Policies Governing Federal Student Aid Awarding and Disbursement

Apply for Admission to the University: In order to be awarded Financial Aid, you must apply for and been accepted for admission to SDSM&T. Non-degree seeking, or what we refer to as Special Students, are not eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Verification process must be complete: If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results have been selected by the FAFSA processor for review in a process called Verification, it is the policy of the South Dakota Board of Regent universities that Federal Student Aid will not be awarded until the Verification process is considered complete. If your record was selected for Verification, you will receive a letter from the Enrollment Services Center in Vermillion explaining the process and what you need to do to complete the review.

Federal awards are subject to final funding: Often financial aid awards are made prior to the notice of final federal allocations. For this reason all Federal Student Aid (Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Work-Study) is awarded subject to confirmation of funding. However, it is rare that final funding would be significantly different to the point that we have to adjust awards. The dollar amounts that appear on WebAdvisor via the aid Accept/Reject process are estimates and assume that you will be a full time student.

Authorization to Apply Federal Student Aid to your SDSM&T account for all billed expenses: All charges to your student account are the result of your attendance at SDSM&T. As a result, it is expected that your Federal Student Aid (other than Federal Work-Study) will be used to satisfy charges on your account that you have incurred (such as Tuition/Fees, Room/Board, authorized Bookstore charges, etc.). Students can complete this process either through the Additional Information Form available on WebAdvisor via the aid Accept/Reject process or when completing the Attendance Confirmation process prior to the start of each semester via WebAdvisor. If you choose to restrict what your Federal Student Aid can be used to pay on your account you will be required to satisfy unpaid charges by some other means. This authorization does not restrict applying School of Mines or outside scholarships and awards to your account. Charges of any nature left unpaid may result in a hold being placed on your academic record, thus affecting your ability to enroll, change enrollment or obtain an academic transcript until the balance is paid in full.

Complete all forms: In order to finalize the aid awarded to you, you must complete the aid Accept/Reject process via WebAdvisor. All forms that are referenced on the Finalizing Your Financial Aid Award web page or available at the Financial Aid Forms webpage that require your signature must be completed and returned to our office within three weeks of receipt of the notice that aid is ready to review on WebAdvisor.

Additional awards: You must report any other resources received during the school year that do not appear in your aid record on WebAdvisor (such as, but not limited to, Voc-Rehab, scholarships, loans, gifts, assistance received from a Cooperative Education or internship employer, etc.). Be sure to include additional assistance on the online Additional Information Form. Failure to do so may result in a partial or total cancellation of aid and repayment of any aid already disbursed. In the event you receive additional funding, your financial aid package will be reevaluated and adjustments made, if necessary. In such cases you will be notified that a revision is available to be reviewed on WebAdvisor.

Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN): If this will be your and/or your parent's first time borrowing a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan or Parent PLUS Loan at SDSM&T, you will need to CLICK HERE for information on completing an MPN and use your U.S. Department of Education PIN to electronically sign the MPN.

Entrance Loan Counseling:
If you are a first time Direct Student Loan borrower at SDSM&T, you must complete a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling session before your Direct Loan checks can be disbursed.

If you are a first time Perkins Student Loan borrower at SDSM&T, you must complete a Perkins Entrance Loan Counseling session before your Perkins Loan will be applied to your account.

It is also a good idea to write down the confirmation number or make a printout of the confirmation page for future reference.

Disbursement of aid: With the exception of Federal Work-Study, which is paid monthly, and some scholarships, which are paid according to the wishes of the donor, financial aid is either credited to your account or disbursed by check at the beginning of each semester, or after aid eligibility is determined, whichever is later.

If your financial aid exceeds your institutional costs, you will either receive a refund (also referred to as an overage check that will be mailed to you or disbursed to you by Direct Deposit to your designated bank account. You can set up Direct Deposit through WebAdvisor/SDePay. Initial refunds are processed approximately one week before the start of each semester after which further refunds are not processed until after the final add/drop date each semester, or what we refer to as the census date, which is at the end of the first 10% of a semester, or approximately the first 10 days. In the event that there are delays in disbursing your aid, you should always have available enough money to meet immediate expenses you might incur at the beginning of each semester, such as the purchase of books and supplies.

Prior to disbursement of any type of financial aid awarded for attendance at the School of Mines, it will be determined if you are degree seeking at the School of Mines, meet the appropriate enrollment status for disbursement (for example, at least half time for student loans and generally full time for scholarships and fellowships), completed Entrance Loan Counseling for student loans and that you are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of your degree at the School of Mines. If you meet the disbursement requirements, your financial aid will be released to be applied to your account.

Although you may receive a disbursement of your Federal Pell Grant Program during fee payment, your final payment will be based on your enrollment as of the final add/drop date each semester or what we refer to as the census date, which is at the end of the first 10%, or approximately the first 10 days, of each semester. If your census date enrollment is for fewer credits than you were enrolled when the initial payment was processed, your Pell Grant award will be reduced accordingly. As a result, this action may result in you owing money back to the school. If that occurs, you will need to make immediate repayment arrangements with the Student Accounts Office. However, if your census date enrollment is for more credit hours than your payment was initially based on, then the additional funds will be applied to your account and if the change results in a credit balance, a refund or overage check will be mailed to you or deposited to your designated bank account via Direct Deposit.

Students (or parent PLUS borrowers) who wish to cancel all or a portion of their student loans (federal or private) must complete a Loan Cancellation Form.

Loan funds that arrive after the semester ends and you are no longer enrolled at the School of Mines cannot be released until it is determined if you meet the requirements for a late disbursement. We will also determine if you continued to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. This same rule applies to other forms of financial aid that are paid retroactively during the award year.

All institutional charges are due each semester by the final day of fee payment. If not paid when due, a late charge may be applied or your registration may be canceled. Even if you expect to receive financial aid at a later date, you are responsible to pay all University charges when due. If the processing of your financial aid is such that the funds will not be available during fee payment, you can request a deferment from the Financial Aid Office until your funds arrive. However, a deferment will be approved during and after fee payment only if you have a copy of your signed award letter that you can present to the Student Accounts Office. Otherwise, payment in full is required or you can apply to participate in the monthly payment program through WebAdvisor/SDePay.

SDSM&T has limited offerings for courses taught via Correspondence. Students considering correspondence coursework through the School of Mines or from another institution should meet with the Financial Aid Director for receiving assistance to help pay for that type of coursework and what the disbursement requirements are.

Click here for information on Summer Financial Aid.

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Always Here to Help

Financial aid is new territory for many students and their parents, and can some times be complex.

Please feel free to contact the School of Mines Financial Aid Office if you have questions or need assistance on financial aid matters.