Financial Aid FAQs

How the Financial Aid Process Works

What is the process to apply for financial aid?

DBU's School Code for filing the FAFSA is: 003560
This code is used to inform the U.S. Department of Education which college you are interested in attending and where you want your FAFSA information sent.

To apply for financial aid at DBU, applicants must complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) from the U.S. Department of Education. One parent will also need an FSA ID if you are considered a dependent student (see note below). 

  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as soon as possible. The FAFSA becomes available in December each year.  

    When completing the FAFSA, you will use tax return data from the prior-prior year (i.e. two years before the year you plan to enroll). The U.S. Department of Education provides the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to populate the tax return data from the IRS. Learn more about the DRT.

Your FAFSA should be fully completed no later than 30 days before Advance Registration begins. Otherwise, the student will be expected to make payment arrangements with the Cashier's Office using personal resources when he or she registered for classes.

Late aid applications will be processed after registration for aid as it becomes available. Each scholarship program has an individual deadline that must be met to be considered for an award from that particular scholarship program.

Attention Fall Enrollees

Complete your financial aid file by March 15 to be eligible to receive the maximum amount of federal and/or state financial aid funds.

Note about Dependent or Independent Student Status

A student is NOT considered an independent student just because parents have not included them on their income tax filing, if parents provide little financial support, or if a student will be paying for all their own expenses. The information below lists what constitutes an independent student. If these do not fit your situation, you must file with your parents' information and signature.

To be considered an independent student, the student must be at least 24 years old by January 1 of the award year. A student who has not attained this age is also considered to be independent if he or she:

  • is married;
  • is a graduate (master) level or above or professional student;
  • applies for and is approved for a dependency override;
  • is not married but has legal dependents, as defined by Federal regulations;
  • is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training; or
  • is an orphan, in foster care, an emancipated minor, homeless youth, or a ward of the court (documentation required for confirmation).

Learn more about Dependent or Independent Status >>

If you are still unsure if you qualify as an independent student, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (214) 333-5363 or

How do I renew my financial aid?

The DBU Office of Financial Aid attempts to award students the same aid they received the previous year. As long as funds are available and the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements, the chances are high that students will receive the same or similar aid package as the previous year.

To renew aid in a new semester or term, follow the steps below:

  • Complete the FAFSA as early in the calendar year as possible and no later than 30 days prior to Advance Registration.

For most aid programs, the financial aid year begins in the Fall semester and ends in the Spring semester. For DBU, the Summer semester falls at the end of the annual cycle and concludes that year's financial aid year.

Summer Aid

Eligibility for Summer assistance is determined by submission of the student's prior year's FAFSA and does not require a separate filing.

Summer Aid Note: There may be little or no loan funds left to cover summer classes if a student elects to use their annual loan limit during the Fall and Spring terms. It is always wise to limit borrowing to just what is needed to supplement costs for each term of enrollment.

Are there priority dates or deadlines for financial aid?

Priority Dates

Priority Dates exist because some aid programs have limited funds available and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the Office of Financial Aid makes every effort to provide funds to students as long as funds are available. If the priority date is not met, the student's application will still be processed. However, because some funds are limited, a student may not receive the maximum amount that could be available to students who have completed financial aid files by this date.

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • Priority Date: March 15 – a financial aid file should be completed by March 15 to receive maximum consideration for Federal or State financial aid for the Fall and Spring semesters of the upcoming year.
  • March 15 is also the priority date for continuing students to complete scholarship applications for anticipated enrollment in the upcoming Fall semester.

Summer Semester

  • March 15 is also the priority date for students wishing to be awarded for the Summer semester. Because Summer is separate from the standard academic year, eligible enrollment must fit into attendance patterns that include at least one-half of the Summer. New students beginning with DBU in a Summer term must also have a FAFSA completed and submitted to DBU.

To be considered for and awarded the fullest amount of financial aid available, students should:

  • Complete the FAFSA no later than 30 days prior to Advance Registration for the academic semester in which aid is desired. See the Academic Calendar for Advance Registration dates.
  • Applications completed after this date cannot be guaranteed to be awarded by registration.
  • Applications received later than this date will be reviewed but cannot be guaranteed to be awarded within the semester.
  • Funding may not be available if documents are NOT submitted in a timely manner.

