The following information is intended to be a brief overview of the financial aid process and programs at the School of Mines. More up to date and detailed information is available on our website at: www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid.
Students at the School of Mines benefit from nearly $22 million in various forms of financial assistance from both within and outside the university. It is clear that many college students find it necessary to supplement their personal and family financial resources in order to attend college. SD Mines administers a comprehensive financial aid program to enable capable, qualified, and needy students to finance their college education with both need-based aid (grants, subsidized loans, and work-study) and non-need based aid (scholarships, outside agency assistance, unsubsidized loans, private alternative loans, Parent PLUS loans, etc.). However, the student should still be prepared to pay for a portion of college costs through savings from employment, and parents of dependent students are expected to assist with the student’s cost of education to the extent to which they are able.
The School of Mines gives priority on a first come, first served basis in the awarding of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) to students whose Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been received by the FAFSA processor on October 1 and thereafter until funds are exhausted. Students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan, Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan and/or the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan are awarded without regard to when the FAFSA is received for the school year. The Financial Aid Office generally begins the Federal Student Aid awarding process for new incoming freshman by late February.
- General eligibility requirements for awarding Federal Student Aid
- Must have applied and been fully admitted to the School of Mines as a degree-seeking student
- Complete a new FAFSA each year to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid Programs.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a federal student grant repayment.
- Male students born after December 31, 1959, must register with Selective Service.
- Follow the steps for reviewing your aid award at: www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid/FA-Award-Notification and for finalizing the aid awarded to you at www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid/FinalizeAid/
- Complete the online School of Mines Additional Information Form contained within the links in item F in which you should report any aid assistance received that is not listed on the aid award, which includes, but is not limited to scholarships, Voc-Rehab, BIA/Tribal Assistance, etc.
- Be enrolled as a full-time student to receive the full amount of aid awarded (indicate enrollment status on the Additional Information Form noted above) and notify the Financial Aid Office if the planned and/or actual enrollment changes at any time.
- Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of a School of Mines degree. Students who meet or exceed the standards as stated at: www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid/T4/SAP can be assured of continued eligibility until the completion of their degree or until maximum loan/Pell limits have been reached, whichever comes first.
- Complete the Attendance Confirmation via WebAdvisor at least two weeks prior to every semester of attendance at SD Mines.
- Financial aid programs
The School of Mines is a full participant in the Federal Student Aid Programs. Specific information about each program is available at: www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid/. The student’s School of Mines aid award on WebAdvisor identifies the aid he or she is being awarded and provides information for finalizing the processing of the award.
- Grants are gift aid based on financial need.
- The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students who have not yet completed their first bachelor’s degree and is based on a federal formula used to analyze the information provided on the FAFSA.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is awarded to Pell Grant eligible students based on the availability of funds.
- Student loans provide an opportunity for students to borrow money for educationally related expenses. However, like any loan, they must be repaid according to the provisions of the promissory note. First time loan recipients are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling as shown at: www.sdsmt.edu/LoanEntrance.
- The Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan programs are obtained from the Federal Government as the lender. For the Subsidized Direct Loan, the Federal Government pays accrued interest on behalf of the student during periods of at least half-time enrollment or other eligible deferment periods. However, with the Unsubsidized Direct Loan, the Federal Government does not pay the accrued interest on behalf of the student while enrolled in school or during available deferment periods, with interest accrual beginning at disbursement. For both the Sub and Unsub Direct Loans, payment on the principal balance is required to begin six months after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Current interest information is available at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/
- The Federal Perkins Loan is a Federal Loan program which is currently being phased out and is awarded on a limited basis to eligible students.
- The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is available to graduate students (masters and Ph.D.) who have exhausted their eligibility for the Unsubsidized Stafford and Direct Loan programs.
- The Federal Direct Parent PLUS is borrowed by the parent on behalf of the parent’s dependent student.
- Work opportunities for part-time employment.
- Federal Work-Study awards are based on financial need as determined by the results of the FAFSA and the awarding policy of the School of Mines. Employment opportunities are available both on and off campus with off campus positions focused on community service. Eligible students will be sent a Work-Study Application and after review of the applications, work-study awards will be finalized.
