FINANCIAL AID - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for federal aid, you will complete the FAFSA® form. For more information, check out our FAFSA page. 

In addition to federal aid, BHSU has a separate process and application for scholarships. The scholarship application can be found at the BHSU Scholarship page.

I/my parents make too much money for FAFSA. What options do I have?

While you might not qualify for federal grants, Federal Unsubsidized Loans are usually an option regardless of income. Feel free to contact BHSU's Student Financial Aid Office if you have questions.

Check out our Types of Aid page for options including alternative loans, military benefits, and other outside resources. 

And don't forget to apply for BHSU Scholarships here. There is a priority deadline, so apply early!

Will my request for financial aid have any impact on my ability to be admitted to college?

No. Acceptance to BHSU is based on academic standards, not financial need. Application for financial aid in no way impacts the admission decision.

What types of aid can I get?

Check out our Types of Aid page for more information on federal, state, alternative, and other funding.

Are there deadlines?

FAFSA® forms submitted by March 1 will receive priority consideration for all types of aid. Applications submitted after the priority deadline will be put on a waiting list due to limited funding for certain financial aid programs.

Further steps will be required of some students after the FAFSA® form is submitted. Responding promptly to any requests for additional information is necessary to prevent delays in the aid process. We recommend that students regularly check their Yellow Jackets email for aid offer, updates, and required items. This is our main way of communicating important information regarding financial aid.

When will I be notified of my financial eligibility?

Students who meet the priority deadline and have submitted all requested documentation should receive an aid offer notification via email by late spring. Those students who apply later in the process should expect to receive an notice approximately six to eight weeks after submitting the FAFSA® form.

Your aid offer is year specific and includes any federal, state, and/or institutional aid that you qualify for at the time of packaging. 

To see your aid offer, visit the Financial Aid Self-Service Portal. Based on the academic year in your notification email, choose that drop down in the to right corner of the page and then go to the Aid Offer tab.

Will my aid offer change if I get a scholarship?

Scholarships may reduce your eligibility for student loans, work-study, and grants other than Pell as we must follow federal regulations regarding maximum packaging of aid. Students should not turn down scholarships though.

If you have concerns about a scholarship changing your aid offer, please contact the BHSU Student Financial Aid Office. 

Why isn't financial aid covering my whole bill?

The Student Financial Aid Office works to create the best financial aid offer we can for you. This means we will offer you the maximum amount possible based on your financial need and the funds we have available, but sometimes that still leaves a balance. We understand that that difference can seem impossible, and we want to work with you to find the best options for you. Schedule a meeting with one of our staff to talk about those options! Our contact information is:

Can I set up a payment plan?

Yes! For information on our Payment Plan, visit the Monthly Payment Plan page. 

What is work-study?

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs on and off-campus for students who show financial need on the FAFSA®. Funds are limited, and priority is given to those students who complete the FAFSA® early. 

Visit our FWS page for more info.

Why was I selected for verification? What does it mean?

Verification is the federal financial aid process that ensures the information submitted on the FAFSA® form is accurate. If you are selected for verification by Federal Student Aid (FSA), both FSA and the Enrollment Service Center will notify you via email. It is important that you respond to the paperwork request in a timely manner as we will not be able to create your financial aid offer until the process has been completed.

Why hasn't my financial aid paid to my account?
  • Make sure you have accepted your financial aid offer on BHSU’s Financial Aid Self-Service Portal.
  • Make sure you have completed verification.
    • If selected, you can find the required documents in the portal under the Eligibility section.
  • Complete the MPN and Entrance Counseling if this is your first time accepting Federal Direct Loans.
  • Make sure you are meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Where's my refund?

To learn more about your student account, please visit our Student Account Refunds page.

Where do I get my books and course supplies?

BHSU has a bookstore located inside the Student Union! Check them out!

You can also find textbook information online using the bookstore's FIND YOUR BOOKS tool!

Do I need to do anything to get my federal loans deferred?

For deferment information, please visit the Student Loan Deferment page on the Federal Student Aid website.

This process is generally automatic if you are enrollment at least half-time. However, if your loans are still in repayment after the semester has started, please contact us, so we can review your information. 

How do I know how much I've borrowed?

You can find all of your federal aid information at the Federal Student Aid website

If you borrowed an alternative loan, you will need to contact that lender directly for information. 

I still have questions. Who do I contact?

If you have any questions regarding the FAFSA®, scholarships, or your aid offer, please contact the BHSU Student Financial Aid Office:

  • Phone: 605.642.6145
  • Email: 
  • You are also welcome to stop by our office in Woodburn 114. Appointments are not required, but you may want to call or email ahead of time to make sure a staff member is available to assist you.

If you have questions regarding your balance, payments, or payment plan, please contact the BHSU Cashier’s Office:

If you have questions regarding verification, please contact the Enrollment Service Center:

Contact Info

Student Financial Aid Office
Woodburn 114 Map
Phone: 605.642.6145

Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9670
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9670