Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office has several ways that students and parents can get in touch with office staff.  Please reach out to our office or click here to schedule a phone, Zoom or to meet in-person with a Financial Aid Office staff member. 

Much of the information you'll need to know about financial aid is available here on the website, but feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions. We are here to help you through the process.

Students with Special or Unusual Circumstances

The results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are always used as the initial determination of a student's eligibility for federal student aid (grants, work-study, and Direct Loans). However, it is recognized that students and/or parents may experience unique circumstances that are not accounted for on the FAFSA. Such situations can be categorized as:

Special Circumstances refers to a change in financial situations, such as:
   -reduction of income due to unemployment, job change, reduced hours, or retirement
   -one-time income
   -unusually high or unexpected medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Unusual Circumstances refers to conditions that justify a financial aid administrator making an adjustment to a student's dependency status based on a unique situation.

Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss their situation to determine is a more thorough review of the situation is recommended.

Our Code of Ethics

The Financial Aid Office at South Dakota Mines strives to adhere to the highest levels of integrity in the administration of the various financial aid programs available to our students. We subscribe to the principles set forth in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals. You can also view the South Dakota Mines Financial Aid Office Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest statement. We invite to contact our office if you have any questions.

Due to actions by Congress, information in this site relative to the Federal Student Aid Programs is subject to change without prior notice.

Financial Aid Additional Information


Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Student Aid

Whether or not a student has or will ever apply for and receive Federal Student Aid (which currently includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan, Federal Direct GRAD PLUS and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans) for attendance at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (hereafter referred to South Dakota Mines), the U.S. Department of Education requires the University to establish and implement a policy to measure if a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of a degree.  Other federal, state, and private agencies may require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress for their aid programs as well.

An evaluation for Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all students (other than high school students enrolled in dual credits) will be completed at the end of the spring semester to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. Therefore, even the academic record of those who have not received Federal Student Aid in the past may impact future eligibility. Failure to meet the following standards will result in financial aid suspension of eligibility for Federal Student Aid.

1. Minimum cumulative grade point average (Qualitative measure)

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Federal Regulations require a Cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 2.0 or higher for undergraduate students. The CGPA is calculated based on all South Dakota Mines and transfer undergraduate credit hours, excluding remedial and audited credit hours.
GRADUATE STUDENTS: Generally speaking, graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid.

2. Pace of progression for cumulative credits attempted and completed (Quantitative Measures)

In order to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree, all students must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours. Attempted credit hours include all hours that would appear on a student’s academic transcript at the end of any given term, including withdrawals, incompletes, all instances of a repeated course(s), remedial coursework, transfer hours and hours attempted even when not receiving Federal Student Aid. Audited coursework is not included. Hours that may have been part of a successful academic amnesty appeal will still be included. Successfully completed hours for both graduate and undergraduate students include grades of A, B, C, D and S. A grade of EX for undergraduate students is also considered successful completion. All other grades would not be considered successful completion. Unless a student is on Financial Aid Probation, at which time their academic record is subject to evaluation at the end of each term of probation standing, evaluation of this quantitative standard will be measured at the end of the spring term.  In addition, graduate students may receive a "grade" of NP (Normal Progress) which will not be changed to their final grade until program completion. As calculated by our system, an NP grade is not considered successful completion.  However, the transcripts for these graduate students are evaluated manually and their system calculated SAP status will be upgraded to Satisfactory as appropriate.

One other note on repeated credit hours; the final repeat of a class (according to the college catalog) is used to determine if a student has met graduation requirements. Any passing grades previously obtained for a repeated course are not used to determine if a student has met graduation requirements. However, when determining the pace of progression percentage for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes, the cumulative passing grades, even passing grades previously obtained for a repeated course, are used in the percentage calculation numerator, and the cumulative number of attempts is used in the denominator.  Students who have questions on this issue are advised to talk with the Director or Associate Director of Financial Aid.