- Other employment opportunities are available for students who were not awarded Federal Work Study. Some positions are on-campus and others are submitted by local employers or the South Dakota Job Service and are regularly posted in the Surbeck Student Center: www.sdsmt.edu/Campus-Life/Student-Resources/Student-Employment/.
- Scholarships from the School of Mines
In order to be considered for incoming freshman scholarships at the School of Mines, prospective students must complete an online scholarship application. The online scholarship application will be available beginning November 1 and is due by January 15. You must be accepted for admission to SD Mines prior to completing the scholarship application. The online admission application is available at: www.sdsmt.edu/Admissions/Apply/. All incoming freshman accepted for admission will need to fill out the online scholarship application to be considered for incoming freshman scholarships. At the School of Mines, students apply for and are awarded a “scholarship” without regard for specific donor funding. In July, the Financial Aid Office then assigns the scholarship recipients to the various donors based on the donor-specific criteria.
- Four-Year Scholarships
The most prestigious scholarship on campus provides assistance for incoming freshmen with renewable support for three additional years provided the recipient is a full time student and completes at least 24 SD Mines credit hours per academic year*, maintains at least a 3.0 SD Mines cumulative grade point average (CGPA), and continues progress toward completion of their degree.
- National Merit Finalist Scholarships
SD Mines is one of a select number of universities which are a sponsor institution of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Through a combination of NMSC Scholarship and SD Mines National Merit Finalist Scholarship, a $3,000 scholarship renewable for three additional years is available to National Merit Finalists who notify the NMSC via the PSAT/NMSQT that the School of Mines is their first-choice college by the first business day in February prior to the first year of attendance. Being full time, completing a minimum of 24 SD Mines credit hours per academic year*, maintaining at least a 3.00 SD Mines CGPA and continuing progress toward completion of their degree are requirements for renewal.
- Two-Year Scholarships
The SD Mines Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshman students and is renewable for one additional year provided the recipient is a full-time student, completes at least 24 SD Mines credit hours per academic year*, maintains at least a 3.0 SD Mines GPA, and continues progress toward completion of their degree.
- Annual Scholarships
One year scholarships are awarded to both incoming freshman and current students. Current students are required to complete an application for annual, non-renewable scholarships awarded by the SD Mines Scholarship Committee that are based on academic performance at the School of Mines and donor specific scholarship criteria. Information on availability of the online scholarship application is provided to students in late October (with a submission deadline of midnight MDT on December 31) for scholarships to be awarded for the following academic year. Scholarship recipients must maintain full time enrollment (must enroll in a minimum of 12 School of Mines credit hours) for each semester of the award and maintain the CGPA as required by the scholarship. If the scholarship is major specific, the recipient must maintain enrollment in the appropriate coursework needed for that major.
* An exception may be granted for up to two degree-related courses at any of the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) institutions. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office to obtain approval. Students who would like to take classes at a non-SDBOR institution and use SD Mines’ financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office with regards to a potential consortium agreement.
Current students majoring in Mechanical Engineering or Civil Engineering must complete a department scholarship application through their applicable department to be eligible for department scholarships. Incoming freshman interested in Metallurgical Engineering are encouraged to fill out an application with the Metallurgical Engineering Department to be eligible for department scholarships. Interested Metallurgical Engineering students may contact the Metallurgical Engineering Department Head for more scholarship information. Scholarship applications are not required for the other undergraduate degrees at SD Mines.
Graduate Student Support
Graduate students should contact the Graduate Education Office at the School of Mines regarding available fellowships.
Review Billing Statement
The Student Accounts Office will send an e-mail notification to the student’s Mines e-mail account informing him or her of availability to access their billing statement before each semester and whenever there is a change to the student’s account. Please review the statement and pay attention to the amount owed and the payment guidelines set by the Business Office. Be advised that work-study awards will not appear on the billing statement.
Disbursement of Aid
With the exception of Federal Work-Study, which is paid monthly, and some scholarships, which are paid according to donor criteria, financial aid is credited to the student’s account. If the aid applied to the student’s account exceeds institutional costs applied to their account, he or she will either receive a cash disbursement (refund check) in the mail or the funds will be deposited directly to the student’s bank account via Direct Deposit. Students should contact the Student Accounts Office for further information on the Direct Deposit option. In the event there are delays in disbursing the aid, students should always have enough money available to meet immediate expenses they might incur at the beginning of each semester, such as the purchase of books and supplies or security deposits for off-campus housing.
