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Financial Assistance Programs

Employment – the Work Program

Institutional Grants, Scholarships Loans
Other DWU Aid
Summer Financial Aid/Employment
State Grants Other Assistance
Federal Financial Aid Programs Selecting Financial Aid Recipients
Grants Rights and Responsibilities

Top of pageFinancial Assistance Programs
The following sections describe the various financial assistance programs available at Dakota Wesleyan University.  These descriptions are summaries and do not contain all of the rules and regulations that apply.  In addition, all of the aid described below is distributed based upon financial need.  For more information, contact the financial aid office at (605) 995-2656 or go online to www.dwu.edu/financialaid.

Federal financial assistance is only available to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens.  Students in the United States on an F-1 student visa are not eligible for federal financial assistance.  For details regarding eligible noncitizens, refer to the current issue of the Student Guide for Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education.  You can find the Student Guide for Financial Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov or request a copy from the financial aid office.

Top of pageInstitutional Grants, Scholarships and the Work Program
The scholarship program at DWU is made possible by the generous support from alumni, special friends of the college, corporations and foundations. Through their dedication and generosity, students are realizing their dreams of a private higher education.
To be considered for scholarships at DWU based on academic performance and/or talent requires a completed application for admission. Academic and talent scholarships are awarded only after an offer of admission has been made.  DWU also provides numerous academic, merit-based and need-based awards to qualified students. In order to maintain the DWU scholarship(s) a student must be enrolled full time; meet the minimum GPA requirement; and depending on the scholarship amount, students may be required to live on campus.
For a complete list of the scholarship programs that are currently available, visit www.dwu.edu/financialaid or contact the admissions office at 605-995-2650.

Top of pageOther DWU Aid
DWU Global Grant
F-1 status undergraduate international students who apply and are accepted to an associate or bachelor’s program at the university may be considered for a DWU Global Grant that may range from $2,000-$10,000 annually.  The grant is renewable for a maximum of eight semesters with continuous full-time enrollment, satisfactory academic progress and active participation in the DWU Multicultural Committee. 

Tuition Remission and Tuition Exchange Programs
The tuition remission and tuition exchange programs provide employees and their spouses and children an opportunity to receive a college education at a substantially reduced cost.  DWU is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges tuition exchange program.  Contact the DWU director of human resources for eligibility requirements and college membership lists.

Top of pageState Grants
Students are encouraged to review state grants available to them from their own states.  Contact the financial aid office for the name and address of your state grant agency.

Top of pageFederal Financial Aid Programs
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and all other required documents before eligibility for federal financial aid can be determined.  Most of the federal financial aid programs are need-based with the exception of the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal TEACH Grant.  The FAFSA is used to calculate the student’s financial need (this process is described further in the “Selecting Financial Aid Recipients” section).

Due to annual changes on federal policies, specific details (i.e. additional eligibility requirements, annual award amounts and interest rates) about the federal financial aid programs are not listed in the catalog.  Please visit the Dakota Wesleyan University financial aid website or contact the financial aid office for current year information concerning any of the federal financial aid programs.

Top of pageGrants
Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are free grants that do not have to be paid back.  They are awarded to students who have the level of need determined by the federal government and are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOGs are also free assistance and do not have to be paid back.  The federal government allocates monies to institutions to award FSEOG grants to exceptionally needy students.  Priority must be given to Pell Grant recipients.  Since the funds are limited, students must also meet the institution’s early application FAFSA deadline of April 1 to be considered for the FSEOG.

Available to students who are at least a sophomore status with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and who are enrolled as education majors in a high-need field such as science, math or special education. Students must complete TEACH Grant counseling and the Agreement to Serve each year.

Top of pageEmployment - the Work Program
Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

Federal Work Study provides jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Limited funding for FWS is provided through the federal government with additional contributions from Dakota Wesleyan University. Students must also meet the institution?s early FAFSA application deadline of April 1 to be considered for FWS. Students must earn these funds; they are not automatically credited to their accounts.

