Family Handbook

Dear Parents and Families,

We understand that you are the most important and influential people in your student's life. Your student needs you to be involved in their academic and extracurricular interests as they go through life. During their high school years, they especially need you to be involved as they start preparing and planning to find the right college choice for them. As parents and family, there are many things you can do to ensure that your student will be prepared for their college future. You can make sure they are taking the required courses, the right tests and complete the proper paper work.

We hope this will help you guide your student and answer some of those questions that you may have along the way. We appreciate the efforts that parents and family lend to your student through this process and hope that this webpage and handbook will help guide and assist you along the way towards your student's college decision.

Please feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions. We are here to help you and make this as easy as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and we hope that you will stop back again as the school year progresses.


Amy Crissinger, Associate VP of Recruitment
Tyler Ruhd, Assistant Director of Admission

Dana Hoff, Transfer Specialist/VA Benefits Coordinator
Amber Postma, Senior Admission Specialist
Austin Slaughter, Admission Specialist
Travis Ahlers, Admission Specialist

Dakota State University



Admission Requirements
Freshman Admission - Bachelor Degrees
  Transfer Admission
  Admission for Associate Degrees
  Checklist to enrolling

Financial Aid

List of degrees
  CLEP/AP/Dual Credit Courses Information


Student Life
  Residence Life
  Student Development
  Meal Plans
  Students Activities/Clubs and Organizations

  Interest and abilities form for students
  Watch live game video/stats


Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Admission criteria are subject to change by the Board of Regents of South Dakota and by the six universities in the Board of Regents system.

Freshman Admission - Applicants under 21 years old

To be a candidate for admission to a baccalaureate degree program, the applicant must meet the general requirements in "A" AND the subject matter requirement in "B".

A. Rank in the top 60% of their high school graduating class;
   OR Achieve an ACT composite score of 18 or above or SAT Reasoning Test Math and Critical reading subscores total 870 or above;
   OR Earn a GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale in all high school courses.

B. Complete the following required courses with a cumulative grade point average of a “C” or higher (2.0 on a 4.0 scale):

4 years of English
   OR ACT English sub-test score of 18 or above
   OR  AP English score of 3 or above

3 years of Advanced Mathematics*
   OR ACT Math sub-test score of 20 or above
   OR AP Calculus score of 3 or above

3 years of Laboratory Science**
   OR ACT Science Reasoning sub-test score of 17 or above
   OR AP Science score of 3 or above

3 years of Social Science
   OR ACT Social Studies/Reading sub-test score of 17 or above
   OR  AP Social Studies score of 3 or above

1 year of Fine Arts
   OR AP Fine Arts score of 3 or above

*Advanced mathematics includes algebra or any higher level math.
**Laboratory science includes biology, chemistry, physics, or other approved science courses in which there is a weekly lab period scheduled.

  Transfer Admission

The requirements listed below are the minimum requirements to all six universities in the Board of Regents system. Individual universities and individual programs within the universities may have higher requirements.

A. Transfer students with 24 or more semester credits are eligible to be candidates for admission if they meet both standards below:

- Have a cumulative college grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

- Are in good standing with their most recently attended school.

B. Students with less than a 2.0 GPA may be admitted on probation, but each applicant is considered on an individual basis.

Transfer students under the age of 24 who have earned fewer than 24 semester credits must also meet the freshman admission requirements above.

Admission Requirements for Associate Degree Programs

To be a candidate for admission to an associate degree program the applicant must meet the following requirements (individual degree programs may have additional admission requirements):

Meet the baccalaureate admission requirements

OR Rank in the top 60% of their high school graduating class

OR Achieve an ACT composite score of 18 or above or SAT Reasoning Test Math and Critical Reading subscores total of 870 or above

OR Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale in high school courses

OR Complete the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) with a combined score of at least 2250 and a minimum score of 410 on each test.


