrowers of the Direct Loan(s) must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Counseling at using your FSA ID to access them.  Loans will not be disbursed to you until these are complete.
    • Transfer students must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you do not have a recent one on file with the federal government which can be done at using your FSA ID to access them.  Loans will not be disbursed to you until these are complete.
      • Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed if you do not have an outstanding balance on Federal Stafford or Direct Student Loans and can be done at same website as listed above.
    • By submitting your acceptance of the aid, you are stating you have reviewed the Award Handbook which details all the aid process.
    • Tuition Calculator can give you an estimate of your costs.
    • Unmet Costs? Parent PLUS loan Brochure


Student Financial Services - Financial Aid
1200 University Street Unit 9670
Spearfish, SD 57799-9670
Phone: 605.642.6145 or 1.800.255.BHSU
Fax: 605.642.6913


Financial aid is an important part of helping you reach your educational goals. We will work with you to find the best individualized way to pay for your education.  We have trained financial aid personnel who have years of experience in student financial aid to help you with any questions you have about grants, work-study, or loans.


The 2020-21 FAFSA uses 2018 tax information.  We understand that many students/families may be experiencing financial changes and strains during this time and that the information on next year’s FAFSA may not accurately reflect current income. The Financial Aid Office has the ability to use professional judgement to make certain changes to a student’s FAFSA and possibly adjust the aid a student is eligible to receive.  Please contact or (605)642-6113 for more information.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) needed

If you are a new borrower of a Direct Loan, please go to to complete the MPN and loan entrance counseling for the Direct loans.  You will use your FSA ID to get into the site and you will use it again to do your electronic signature. If you have any questions, please contact Student Financial Services at (605)642-6145.

Summer Financial Aid

Students who need financial assistance for summer 2021 classes must:

Please complete the summer aid application if you are taking summer classes.  You will be notified of the aid you are eligible to receive; you will also be notified if you are not eligible for summer aid so you can make your own payment arrangements with the cashier or in SDePay.

Federal Direct loan eligibility received for summer 2021 will affect your 2020-21 academic year loan eligibility.

For more information, contact Student Financial Services at 1.605.642.6113.

Student Financial Services - Financial Aid
1200 University Street Unit 9670
Spearfish SD 57799-9670
phone: 605.642.6113
fax: 605.642.6913

Mid-Year Transfer

When transferring mid-year to BHSU from another school, there are a few steps to complete in order to receive financial aid.

  • You need to contact the previous college to let them know your intent. They will need to cancel your classes and aid at that university.
  • You need to contact the Federal Processor via and add the school code for BHSU (003459). You will need to have your FSA ID available to use as an electronic signature in order to add the code. Do NOT delete the code for the other university. If you do not have your FSA ID available, but do have your Student Aid Report, you can call 1-800-4FED-AID to add BHSU. You will need the DRN off of the upper right corner of the Student Aid Report.
  • Once that is done and you have completed all required paperwork, BHSU will be able to process an award for you.
  • Mid-year transfers will be able to use MyBHSU to review your award letter; an email will be sent to your BHSU email address or FAFSA email if BH email is not yet available, when the award notice is ready to view.
  • In order to have money applied to your bill prior to fee payment, registration and all paperwork must be completed 3 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.
  • You also need to keep in contact with the Student Financial Services, 605-642-6145, making sure all paperwork, registration, etc is complete.

Student Financial Services
1200 University Street Unit 9670
Spearfish SD   57799-9670
Phone: 605.642.6145 or 1.800.255.BHSU
Fax: 605.642.6913

Financial Aid

How to Apply
Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at  Be sure that your name, social security number, and date of birth are correct!

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at  A FAFSA needs to be completed each year you are in college.  This application is FREE and is the first step in the process of applying for federal aid.  The FAFSA is available in different formats and may be obtained from high school guidance offices, the Financial Aid Office at BHSU, or online at .   Black Hills State University's federal school code is 003459.

