Don’t cringe at the cost of college.
University Center wants to help everyone afford a college education. That’s why our financial aid services go beyond your FAFSA. Our financial aid advisor is here to help with all aspects of your back-to-school budget, from federal loans and grants to tuition reimbursement, tuition reduction and scholarships.
Our financial aid checklist can help you apply for federal aid and get the most out of your FAFSA.
Financial Aid Checklist
- Apply for admission
Make sure you're accepted into a degree program or an eligible certificate program. As an undergrad, you should take at least 6 credits to qualify for financial aid. Graduate students need 5 credits to qualify.
- Complete your FAFSA
Check out FAFSA hints to learn more!
- Watch for your SAR (Student Aid Report)
Your SAR will be generated by the U.S. Department of Education. If you listed your home university school code on the FAFSA, the school will receive an electronic copy. A valid SAR must be on file in order to process loan applications and process federal grants. If you are selected for a process called Verification, you will be required to complete a Verification Worksheet and other financial forms before the aid can be processed or disbursed. Make sure you turn in all required forms.
- Watch for an award notification letter
This letter will let you know what type of aid you will be receiving. This will come from your home university and will be mailed to your home address or loaded into your Webadvisor if you are an SDSU student (See Webadvisor Tutorial for guidance on how to use this system). You will need to accept or reject the aid, sign and return to the home university.
- Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Visit www.studentloans.gov and sign in with your username and password to complete the process (30 minute process). The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(S) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(S). Unless your school does not allow more than one loan to be made under the same MPN, you can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.
- Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
First-time recipients of the federal direct loans must complete Entrance Loan Counseling prior to the receipt of your loan at www.studentloans.gov. This is a mandatory information session which takes place before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower. All students taking out Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans: If you have not previously received a subsidized or unsubsidized loan under the Direct Loan Program or a subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford Loan under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, you’ll be required to complete entrance counseling.
- Complete Attendance Confirmation
Students must confirm that they will be attending a South Dakota Board of Regents university each and every semester they are enrolled to specify their payment information and refund preferences along with verifying their addresses on record. Also, by completing this process, financial aid offices can award students more efficiently and quickly. Attendance Confirmation is completed in Webadvisor about 20-30 days prior to the start of each semester (See Webadvisor Tutorial). Students receive an e-mail regarding how to complete this process from their HOME school. The link to complete Attendance Confirmation can be found at the upper part of the screen on the "Student's Menu" in Webadvisor about 20-30 days prior to the start of the semester.
- If tuition is less than your Financial Aid Award
You may receive the additional funds via direct deposit to a checking or savings account (enter this in Webadvisor) or via a check mailed directly to your home address. You can indicate which method you prefer during Attendance Confirmation (see above) to be completed in Webadvisor before the start of EACH semester.
Once you’ve completed your FAFSA, be sure to take advantage of other financial aid opportunities like tuition reimbursement from your employer. UC also offers several scholarships for full-time and part-time adult students.
If you have questions about the FAFSA, your financial plan, or the cost of college, contact Vikki VanHull in our financial aid department or by calling 605-274-9500 to schedule an appointment.
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