Types of Financial Assistance

Dickinson State University provides the following types of financial aid: grants, loans, student employment, department scholarships/awards, and waivers (institutional aid). Additionally, the Heritage Foundation provides scholarships and awards.


Grants are gifts of money that do not have to be repaid.

Federal Pell Grant may be awarded to undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree for up to 12 semesters (or its equivalent of 600%). The amount of the grant is based on the EFC number, the student’s need, estimated cost of attendance, the student’s enrollment status, and the money appropriated by the Federal Government.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) may be awarded to undergraduate students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. SEOG is a campus-based program and may be awarded according to availability of funds.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant may be awarded to students who maintain a 3.25 GPA or qualifying score on admissions test, agree to teach full-time at least 4 years at a designated school with a high percentage of low-income students within 8 years of graduation, and agree to teach in a specific high-need subject. The grant provides up to $4,000 per year less the sequestration reduction (not to exceed $16,000 for undergraduates); however, if the student does not fulfill the teaching requirement, the grant funds become a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, which must be repaid.  

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) may be awarded to a student whose parent or guardian died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Applicants with a Pell-eligible EFC will be awarded up to a maximum Pell Grant less the sequestration reduction and all Title IV aid will be based on an EFC of zero; applicants who are not Pell-eligible will receive an IASG award equal to a maximum Pell Grant for the award year. All other Title IV aid must be based on the student’s calculated EFC.  

North Dakota State Student Incentive Grant Program (SSIG or State Grant) may be awarded by the North Dakota University System to undergraduate students who meet Title IV eligibility criteria, meet state high school eligibility, are residents of North Dakota, and have not previously received a State Grant for more than eight FTE semesters. The grants are need-based and are dependent upon the availability of funds and pro-rated (based on enrollment status). Therefore, awards may be reduced to accord with need. Students apply by submitting the FAFSA. For more information, visit www.ndus.edu.


Loans are financial aid monies that must be repaid.

Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized) and Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are available at Dickinson State University. The interest rates are expected to be set on July 1.  

[NOTE: Due to sequestration, the origination fees for Direct Loans may change.]

Prior to the release of the first Federal Direct Loan disbursement, students must accept the loan in Campus Connection, complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov. Forbearance, Deferment and Cancellation of Loan information can be found on the Master Promissory Note.

Loan funds that are received electronically are credited directly to the student’s account. Loan funds that arrive in the form of a check must be endorsed by the student and then will be credited to the student’s account. Any funds in excess of the amount owed the University at the time of disbursement are considered “excess aid” and may be disbursed to the student in the form of a check or direct deposit transaction. Disbursement could be delayed if a student has not completed a MPN and Entrance Loan Counseling, are not enrolled at least half-time, or have a “hold” on their account.

Direct Subsidized Loan may be awarded to students who are enrolled at least half-time and have need. If eligible, a freshman may borrow up to $3,500, a sophomore (or a student in a two-year program) may borrow up to $4,500, and a junior or senior may borrow up to $5,500. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $23,000. Repayment begins six months after graduation or if the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

If applicable, a new borrower is eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans up to 150 percent of the time it takes to complete the educational program. For example, a student enrolled in a two-year program will have three years' worth of subsidized loan eligibility and a student in a four-year program will have six years' worth of subsidized loan eligibility. The borrower becomes responsible for the accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based program for those ineligible for (any or all of) the Direct Subsidized Loan. The student is responsible for the interest payment while enrolled. The additional annual loan limit for dependent undergraduate students is $2,000. The additional annual loan limit for independent undergraduate students (or students whose parents are unable to obtain Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) is $6,000 a year for the first and second years of study and $7,000 for the third and fourth years of study. Repayment begins six months after graduation or if the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

The aggregate loan amount for dependent students is $31,000; the aggregate loan for independent students is $57,500.

NOTE: Exit Loan Counseling is required at the time a student graduates, drops below half-time status or terminates enrollment at Dickinson State University.

Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) enable parents to borrow money to help pay for their children’s education. Parents may borrow on behalf of a dependent student. The maximum loan amount that a parent may borrow for each dependent student is the difference between the cost of attendance and any other financial assistance. The PLUS loan requires a separate application. If the period of enrollment is more than one semester, there will be multiple disbursements. Generally, the loan enters repayment within 60 days of the final disbursement. To apply, go to www.studentloans.gov, complete the PLUS Request Process and a Master Promissory Note. 

NOTE: Students may be granted loan forgiveness if they meet certain criteria. Examples include the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (for borrowers who make 120 payments on a qualified loan while employed full-time in a public service job) or the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. To find out more about the eligibility requirements for teacher loan forgiveness and about deferment provisions, visit the Cancellation/Deferment Option for Teachers at www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa > How to Repay Your Loans > Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge. For information about the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program or the Technology Occupations Student Loan Forgiveness Program in the state of North Dakota, visit www.ndus.edu > Students > Paying for College.

Nursing Student Loan (NSL) may be awarded according to availability of revolving funds. It is a 5% interest loan with a $3,300 per year limit for the first two years and a $5,200 per year limit for subsequent years (maximum $17,000). If eligible for this loan at Dickinson State University, the minimum amount is $400. NSL regulations require verification of student information. Students need to complete a Nursing Student Loan Master Promissory and Entrance Loan Counseling. Repayment (through Student Loan Service Center, Dept. 3180, PO Box 6050, Fargo ND 58108-6050) begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time in a nursing program.

Nursing Education Loan is awarded by the North Dakota Board of Nursing. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in a nursing program approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing. The loan amounts are up to $2,000 for the Associate in Science in Practical Nursing program and up to $3,000 for baccalaureate completion programs. Repayment is by nursing employment in North Dakota after graduation and/or by monetary repayments. The application is available at www.ndbon.org>Education; the deadline is July 1.

Student Employment

Student employment provides an opportunity to earn money to help pay educational costs. Students are paid an hourly wage, and time sheets are submitted twice a month. Student Employment earnings are directly deposited on the 15th and last day of each month.

Student employment on campus can either be in positions funded through Federal Work Study (FWS) dollars or in positions funded through institutional dollars (IWS). If a student is eligible for Federal Work Study, the assistance is included in the Financial Aid Award Notice. Eligible students must apply for a position at dickinsonstate.edu>About DSU>Employment>Open Positions. Federal Work Study is a campus-based program and may be awarded according to availability of funds. Community service jobs, such as reading tutors, are available for students. A FWS award indicates that the student is eligible to seek FWS employment; however, it is not guarantee of a job. Students who are not awarded FWS may apply for institutionally funded positions if available. Contact the Human Resources office for more information.

Department Scholarships/Awards

Scholarships/awards are gifts recognizing students on the basis of academic achievement, special skills, or other criteria.  

Waivers or Institutional Aid: Dickinson State University has developed a well-rounded program of institutional aid to assist students in their quest for a college education. Each student is given personal consideration, and an attempt is made to fit the financial aid package to the student's need. Dickinson State University's Institutional Aid Policy is posted on the website. This policy addresses the parameters that govern: Blue Hawk Talon Tuition Waivers, Cultural Diversity Tuition Waivers, Fine Arts Tuition Waivers, Spouse or Dependent Tuition Waivers, DSU Rodeo Awards, Institutional Waivers, Senior Citizen Waivers, Housing Waivers, and Presidential Scholarship Awards.

Heritage Foundation Scholarships/Awards

These scholarships/awards are supported by gifts from friends and alumni of the University. Students complete a scholarship application online during the designated time frame. Foundation scholarships and awards will be disbursed in two allotments for the fall and spring semesters. Contact the Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation for current listings. An external (outside the University) list of scholarships is available on the Financial Aid webpage.