Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 46.72
Liaison Debbie Liddick
Submission Date April 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Black Hills State University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.98 / 4.00 Katie Greer
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:
BHSU ranks as one of the top schools as far as quality for the price. In 2013, 83% of BHSU students received financial aid with an average award of $9,328. In 2014, South Dakota State Legislature called for a tuition freeze, ensuring continued affordability for the next academic year.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:
BHSU Trio staff are members of ASPIRE. ASPIRE serves as a vehicle which provides professional development and technical assistance to increase expertise of individuals who are involved in services to TRiO students. ASPIRE strives to organize program personnel into a cohesive unit, to facilitate open communication between program personnel, and to disseminate legislative and Department of Education information to ensure that program personnel are well informed on current issues.

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:
The Student Success Center at BHSU is a student-centered, service-oriented office focused on ensuring student persistence and success. The center provides academic advising and other learning assistance to all students in an effort to facilitate a focused plan of study, sound grades, and a high level of satisfaction with the university experience. SSC staff collaborates closely with faculty and staff to monitor at-risk students and to share information and strategies related to best practices in advising and study skills development.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:
The SSS program sets aside a minimum of $30,000 each year to award to SSS students with the greatest financial need. SSS participants are considered for this grant aid once they have completed one semester in the program. Amounts may vary by semester, but average approximately $400 to $500 per semester and are renewable. These students must be active participants in SSS who have an “unmet need” remaining after all other aid has been applied. Freshmen recipients who maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be considered for renewal for their sophomore year. All students who participate in SSS are eligible to apply for the TRIO Essay Scholarship. The essays are due at the end of March each year. Two or three scholarships will be awarded each year in the amount of $250 to $500 each. The Hatterscheidt Scholarship is a one-year award valued at $1,500. These selective application-based scholarships are awarded annually to seniors graduating from South Dakota high schools who meet the following minimum requirements: must be a South Dakota resident and graduate from a South Dakota high school, show financial need and apply for Federal Student Aid through the FAFSA, minimum high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, be accepted for admission to Black Hills State University, and attend the Spearfish main campus of BHSU full time (min. 12 credit hours). The Kevin Whirlwind Horse Memorial Run/Walk is sponsored each year on the Saturday of the Lakota Omniciye spring powwow in memory of this young man, a former BHSU student who was killed in a car accident in 1984. Kevin was an active and respected student leader, and the Memorial Run/Walk fundraiser serves to recognize the achievements of students like Kevin who are working to improve their campus, community, and world through the active pursuit of higher education. Each year, one $500 scholarship is presented to an American Indian sophomore who demonstrates outstanding academic ability and leadership skills.

A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:
The Admissions staff at BHSU actively recruit throughout the region, including in-person visits to high schools in low-income areas of the state.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:
Student Support Services (SSS) is one of seven federal TRiO programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, for students who are serious about graduating from college. SSS helps students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees.

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:
The BHSU Little Jackets Learning Center provides a safe, fun and stimulating environment for children while their parents pursue a higher education. http://www.bhsu.edu/studentlife/living/childcareservices/tabid/159/default.aspx

A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:
Our strategic plan includes a goal to create, foster and support an inclusive environment by increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation of students as represented by: Native American, Hispanic, Veteran, Adult Learner, First Generation and other ethnic, economic status and demographic groups reflective of the population in the state and region, and international students. Veterans Affairs provides resources to Veteran students. Our staff aids in researching and receiving education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the State of South Dakota, as well as state/federal organizations. We are here to offer a place for independent study and a safe atmosphere where veterans can feel free to share military experiences. More than 30 percent of BHSU students are adult learners. We've developed an Adult Learner publication for distribution. Our Student Success Center provides an orientation specifically designed for off-campus, non-traditional, veteran, and commuter students.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 42
The graduation/success rate for low-income students ---
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 56
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt ---

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.