3. Maximum credits to complete a degree program (Maximum attempted credit hours)

The U.S. Department of Education has established a limit on the number of credit hours a student can attempt and remain eligible for Federal Student Aid (see chart below). This limit is based on 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree for which the student is pursuing (see footnote 1). The maximum attempted credit hours at South Dakota Mines are as follows:

Degree Program Max. Credit Hours Attempted
Associate 90 based on 60 hour degree program 1
Bachelors 180 based on 120 hour degree program (non-engineering) 1
Bachelors 195 based on 130 hour degree program (engineering) 1
Masters 49, 48 or 45 (based on 33, 32 or 30 hour program respectively) 1
PhD 108 or 120 based on 72 or 80 hour degree program 1, 2

1 Unless you have prior academic work from an institution in which not all credits will transfer (such as from one or more of the four technical institutes in South Dakota), all prior attempted academic work (whether or not related to your current degree pursuits at South Dakota Mines) must become part of your academic record at South Dakota Mines and will be figured into the 150% limit.  Students who already have one or more degrees and are pursuing another degree at South Dakota Mines must be able to complete the degree within the stated limits (again, whether or not prior attempted academic work is related to your current degree pursuits at South Dakota Mines) or if that is not possible will receive Federal Student Aid only until such time as they reach the stated limit.  Students who go over the stated limits after the end of the fall semester will be allowed to receive Federal Student Aid for the spring semester as well.  Limited opportunities to appeal the 150% maximum attempted credit hour requirement on a case-by-case basis do exist; students are advised to speak with the Financial Aid Director/Associate Director regarding an appeal.

2 The number of credit hours needed to complete a PhD at South Dakota Mines may or may not be reduced due to credit hours from an MS degree used to meet PhD requirements.  As a result, progress through a PhD program for a recipient of Federal Student Aid must be monitored more closely.


4. Transfer Students

All prior academic work that a student transfers into South Dakota Mines will be included in the evaluation to determine if a student meets Federal Student Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. 

5. Academic Amnesty and Federal Student Aid

All prior academic work that is covered by an approved Academic Amnesty appeal is still included in any evaluation to determine if a student meets Federal Student Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.  Academic Amnesty has an impact on a student's academic record for academic purposes only,

6. Appealing a Financial Aid Suspension

Students who have been determined to be ineligible for Federal Student Aid may complete a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form to explain circumstances that were beyond their control (for example the student's serious illness or injury that occurred during the time in which eligibility was lost or the death of an immediate family member which resulted in the student being gone from school for an extended period of time, i.e. two or more weeks) that adversely affected their ability to be academically successful at South Dakota Mines. Students are advised to carefully read the procedures for submitting an appeal listed on the appeal form and submit the requested documentation with their appeal. The academic plan, which must contain what you plan to do differently to be academically successful and the campus resources you are going to take advantage of to make that happen, along with the courses you need to enroll in for the next 12 months that are reasonable and attainable given your past academic performance in order to complete or work toward completing your degree at South Dakota Mines, is required to be reviewed and signed off on by your advisor. If your advisor is not available, you must make the effort to contact your department and arrange to meet with someone else. The academic plan is expected to be developed as a joint effort between the student and the advisor. Failure to abide by the academic plan that is submitted to the Appeal Committee will be grounds for denial of Federal Student Aid for subsequent semesters. Each appeal will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis; therefore, each appeal is evaluated on its own merits or lack thereof. As a result, no appeal is guaranteed to be approved.

To ensure a timely review, appeals should be submitted prior to the start date of the semester for which a student is appealing for Federal Student Aid reinstatement. Appeals received after the semester start date will be reviewed as soon as possible; however, if your appeal is approved we cannot assure you that your financial aid would be available for either the fall or spring fee payment deadline. As a result, students must make other arrangements to pay their account (such as paying their account in full or signing up for the payment plan) via SDePay in Self-Service Banner prior to the start of the semester pending the outcome of their appeal.  In either case, you are encouraged to submit your appeal as soon as possible.

The Appeal Form and all supporting documentation can be dropped off at our office or sent to us by any means listed at the bottom of the Appeal Form (mail, fax, or e-mail).  Based upon the circumstances of an approved appeal, the Appeal Committee reserves the right to place conditions which the student must meet to be considered for financial aid on a probationary basis for subsequent terms. Unless the appeal approval covers what is to be the student's last semester of attendance, the approval letter will indicate the conditions the student must meet to remain eligible for aid for any subsequent semester.  If the student's appeal is approved and they continue to meet probation requirements for subsequent terms, but does not fully reinstate their eligibility, the expected graduation date the student reports on the appeal form will be considered their final semester of eligibility for Federal Student Aid. If the student chooses not to appeal or their appeal is denied, the student must fully meet the SAP requirements before they will be considered for Federal Student Aid again.

