FAQ - Financial Aid
Applying For Aid
Should I apply for scholarships?
Yes. Even if you’re not sure if you qualify, you should apply for scholarships.
The DSU Heritage Foundation has a general scholarship application open to all incoming and returning students regardless of financial need. Visit our scholarships page for a list of DSU scholarships.
The Foundation awards most DSU scholarships in the spring for the upcoming year. Click here for the DSUHF Scholarship Application.
In addition to institutional scholarships, you may wish to search for external scholarships throughout the academic year.
Although it’s not comprehensive, DSU’s external scholarship list includes scholarships sent to DSU by third parties.
Other possible resources include:
- Business/professional organizations
- Fraternal organizations
- Center for Multicultural Affairs
- Tribal Agencies
- Free scholarship searches at: www.college-scholarships.com
What is Verification?
Verification is the process the Department of Education uses to verify information on the FAFSA is accurate and complete. This is done by comparing the information you provided on the FAFSA to tax documents, W-2s, and the Verification Worksheet. If you are selected for Verification, we will mail you a Verification Worksheet with instructions. You won’t receive any federal aid until the Verification is complete. Verification cannot be completed until all required documents are submitted and reviewed. You must submit all forms within 30 days after receiving the Verification Worksheet.
How do I determine my grade level?
Use the number of credits you’ve successfully completed to figure out your grade level:
- Freshman: 0-23 credits
- Sophomore: 24-59 credits
- Junior: 60-89 credits
- Senior: 90+ credits
Can I change my status from single to married after completing the FAFSA?
For the current year, no. Your status will stay the same as it was the day you completed the FAFSA.
Is financial aid available to help pay for my childcare while I attend school?Yes. You can either contact Financial Aid or download the Childcare Request Form.
Accepting Your Award
I don’t know if I’m going to attend DSU. Should I accept my aid anyway?
Yes. If you decide later not to attend, please let the Office of Financial Aid know.
Could my award change?
Yes. The university reserves the right to adjust your award at any time, based on more information that becomes available. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Notification of additional resources such as a scholarship, tuition waiver, or third-party billing (examples: Cultural Diversity, National Guard, Vocational Rehab, etc.)
- Changes resulting from verification
- Change in enrollment status
- Veteran’s benefits
Is there anything that could delay the processing of my aid once I have accepted my award notice?
Yes. Delays will occur if:
- You haven’t completed the verification process.
- You did not complete a Master Promissory Note (if you are a first-time borrower, have combined earlier loans, or have switched lenders).
- You haven’t completed your Entrance Loan Counseling (Please complete if you are a first-time borrower.).
- You did not let us know of a change in your enrollment status.
What if the amount of financial aid I was awarded is not enough?
There are a variety of other loans available to help you meet your expenses. Click here to search and compare your loan options. Please keep in mind that the process to get a different loan will take at least three weeks but can take longer.
It may be possible to increase your federal Direct Loan amount if you advance a grade level at the end of a semester. This doesn’t happen automatically; you must contact the Financial Aid after grades are posted.
What if I had Work-Study last year, but my Award Notice doesn’t list it this year?
First, you must have completed the FAFSA by the April 15 priority deadline. If you received Work-Study last year and would like to return to the same department, contact the Financial Aid office.
What do I need to do if I want to withdraw from DSU before the end of the term?
You must begin the withdrawal process before the last day of regular classes.
We will calculate the amount of unearned aid and return it to the financial aid programs in the order specified by law. Unearned aid is calculated according to federal regulation on a daily basis until the 60% point of the term. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
Federal regulation also requires that an institution identify and resolve cases where a student stops attending all classes during a payment period (term). Therefore, students who receive all Fs or incomplete grades may be considered an unofficial withdrawal. For more information on an unofficial withdrawal, see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
How You Can Use Financial Aid
Is the money I receive from financial aid taxable?
If the total you receive in scholarships or grants (not including loans) is more than the cost of tuition, fees, required books, equipment, and supplies, you need to report the excess as taxable income. Refer to the form IRS 1098T.
Is there funding available for Study Abroad?
Yes. Financial Aid is available for students who are in an approved study abroad program. You must complete a study abroad financial aid contract. This includes funding through Federal Pell Grant and campus-based aid, as well as student loans. Generally, alternative loans fund study abroad program. Please contact the Financial Aid office for more information.
When can I charge books to my financial aid?
You can charge books at the University Store between August 17-September 2 for fall semester and January 3-January 20 for spring semester up to the amount of your excess aid. The store accepts VISA, Discover, or MasterCard.
Can DSU direct deposit my excess financial aid to my checking or saving account?
Yes. Your excess financial aid (except for some alternative loans and external scholarships) can be direct deposited into your bank account. The fastest, easiest way to get your extra funds is by direct deposit. Set it up on Campus Connection:
- Click the Financial Account tile
- Click the Direct Deposit tab
If you have questions about your direct deposit information, please contact the Business Affairs office at 701-483-2328.
Can financial aid information be released to my parents/guardians/spouse?
In accordance with the Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are not allowed to release your restricted information to anyone but you, unless you have completed a Student Information Release Form. You must have the form notarized. The form does not allow parents to make changes to your award.
What's the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans?
- Subsidized: Government pays the interest while you're in school.
- Unsubsidized: Interest builds up on your loan while you're in school.
What if I have a special condition that I would like to have reviewed?
Contact the Office of Financial Aid to request a Special Circumstances Form if any of the following occurred after you completed the FAFSA:
- Reduction of income and benefits
- Separation or divorce
- Unusual debt or expense
- Roth IRA
- Unemployment of an independent student
- Death of parent or spouse
- Liquidation/ foreclosure
- Purchase of a computer
- Family member is a dislocated worker
- Nursing home expenses not covered by insurance
If I'm getting a Pell Grant, will I need to enroll by a certain date?
Yes. The number of credits you are registered for on the eighth day of classes in the fall or spring Semesters decides the amount of your Pell Grant. Your Pell Grant won’t be adjusted if you add credits after that date.