Policies Governing Federal Student Aid Offers and Disbursement

Apply for Admission to the University:
In order to be offered Federal Financial Aid, you must apply for and been accepted for admission to South Dakota Mines. 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 offered until the Verification process is considered complete. If your record was selected for Verification, you will receive an e-mail notification from the Enrollment Services Center in Vermillion, SD explaining the process and what you need to do to complete the review.

Federal offers are subject to final funding:
Often financial aid offers are made prior to the notice of final federal allocations. For this reason all Federal Student Aid (Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Work-Study) is offered subject to confirmation of funding. However, it is rare that final funding would be significantly different to the point that we have to adjust offers. The dollar amounts that appear in Self-Service 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 South Dakota Mines account for all billed expenses:
All charges to your student account are the result of your attendance at South Dakota Mines. 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 (if contracting with the university for room and board). We must receive authorization from you in order to use your Federal Student Aid to satisfy charges for, but not limited to, bookstore charges, parking permits and fines, residence hall damage charges, fraternity charges, etc. Students can complete this process through Financial Aid Self-Service. This authorization does not restrict applying South Dakota Mines or outside scholarships and offers 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 offered to you, you must complete the aid Accept/Decline process via Financial Aid Self-Service . 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 in Self-Service.

Additional awards:
You must report any other resources received during the school year that do not appear in your aid record in Financial Aid Self-Service (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 in Financial Aid Self-Service.

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 South Dakota Mines, you will need to see 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 South Dakota Mines, you must complete a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling session before your Direct Loan checks can be disbursed.
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, financial aid is credited to your account 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) 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 Self-Service/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 calendar 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 South Dakota Mines, it will be determined if you are degree seeking at South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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 calendar 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 South Dakota 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, generally the day after the final add/drop date or census. 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 accepted your award offer(s) and we can verify you have completed all requirements for disbursement, but the funds are just not available for disbursement at that time. Otherwise, payment in full is required or you can apply to participate in the monthly payment program through Self-Service/SDePay.

Students considering enrolling in classes offered through distance education through South Dakota Mines or another university should meet with the Director or Associate Director of Financial Aid to ensure eligibility for disbursement of aid to you.

Repeated coursework and Disbursement of Financial Aid:

Once a student has a passing grade for a course (D or higher), they are allowed to repeat the course one more time to improve their grade and still receive funding from the following aid programs.  If they receive a passing grade ("D" or higher) or fail the course, they are not allowed to receive funding from the below mentioned aid programs to take the course again.  The repeat requirements for the following programs are the same, but the impact may be different based on your enrollment status.

Federal Pell Grant and aid treated like Federal Student Aid for administration and disbursement purposes (SD Need Based Grant and South Dakota Education Access Foundation Grant) require full time attendance:   If the repeated course the student is taking makes them a full time student (12 or more credit hours), but they are enrolled in 9 eligible credit hours, they will receive a reduced disbursement of their Pell Grant based on eligible credit hours.  However, both the SD Need Based Grant and South Dakota Education Access Foundation Grant require full time attendance in eligible credit hours; if they only have 9 eligible credit hours, they will not receive a disbursement.  Whether or not the student previously received funding from these aid programs, the repeat requirements are still in effect.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS):  If the repeated course they are taking makes them at lease a half time student (6 credit hours for Undergraduate students and 4.5 for graduate students), but they are enrolled in only 2 eligible credit hours, they will not receive a disbursement for these aid programs even if their remaining credit hours are normally eligible for disbursement.  Whether or not the student previously received funding from these aid programs, the repeat requirements are still in effect.

View 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 South Dakota Mines Financial Aid Office if you have questions or need assistance on financial aid matters.