Top of pageLoans
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan is federally funded, but loaned by Dakota Wesleyan University.  Interest and repayment begins nine months after the borrower completes his/her education or ceases to be at least a half-time student.  The federal government allocates monies to institutions to award Federal Perkins Loans to exceptionally needy students.  Since the funds are limited, students must also meet the institution’s early FAFSA application deadline of April 1 to be considered for this loan.  Visit the financial aid website or contact the financial aid office for current year information about the Federal Perkins Loan’s annual award amounts and current interest rates.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
The Federal Subsidized Loan is a need-based loan made to students by the U.S. Department of Education.  Interest and repayment begins six months after the borrower completes his/her education or ceases to be at least a half-time student.  Visit the financial aid website or contact the financial aid office for current-year information about the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan’s annual award amounts and current interest rates.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based loan made to students by the U.S. Department of Education.  Interest accrues immediately, which the student can choose to pay quarterly or let capitalize.  Principal payments do not begin until six months after the borrower completes his/her education or ceases to be at least a half-time student.  If a parent is declined a Federal PLUS, a dependent student may be awarded additional funds under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program.  Visit the financial aid website or contact the financial aid office for current year information about the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan’s annual award amounts and current interest rates.

Federal Direct Parent Loan to Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
The Federal Direct PLUS enables parents with a good credit history to borrow money from the U.S. Department of Education to pay the education expenses of their dependent undergraduate student(s). If a parent is denied the Federal Direct PLUS, a dependent student may be awarded additional funds under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program. Federal Direct PLUS eligibility is not based on need. Repayment begins 60 days after the full disbursement of the loan; however, the parent may contact the servicer of this loan and ask about in-school deferments. The yearly limit on a Federal Direct PLUS is equal to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received by students. Visit the financial aid website or contact the financial aid office for current year information and about the application procedures.

Top of pageSummer Financial Aid/Employment
Students taking classes during the summer sessions may apply for Federal Pell Grant, federal loans and work study program depending upon the availability of funds.  Students must be enrolled in at least six credits during the summer to qualify for these funds.  Students must also complete the Financial Aid Summer Application and the FAFSA application.  Receiving financial aid during the summer term may affect the amount of aid received for the following academic year.  Contact the director of financial aid to discuss your options.

Top of pageOther Assistance
There are many other organizations offering financial assistance to eligible students.  These include but are not limited to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Social Services and the South Dakota One Stop Career Center System.  Interested students should contact the nearest representative of the appropriate organization.

United Methodist Scholarships
Students who are members of the United Methodist Church are encouraged to explore the scholarship programs through these two United Methodist organizations:

  • General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) – www.gbhem.org
  • United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) – www.umhef.org

United Methodist Student Loan
The United Methodist Student Loan is through the GBHEM.  To be eligible for this loan, a student must be enrolled full time, be an active member of the United Methodist Church for at least one year, show financial need and have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.  Visit www.gbhem.org or contact the financial aid office for current year information and application procedures.

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides $5,000 over four years to a qualifying student who attends an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota. Recipients may participate in the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship Program for the equivalent of four academic years (eight consecutive fall and spring terms), or until attaining a baccalaureate degree. During each academic year, one-half of the annual scholarship award will be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester and the other half distributed at the beginning of the spring semester:

$1,000 – first year of attendance
$1,000 – second year of attendance
$1,000 – third year of attendance
$2,000 – fourth year of attendance

Visit www.sdbor.edu/OpportunityScholarship/sdos.htm for more information about the scholarship.

Outside Scholarships
In addition to institutional awards, students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to meet their educational expenses and to minimize the need for student loans.  The financial aid website lists some outside scholarship information.  Students should search for scholarship opportunities in their communities.  Dakota Wesleyan University will not reduce a student’s institutional aid when the student has outside scholarships.

