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Financial Aid – General Info


Eligibility Requirements | Helpful Hints | Independent Studies | Over Awards | University Withdrawal


Eligibility Requirements

 Students must be accepted and classified as degree seeking.

  • To receive financial aid, enrollment is based on classes that count toward degree completion.  If a class is not required to earn the degree, then that class will not be used to calculate a student’s enrollment. 
  • Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Students may not receive aid in excess of their cost of attendance.
  • Students must not be in default on any federal educational loan or owe repayment on a federal grant at this or any other institution.
  • Students must provide all information requested for the completion of their file. 
  • Students must apply annually for financial aid.
  • Students must complete entrance counseling for the Federal Direct Loan if they are a first time borrower at DSU.
  • Students must be a U. S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Eligible non-citizens include I-151, I-551, and I-688 cardholders as well as some I-94 classifications.
  • Students must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • For need based programs, students must show a financial need as computed on the FAFSA.
  • All male applicants must be registered with Selective Service, if applicable


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Helpful Hints

Apply early to be considered for the full range of financial aid available each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The processed results of the FAFSA must be received by DSU from the federal processor by March 1 to meet our application priority deadline date.

Make a copy of tax return forms before submission to IRS.

Start a folder to save financial aid information and photocopies of all documents filed and received.  Include student’s name and ID number on all doucments submitted.

Maintain a current address with the Registrar’s Office.

Complete all items necessary to apply for both a Federal Pell Grant and a Federal Direct Loan, even if it doesn’t seem advantageous at the time.  The law requires that students be considered for a grant before a loan is offered. 

Respond promptly to all information requests from our office.


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Independent Students

You will be classified as independent for financial aid puposes only if at least one of the following applies:


  • you are 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;
  • you are married;
  • have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30th of the school year;
  • have children who receive more than half of their support from you;
  • a ward/dependent of the court;
  • a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; 
  • will be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program;
  • Are currently serving on active duty in the U. S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
  • At any time since you turned age 13, if both parents were deceased, you were in foster care or were a dependent or ward of the court;
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, you are considered an emancipated minor;
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, you are in legal guardianship;
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2010, your high school or school district homeless liaison determines that you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless;
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2010, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines that you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless; or
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2010, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determines that you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.


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Over Awards

An over award occurs when a student’s award package has exceeded either the unmet need or cost of attendance, depending on the type of aid that has been awarded.  To prevent over awards, it is important to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any potential awards not already listed on the student’s financial aid award letter.  In the event of an over award, a student’s award is reduced to eliminate the over award, which may result in a repayment of the over award.


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Student’s should be aware that if they withdraw from the university after having received financial assistance, they might have to repay a portion of that assistance.  Students who receive Federal Stafford Loans should also know that the Office of Student Financial Assistance is required to notify lenders of student withdrawals. 


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