Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do with the forms included with my Award Notice?
Return all forms that require completion and/or a signature. Some of the forms you may have received along with your Award Notice include:
Student Employment Form, if you were awarded Work-Study.
AC/SMART Grant form, if you are a Federal Pell Grant recipient, you may be eligible for additional grant aid.
ACH form (PDF)which allows us to deposit your excess financial aid into your bank account; checking or savings.
Federal Perkins loan insert, if you were awarded a Perkins Loan.
I am not certain that I will attend DSU. Should I accept my aid anyway?
Yes. Should you decide later that you will not attend, please notify the Office of Financial Aid.
Could my award change?
Yes. The university reserves the right to make adjustments to your award at any time, based on additional 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, Voc Rehab, etc.);
Changes resulting from verification;
Change in enrollment status;
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 FERPA Release Form (PDF). The form must be notarized. A FERPA release form does not allow parents to make changes to a student’s award.
What if my financial aid award is more than I need?
We recommend that you borrow the minimum amount you need. If you are still unsure of how much to borrow, contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance. If you decide to decline or reduce the amount of your Direct Stafford Loan, you may reinstate or increase your loan at a later date.
Is there anything that could delay the processing of my aid once I have accepted my Award Notice?
Yes. Delays will occur if:
The verification process has not been completed.
You did not complete a Master Promissory Note (if you are a first-time borrower, have consolidated previous loans, or have switched lenders).
Entrance Loan Counseling has not been completed (please complete if you are a first-time borrower).
You did not notify us 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 alternative loans available to help you meet your expenses. Alternative Loan Chart (PDF )
It may be possible to increase your Federal Stafford Loan amount if you advance a grade level at the end of a semester. This is not done automatically; you must contact the Office of Financial Aid after grades are posted.
What is the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans?
Subsidized: Government pays the interest while you are in school.
Unsubsidized: Interest accrues on your loan while you are 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 Unusual Circumstances Form (PDF) if any of the following occurred after you completed the 2009-2010 FAFSA:
Reduction of income and benefits
Separation or divorce
Unusual debt or expense
Unemployment of an independent student
Death of parent or spouse
Purchase of a computer (one time only; limit up to $2,500)
Family member is a dislocated worker
Change in housing status which results in being homeless
Nursing home expenses not covered by insurance
Is financial aid available for childcare?
Yes. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid, or download the Childcare Request Form (PDF).
How and when do I apply for aid for summer school?
After the summer session schedule becomes available, complete a Summer Financial aid Application available in the office of financial aid.
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) may be direct deposit into your bank account. You will need to complete the ACH Direct Deposit authorization agreement form (PDF). Please return the form with a voided check to the Office of Business Affairs, May Hall 107. If you close/change bank accounts or no longer wish to have your excess aid direct deposit, please contact the Office of Business Affairs at 701-483-2328.
Should I apply for scholarships?
Most scholarships are awarded in the spring for the upcoming year; however, you may still wish to search for external scholarships throughout the academic year. Other possible resources include:
Center for Multicultural Affairs
Free scholarship searches at: www.college-scholarships.com/free_scholarship_searches.htm
Can I change my status from single to married after completing the FAFSA?
For the current year, no. Your status will remain as it was the day the FAFSA was submitted.
When can I charge books to my financial aid?
Books may be charged at the University Store, from August 17 - September 2 Fall Semester and January 3 - January 20 Spring Semester, up to the amount of your excess aid. VISA, Discover, or MasterCard are accepted.
If I am receiving a Pell Grant, will I need to be enrolled by a certain date?
Yes. The amount of your Pell Grant will be determined by the number of credits you are registered for on the eighth instructional day in the Fall or Spring Semesters. No adjustments will be made to your Pell Grant if you add credits after that date.
What is Verification?
Verification is a random review process in which the information you provided on the FAFSA is compared to tax documents, W-2s and the Verification Worksheet. If you are selected for Verification, we will mail you a Verification Worksheet with instructions. No federal aid can be disbursed until Verification is complete. Verification cannot be completed until all required documents are submitted and reviewed. All forms must be submitted within 30 days after receiving the Verification Worksheet.
How do I determine my grade level?
Grade level is determined by the number of credits successfully completed: Freshman
0-23 credits; Sophomore 24-59 credits; Junior 60-89 credits; and Senior 90+ credits.
Is the money I receive from financial aid taxable?
If the total you receive in scholarships or grants (not including loans) exceeds 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 and You (PDF)]
What do I need to do if I want to withdraw from the university before the end of the term?
You must initiate the withdrawal process by contacting the Office of Student Development before the last day of regular classes. The amount of unearned aid will be calculated and returned to the financial aid programs in the order specified by law. Unearned aid is calculated in accordance with federal regulation on a daily basis until the 60 percent point of the term, see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (PDF).
Federal regulation also requires that an institution identify and resolve instances where a student ceases attendance in all classes during a payment period (term). Therefore, students who receive all Fs or incompletes may be considered an unofficial withdrawal. For more information on an unofficial withdrawal, see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (PDF).
Is there funding available for Study Abroad?
Yes. Financial Aid is available for students who are in an approved study abroad program. A contractual agreement must be completed, Study AbroadFinancial Aid Contract (PDF). This includes funding through Federal Pell Grant and campus based aid, as well as student loans. Generally, it is funded by alternative loans. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
What if I had Work-Study last year, but it is not listed on my Award Notice this year?
First, you must have completed the FAFSA by the March 15 priority deadline. If you received Work-Study last year and would like to return to the same department, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
When are my tuition and fees due?
Any balance owed to Dickinson State is due during the fee payment dates:
Fall: September 13-14 Spring: January 26-27
Check your balance on Campus Connection. For a detailed look at your fees, enter your user ID and password. Continue by clicking on Student Center > Finances > Account Summary. If you need instructions or help accessing Campus Connections, please contact 701-483-2838. If you have questions related to your balance or want to pay over the telephone using a credit card, please call 701-483-2328. You can access this system at anytime for an up-to-date view of your finances.
If you drop below six credits, please notify our office as this may affect your financial aid.