Applying For Aid

Should I apply for scholarships?

Even if you are not sure if you qualify, you should apply for scholarships.  Through the DSU Heritage Foundation, scholarships are made available to students regardless of financial need. 

Most DSU scholarships are awarded in the spring for the upcoming year.

In addition to institutional scholarships you may wish to search for external scholarships throughout the academic year. Other possible resources include:

  • Business/professional organizations
  • Churches
  • Employers
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Library
  • Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Tribal Agencies
  • Free scholarship searches at:

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. 

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. 

Is financial aid available to help pay for my child care while I attend school?

Yes. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid, or download the Childcare Request Form.

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. 

Accepting Your Award

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, 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:

  • 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. Search and compare your loan options here. Please keep in mind that the process to obtain an alternative loan will take at least three weeks but can take longer.

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 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 April 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. 

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 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

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 incomplete grades may be considered an unofficial withdrawal. For more information on an unofficial withdrawal, see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

How Financial Aid Can Be Used

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

Is there funding available for Study Abroad?

Yes. Financial Aid is available for students who are in an approved study abroad program. A Study Abroad Financial Aid Contract must be completed. 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. 

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. 

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) maybe direct deposited into your bank account. You will need to complete the ACH Direct Deposit authorization agreement form. 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 deposited, please contact the Office of Business Affairs 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. The form must be notarized. A Student Information Release Form does not allow parents to make changes to a student’s award. 

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 an Unusual 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 (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 

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.

COVID-19 Impact

What if I have general questions about my financial aid while campus is closed?

The university is open for business and staff are working remotely. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office by email at , or call 701-483-2371.  Staff are working diligently to respond to emails and voicemails as soon as possible. 

All my classes converted to online during the COVID-19 outbreak. Will this affect my financial aid? 

The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that, as long as students are enrolled and working toward their degrees, federal Pell Grants, SEOG grants and Federal Direct Loans should not be impacted by this disruption.

My family’s income has been impacted by the pandemic. Can I appeal my financial aid eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year to receive more funds?

Dickinson State University understands that your family may have very recent and immediate changes to your financial circumstances related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic is quickly evolving, and the DSU Office of Financial Aid will work with you to answer your questions and provide as much information as possible.  A student may submit a Special Circumstance Form based on a change in circumstances such as unemployment, reduction of income, or a death of a parent or spouse.  Changes or anticipated changes to income may not always result in a change to financial aid eligibility but our staff is committed to working with each student who has concerns about their individual circumstances. Specific questions may be directed to .

The Special Circumstance Form can be located at on our forms directory

I currently have federal student loans and the COVID-19 outbreak may affect my ability to make payments, what are my options?

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose.

Visit for forthcoming details. 

Do any of the recent federal student loan changes apply to private student loans?

No, currently the above-mentioned loan changes are only applicable to federal student loans. If you have questions or concerns about your private student loan payments, please contact your private student loan lender for options.