7.  Students on Financial Aid Probation while on Cooperative Education Assignment (coop):

Students who are on coop at any time that they are on Financial Aid Probation are expected to have their final coop grade posted before eligibility for Federal Student Aid will be determined for their next semester of attendance.  For example, students on a spring/summer coop are expected to have their final grades posted at least a week, preferably two, prior to the start of the fall semester.  Also, students on a summer/fall coop are expected to have their final grades posted at least one week, preferably two, prior to the start of the spring semester.  Students unable to meet these deadlines must make other arrangements for paying their account until their aid eligibility can be determined.  This may include, but is not limited to, signing up for the payment plan at least a month prior to the start of the appropriate semester or applying for a private alternative loan.

8.  Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility:

Students who have lost their Federal Aid eligibility, but have subsequently met the qualitative and/or quantitative standards as stated above, will have their aid eligibility reinstated. However, regardless of when a student meets the standards, Federal Student Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of the spring term only; reinstatement will be considered effective with the next academic year.

Your financial aid award notification lists any South Dakota Mines Scholarships and Federal Student Aid for which you qualify. If you are looking for additional options to help make your college education more affordable, here are some possibilities to consider that have been utilized by South Dakota Mines students. Of course individual students’ circumstances are different, so each student and family will make a financial decision that works best for them.

  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan – This is a federal loan borrowed by a parent. The parent must not have adverse credit, as determined by a credit check. South Dakota Mines utilizes the online Parent PLUS Loan application at (for 2022-23, available beginning in May 2022). If the credit check determines that the parent is denied a PLUS Loan due to adverse credit, the student may borrow an additional Federal Unsubsidized Loan (additional $4,000 per year for freshmen and sophomores; additional $5,000 per year for juniors and seniors). The Federal Student Aid website has more detailed information about the Parent PLUS Loan program. A student must meet federal financial aid eligibility criteria in order to receive PLUS Loan funds.
  • Private Student Loans – A student may choose to apply for a private student loan through a lender. Typically, a student must obtain a credit-worthy co-signer in order to qualify for a private student loan. A student may choose to first talk to his or her own bank to see if they offer a private student loan program. South Dakota Mines also provides a lender list to provide assistance in comparing lenders and loan programs. Students are free to choose any lender they wish.
  • Payment Plan – South Dakota Mines offers a semester-based payment plan, which allows students to divide their remaining balance into 3 or 4 monthly payments throughout the semester. The payment plan has a participation cost of $40 per semester.
  • Scholarships – The South Dakota Mines Scholarships webpage has information regarding Mines and non-Mines scholarship opportunities, including a list of STEM outside scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply.
  • Personal Savings/Earnings From Employment
  • College Savings/529 Funds
  • Military or Veterans’ Education Benefits
  • Home Equity Loans/Lines of Credit
  • Other Personal Bank Financing

South Dakota Mines Freshman Estimated Direct Costs 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Includes estimated amounts for tuition and fees (based on 15 credits per semester), average cost of freshman on-campus housing, meal plan, laptop rental, and allowance for books.
  • Payable on a per semester basis; student bills are due by approximately the 10th calendar day of both the fall and spring semesters.  Students are notified of the exact due date with the billing statement for each semester. 
  SD Resident/
SD Advantage/
Child of Alumni
MN Reciprocity 
Tuition/Fees $10,400  $11,000 
Housing/Meals  $8,800  $8,800 
Books/Supplies/Laptop  $1,900  $1,900 
Estimated Total Cost


 $14,300 $14,800 
 $8,800 $8,800 
 $1,900 $1,900 
 $25,000 $25,500 

View full Estimated Cost of Attendance details here.


Indirect Costs
Estimates of expenses not directly billed by South Dakota Mines. These will vary for each student.

Estimated Transportation Expenses  $3,000 
Estimated Personal Expenses   $2,000