The 2020-21 FAFSA uses 2018 tax information.  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows many students and/or parents to electronically upload tax return data from the IRS directly into the FAFSA.  This is a safe, secure, and accurate way to insure the correct tax data is used.  The 2020-21 FAFSA should be submitted by December 1 to be considered for some programs because of limited funding.

FAFSA processing time at the Department of Education (ED) could be as fast as 3 days if submitted online and signed with an FSA ID.  ED notifies you when your FAFSA has been processed via email or via USPS if no email address was provided on the FAFSA.  You will be notified via email if additional documents are required and when your financial aid offer is available. 

Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid offers may include scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. More information can be found in the Award Handbook.  You may also more information at

Determining Financial Need
The information reported on 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, miscellaneous and transportation expenses).

  • Cost of education (-) Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Once financial need is determined, BHSU will award the student need-based financial aid up to that amount.

Dependency Status
Students are classified as dependent or independent for financial aid purposes. 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, 1997
  • married
  • 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
  • homelessness

Correspondence Courses
There are certain requirements for financial aid if you are taking correspondence courses; these requirements can be found here.

Graduate Aid
Students in graduate studies must be attending at least 1/2-time (at least 5 credit hours) to qualify for aid and must be accepted into the graduate degree program at Black Hills State University.  The federal TEACH grant does allow students enrolled less-than 1/2-time to receive this grant.  

Paying of Bill 

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 MyBHSU. All paperwork needs to be completed in time for processing of loans and class registration needs to be in place, AND you MUST complete Attendance Confirmation in MyBHSU to receive a refund.  Complete financial aid is scheduled to be applied to your bill on September 4, 2020. After this date, you should review Statement History for "Financial Aid Payments" (aid applied to your bill) in MyBHSU.  If all of your aid is not applied to your bill, there may be some issues to be resolved; please contact Student Financial Services for assistance.   We will be able to give you a deferment 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 will be direct deposited (preferred method) or mailed to you at the local address (please confirm during the attendance confirmation process).  All students need to complete the attendance confirmation process to receive their refunds. Estimated processing date for direct deposit or mailing of checks is January 10th; however, again you must complete Attendance Confirmation before any refund is released.  Remember, if you change classes, you may now owe; the refund of your excess aid may already be in process so make sure you check your Current Activity throughout census.

Mid-year transfers
Mid-year transfer students must provide an official, final transcript for every post-secondary institution attended.  Failure to provide all transcripts may delay the processing of federal aid.

Financial Aid not yet available
If you have applied for financial aid and have not yet received your financial aid offer, please allow four to six weeks of processing time.  Please be prepared to pay your bill through the monthly payment plan or SDePay.

Other aid
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 that require manual checks be sent to our office will be available at the cashier's window on or after September 4th.  A reminder: Direct 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 your bill, especially if you have made changes at any point to classes and/or other items that get charged to your bill -- it could possibly be your changes crossed after the refund was issued and you may have a different bill now. It is your responsibility to review your Current Activity on SDePay throughout the semester.  If you have questions about the current charges, make sure you contact Student Financial Services for clarification.  Remember, full payment of your bill, or arrangements 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
Fax: 605.642.6913


    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act gives permission for students to have others discuss their educational or financial information with BH officials. Read more...

  • Outside Scholarship Form
    If you are receiving an outside scholarship/grant/award, you must report those to BHSU Student Financial Services. Please complete this form for each additional scholarship/award and mail to the address below. If you would like us to email a form to you, please contact Angie Faulkner, 605-642-6829 or      
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    Upon the student being suspended from federal and institutional aid (see policy in Award Handbook) s/he can APPEAL
  • Probation Terms of Agreement
    Students must sign a Financial Aid Probation Terms of Agreement in case their appeal is approved
  • Verification
    Students who have been selected for verification for 2020-21 must complete either the 2020-21 Verification Form for dependent students (parental information was used on the FAFSA) or 2020-21 Verification Form for independent students (student/spouse (if applicable) information was used on the FAFSA.

    Student Financial Services - Financial Aid
    1200 University Street Unit 9670
    Spearfish, SD 57799-9670
    phone: 605.642.6145 or 1.800.255.BHSU
    fax: 605.642.6913


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