How to Apply
Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at FSAID.gov. Be sure that your name, social security number, and date of birth are correct!
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov. 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 studentaid.gov . 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 studentaid.gov.
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.
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
- 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; these requirements can be found here.
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 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
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.
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