On and Off-campus Employment
Students are encouraged to stop regularly and look at the job openings or discuss your search with the DWU Center for Talent Development staff in Rollins Campus Center.  The Center for Talent Development lists part-time jobs with Mitchell employers and DWU offices/services.

Alternative Loans
Many lenders offer alternative loans through their own private loan programs.  U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international students who are temporary residents may apply for alternative loans; however, permanent residents or international students may require a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.  Visit the financial aid website for additional information about the alternative loan program and application procedures.

Top of pageSelecting Financial Aid Recipients
Financial need is the basic criteria used in selecting federal financial assistance recipients.  Federal regulations state specifically that financial aid must be provided to the students showing the greatest financial need.

At DWU, the FAFSA is the instrument used to determine a student’s financial need.  Upon completing the FAFSA, an expected family contribution is determined.  The expected family contribution is then subtracted from the cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, and room and board. The result is financial need.

Current and new students who have financial need, meet the DWU financial aid deadline of April 1 and other DWU criteria, may qualify for the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study Program (FWS), and/or a Federal Perkins Loan.  However, these funds are limited so it is not guaranteed that a student who has met the university’s deadline and criteria will be awarded these funds.

Students who have completed and turned in all the necessary documents to be accepted into the university and have completed and turned in all the necessary documents to the financial aid office by the April 1 deadline will be processed in a first-come, first-served basis. Those applying after the priority date will receive funding based upon availability of funds, need and application date.

Notification of Awards
A financial aid award offer will notify students of financial assistance and is either sent through the U.S. Postal Service or may be emailed to the student?s DWU email account. This document will state the amount and categories in which a student can expect to receive assistance. To accept the award, the student must either sign the paper document and return it to the financial aid office, or in the case that this has been emailed to the student, the student must respond to the email.

Amount of Aid Received
The amount of federal aid that a student receives will depend upon his/her financial need.  In the majority of cases, a student can expect to receive federal and/or institutional assistance. Aid packages will vary according to an individual’s needs.

Top of pageRights and Responsibilities
The purpose of the financial aid programs is to help finance an education and training after high school.  To be eligible for aid, a student must meet certain general criteria.  As a recipient of federal student aid, a student has certain rights and responsibilities.  Knowing what they are will put the student in a better position to make decisions about his/her educational goals and how to achieve them.

Student Rights

  • To know what financial assistance programs are available.
  • To know the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial assistance programs available.
  • To know how financial assistance will be distributed, how decisions on that distribution are made, and the basis for these decisions.
  • To know how financial need was determined.
  • To know what resources (such as parental contribution, other financial assistance and assets) were considered in the calculation of financial need.
  • To know how much financial need has been met as determined by the institution.
  • To request an explanation of the various programs in student aid packages.
  • To know the school’s refund policy.
  • To know the payback procedures for the financial assistance that must be repaid.
  • To know how the school determines satisfactory progress and what happens if satisfactory progress is not made.

Student Responsibilities

  • To complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the correct place.
  • To provide correct information; misreporting information on financial assistance application forms is a violation of law and may be considered a criminal offense that could result in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • To return all additional documentation, verification, correct and/or new information requested by either the financial aid office or the agency to which applications are submitted.
  • To read and understand all forms that the student is asked to sign and to keep copies of them.
  • To accept responsibility for all agreements signed.
  • To perform the work that is agreed upon when accepting a work-study program award.
  • To be aware of and comply with the deadlines for application or reapplication for aid.
  • To be aware of the school's refund procedures.
  • To carefully consider information provided by the school to prospective students about its programs and performance before deciding to attend the school.          
  • To repay immediately upon demand all financial assistance over awards or misappropriations.