Admission Checklist

  • Campus Visit – Join us for a Discover DSU Day or call Enrollment Services to set up a personal campus visit at your convenience.
  • Application - Apply online or mail the application to the address listed on the paper form.
    • Please see requirements for admission listed above
  • Create a Profile – Once you’ve been accepted, create your profile and meet other accepted students to DSU.
  • Room and Board - You will receive housing and dining services contracts with your acceptance letter. Please review your options and submit to Student Services.
  • Immunization – You will receive an immunization form with your acceptance letter. Proof of two doses of the MMR vaccine are required for enrollment at Dakota State University.
  • Financial Aid - Go to to complete your online FAFSA after January 1st. DSU’s priority date for federal financial aid is March 1st.
  • Scholarships – Students eligible for the DSU Champion Scholarships will be awarded automatically once we receive the application for admission and supporting documentation. The general scholarship application form is due in by March 1st for the upcoming school year. Please refer to the DSU Financial Aid website for additional scholarship opportunities.
  • Registration - Come to campus and set up your schedule for first semester. Once accepted, you'll get information about dates, times and activities.

Click here to download a printable checklist!

Financial Aid

Most student financial aid comes from the federal government programs you’ll read about here. Beware of scams and services that will search for financial aid money for you for a fee. Applying for student aid is free; that’s why the application you use is called the Free Application for Federal Aid. (FAFSA) If you need help completing the FAFSA, you can get that help free, too. You don’t have to pay anyone for assistance.

How do you apply for federal student aid?

1. Apply for a Department of Education PIN at
Students and parents (if the student is a dependent) should apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) before submitting your FAFSA electronically.

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

Go to (or to and get general student aid information as well).

If you don’t have internet access, you can get a paper FAFSA from the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). They can also help you with completing your FAFSA, questions about federal student aid program and more.

You can apply beginning January 1st, 2011. DSU has a priority deadline of March 1st to ensure consideration for certain limited aid programs.

Types of Aid

  • Federal Pell Grant – Available to students with low calculated family contributions; is not repaid
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – Available to students with low calculated family contribution and exceptional financial need; is not repaid
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) - Available to first and second year students who are Federal Pell Grant recipients and who have complete rigorous high programs of study
Other grants are available, check out available Aid Programs!

  • Federal Perkins Loan– Available for students who demonstrate exceptional financial need; must be repaid
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan– Available for students who demonstrate financial need; must be repaid
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan– Available for students with low or no financial need; must be repaid
  • Direct PLUS Loan– Available to parents of students; must be repaid
Federal Work-Study:
  • Available to students with exceptional financial need; money is earned while attending school; does not have to be repaid

3. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR).

After you apply, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report. Your SAR contains the information reported on your FAFSA and usually includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. The EFC, a measure of your family’s financial strength, is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Review your SAR information as soon as you get it and make any corrections or changes, if necessary. The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will review that data to determine your eligibility.



CLEP/AP/Dual Credit Courses Info

Taken from the DSU 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog p. 7-12


Students may take CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams to earn credit
for specific courses. A listing of specific course equivalencies and minimum scores follow
the procedure.

For more information on CLEP testing, see DSU Testing Services or Please see the course catalog page 9.

Advance Placement (AP) Courses

Credit for work accomplished in high school through the Advanced Placement program
of the College Examination Board will be awarded, based on the approved exams
and scores noted in the university catalog under “Advanced Placement”. Advanced
placement examinations do not meet the writing intensive requirements for general education.

1) Students complete the Advanced Placement test administered by their high
schools and request that the scores be reported to Dakota State University.

2) AP sends scores to the students and to DSU’s Office of the Vice President for
Academic Affairs. The Vice President’s Office notifies the Registrar of the
exam results and, if the scores meet or exceed DSU’s standards, the Registrar
enters the credit for the examinations on the students’ academic record.
(Nothing is entered on academic record if the AP scores do not meet DSU credit

Please see the Advanced Placement (AP) on this page.

 Duel Credit Courses

The South Dakota Board of Regents has established agreements with Mount Marty
College, Kilian Community College, Western Iowa Technical Community College,
Riverland Community College (MN), Iowa Western Community College, Metropolitan
Community College, Wyoming Community College, ND University System, University
of Mary, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Southwest Minnesota State University,and Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College whereby the South Dakota regental universities will accept high school, dual-credit courses for transfer. All other high school
courses for which students received college credit will not be entered as transfer credit, or
given equivalent credit, unless validated by an Advanced Placement or CLEP score that
meets Board of Regents guidelines for acceptance of credit, the college credit is granted
by a university with which the Board has a dual credit agreement, or the college credit is
granted by an institution accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment
Partnerships (NACEP).



© 2011. All Rights Reserved . Dakota State University. Madison SD 57042

Last Updated: 11/19/13