At times it may be necessary to take classes at one of the other SDBOR universities in order to complete the student’s degree requirements. Other than to sign up for classes through their School of Mines WebAdvisor account, no special arrangements need to be made in order to include those classes in their enrollment status for financial aid purposes at the School of Mines. However, if the student plans to take classes at a non-Board of Regents school, they must contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if classes taken there can be used to fulfill degree requirements at the School of Mines and to determine their overall semester enrollment status.
School of Mines scholarship and fellowship recipients must get advisor approval for their non-SD Mines courses prior to the start of the semester in order to use non-School of Mines credit hours to meet the full time School of Mines credit hour requirement for scholarship and fellowship disbursement. Advisors must send an e-mail to the Financial Aid Office verifying the non-SD Mines courses count towards the student’s degree program.
The School of Mines does not offer courses via correspondence. However, students are advised to discuss possible options with the Financial Aid Director for receiving assistance to help pay for this type of coursework taken at another eligible institution.
Summer Financial Aid
Students who are interested in receiving federal financial aid for the summer term must submit a School of Mines Summer Aid Application (available after March 31) to the Financial Aid Office and complete the FAFSA for the coming school year. Their aid award will be based on a summer, fall, and spring academic year. As a result, receiving aid for the summer will directly impact the amount of aid available for the fall and spring semesters. Per SDBOR policy, the number of credit hours taken during the summer term in order to maintain a particular enrollment status (full, 3/4, 1/2 or less than half time) is the same as the fall and spring semesters. Generally, students must carry at least a half-time course load of 6 credits for undergraduate and 4.5 credits for graduate students to be eligible for summer financial aid. Specific exceptions are available to graduate students enrolled in 2 research or dissertation credit hours.
Withdrawal and Refunds
Due to circumstances that may or may not be beyond the student’s control, it may become necessary to withdraw from all classes prior to the end of a particular semester. Depending on the withdrawal date, the student may be entitled to a full or partial refund of tuition and fees, tablet PC rental, and if contracting with the university, for room and board.
To initiate the official withdrawal process, the student needs to first go to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services, Room 216 of the O’Harra Building. If that is not possible, he or she may call (800) 544-8162, Ext. 2400 or local at (605) 394-2400. In the event that the student leaves school without notifying the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services, or simply never attends classes and receives a 0.00 GPA for the semester, the university has the option of considering the withdrawal date to be 1) the midpoint of the period of enrollment; 2) the last documented date of academically related activity; or 3) if he or she did not notify the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the date relative to that circumstance, whichever is later. It is important that a student clearly state that he or she is withdrawing from all classes. Dropping a class and withdrawing from all classes have a different impact on a student’s status with the university. If enrolled at more than one campus within the SDBOR university system, the student must inform the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services staff whether the intent is to withdraw from all campuses or just the School of Mines.
Beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, students are only allowed to drop a total of six classes (not a total withdrawal) while pursuing their undergraduate academic degree. The seventh class in which a student drops will be recorded as an “WFL” rather than a “WD”. Courses dropped prior to the 2015-16 academic year are not counted in the six class maximum. Please refer to the Withdrawal Grades Policy and Deadline.
Students who have requested a Financial Aid Consortium Agreement between the School of Mines and a non-SDBOR institution and are using those credit hours to determine their enrollment status for financial aid, must be withdrawing from both institutions in order for their withdrawal from the School of Mines to result in a refund calculation. Please review the withdrawal procedures outlined elsewhere in the college catalog. Information is also available on our website at: www.sdsmt.edu/FinAid/T4-WD. Examples are provided regarding what refund a student could expect to receive based on when he or she withdraws.
Requests for additional information should be directed to the Financial Aid Office, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 501 E Saint Joseph St., Rapid City, SD 57701-3995, or call locally (605) 394-2274, or toll free (877) 877-6044 or via e-mail at FinancialAid@sdsmt.edu.