If a student transfers from one school to another, financial assistance does not automatically go with him/her.  The student must take necessary action to ensure continued financial assistance at the new school.  As soon as possible a transfer student should:

  1. check with the financial aid office at the new school on financial assistance availability;
  2. contact the financial aid office of the school student is currently attending to make sure all financial aid funds have been cancelled at that school and reapply at the new school;
  3. add the new school to the student’s FAFSA as well as submit any other documentation requested by the financial aid office;
  4. reapply at the new school, if funds are available,  for a Federal Perkins Loan, an FSEOG or a college work-study job (due to the limited availability of the just-mentioned funds and the school’s institutional awarding policy, a student may not receive these funds even though they received them at another school); and
  5. refer to “Institutional Grants, Scholarships and the Work Program” for full-time students regarding academic scholarships at DWU.

Application Procedure

  1. Complete an application for admission to Dakota Wesleyan University and return it to the admissions office.  Students must be admitted to DWU before they can receive financial assistance.
  2. Submit the FAFSA.  After receiving the results, check the Student Aid Report for accuracy.  Submit any documentation required by the financial aid office to proceed with the awarding of aid.
  3. Students who do not plan to submit a FAFSA must notify the financial aid office of their intentions.
  4. Work with coaches or faculty members if the student is interested in any activity awards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The purpose of federal and institutional financial assistance is to help students reach their academic and career goals. All students receiving financial assistance are expected to make reasonable progress toward graduation each term. The guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education make it possible to define and evaluate satisfactory academic progress.

A student will be evaluated based on his/her cumulative GPA in relationship to his/her student classification. Students will be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if they maintain the following appropriate cumulative GPA at the end of the term as listed below. Students will be evaluated for progress at the end of each term in which they are enrolled.

After one semester


After two semesters and all subsequent semesters


Quantitative: Enrolled students will be expected to complete their educational objectives within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame allowable by the institution is determined by the student's degree or certificate objectives and enrollment classification, and is depicted by the following:

Degree Attempted

Total Credit Hours Attempted





Regardless of a student's degree objective, the student must successfully complete 70 percent of attempted credit hours for each academic year. Along with F’s, Incompletes, Withdraw and No Credit will be treated as credits unearned. A student may repeat any course in an attempt to better a grade and improve her/his grade point average; however, the credit hours will be counted in the total credit hours attempted time frame.

If a student has failed to earn his/her degree or certificate within the maximum allowable time frame prescribed by this policy, he/she will not be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and will be ineligible for continued financial assistance.

The evaluation of satisfactory progress for an incoming transfer student will be considered without regard to his/her transfer credits. However, upon completion of each academic year, transfer students will be evaluated with those transferable credits applicable to meeting graduation requirements.

All students must maintain the required level of academic progress prescribed by this policy, as evaluated by its quantitative and qualitative standards. If a student's satisfactory academic progress falls below an acceptable level in either the quantitative or qualitative or both, the student will receive a financial aid warning notifying him/her that he/she is at risk of losing federal financial aid eligibility and the reason why.  A review of his/her progress will be made each semester for determination of continued receipt of federal financial aid.  Failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress for the following term will result in loss of eligibility for federal financial aid.  

If a student’s satisfactory academic progress still falls below the acceptable level the student may be suspended from receiving federal aid. The student's ineligibility will remain in effect until an appeal is granted and the student is put on financial aid probation for the following academic term. The student will then need to maintain the same academic progress stipulated in these satisfactory academic progress rules.

If a student believes there are extenuating circumstances for his/her failure to comply with these policies, he/she may request to appeal the suspension with the director of financial aid.  The director of financial aid will provide a student with guidance on the appeal process in the suspension letter.  Once the appeal documentation is received by the director of financial aid, in consultation with appropriate university authorities, may grant a deferment or waiver of suspension based upon certain hardship situations.  Each appeal will be decided on a case-by-case basis.  A student who has been granted his/her appeal will be placed on financial aid probation for one term and a review of his/her academic progress will be made each semester for determination of continued receipt of federal financial aid.   

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Last updated: 9/14/12