FAFSA Deadlines

The priority deadline to submit your FAFSA to DBU is March 15

The FAFSA form must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. CT on June 30 of the academic year for which the FAFSA applied. For example, for the 2023-2024 academic year, the deadline is on June 30, 2024. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on September 14.

What does the awarding process look like?

Financial aid review for awarding and posting of any aid can only be done after the receipt of a completed FAFSA.

Verification Process

On occasion, a student's record is selected for verification. This is a process most often requested by the U.S. Department of Education to review the student's submitted FAFSA data for errors or inconsistencies. If you are selected for verification, you will be asked to provide additional documentation that supports the information you reported on your FAFSA. Don’t assume you are being accused of doing anything wrong if you are selected for verification. People are selected for verification randomly. 

If a student's file is selected for verification, all supporting documentation must be submitted before a student's financial aid file can be considered complete and reviewed for awarding of aid.

Learn more about Verification >>

Order in Which Aid is Awarded

For financial aid programs in which need is the factor in determining eligibility, the Federal Pell Grant is posted first.

After the Federal Pell Grant, other Federal and State programs are posted. Followed by any institutional aid.

Next, the Office of Financial Aid will post any gift aid, such as outside scholarships and Church Gift, with any eligible Matching Grants.

After these sources have been applied, then additional awards are packaged from self-help types of aid, such as student employment and loans.

When eligibility for all other funds has been exhausted, or when all other funds for which the student is deemed eligible have been awarded, loans will be awarded to fill the remaining unmet need.

Programs that have limited funds available for awards will be awarded based on the completed application date. Once all available funds are awarded, eligible students will be placed on a waitlist should additional funds become available. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the semester. No retroactive applications are allowed past the end of an enrollment period.

The Award Letter

Once the awarding process is completed, an Award Letter will be emailed to the student and posted in Self-Service under the student's MyDBU account. This Award Letter contains the names and amounts of the financial aid awards the student was deemed eligible to receive. The Award Letter notice also contains some instructions and important information about restrictions and conditions that can affect the ability of the student to receive the amounts awarded. It should be read carefully.

Any questions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at (214) 333-5363 or at

What is DBU's refund policy?

Can refunds be affected by my enrollment status?

Students receiving Federal aid other than Federal Work-Study funds who withdraw or change enrollment status (increase or decrease semester hours taken) will have Federal aid adjusted in accordance with formulas prescribed by the Federal Title IV Program or DBU policy, whichever is applicable.

Eligibility for a refund depends on several factors and will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Changes in any of these factors, such as dropping courses or withdrawing from the University, could result in delays in receiving a refund or the reduction of the student's aid package, thereby removing a potential credit balance.

What if I withdraw from DBU?

A student who withdraws from the University receives only the balance that remains, if any, after the appropriate refund calculation has been performed by the Office of Financial Aid and according to the Federally mandated Return of Federal Title IV Funds Policy listed below.

What is the Title IV funds policy?

Return of Federal Title IV funds will be distributed according to statutory regulations.

Financial aid recipients who withdraw before 60% of the semester is completed will also be required to return a portion of the Federal financial aid received. For further information, please consult the Office of Financial Aid.

Worksheets and formulas provided by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) will be used to determine the amounts and order of return. If a student's share of the return amount exists, the student will be notified and allowed 45 days from the date of determination to return the funds to the Business Office of the University for deposit into the Federal programs accounts. If the student does not return the amount owed within the 45-day period, the amount of overpayment will be reported to the DOE via the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS), and the student will be referred to the DOE for resolution of the debt. Unearned aid will be refunded to the appropriate program(s) if necessary based on these regulations.

A. Funds to be Returned

Dallas Baptist University returns unearned funds received from Federal student assistance programs to the proper program accounts or lenders in accordance with Federal Title IV student assistance regulations, as amended, under 34 CFR, section 668.22(d) of the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

The student receiving assistance from Federal Title IV programs is required to complete a minimum number of hours for which assistance was received. If the student completely withdraws from school during the semester or stops attending but fails to officially withdraw, the student may be required to return the unearned part of the funds received to help pay educational expenses for the semester. Liability for the return of Federal Title IV funds will be determined according to the following guidelines:

  • If the student remains enrolled and attends class beyond the 60% mark of the semester in which aid is received, all Federal aid is considered earned and not subject to this policy.
  • If the student completely withdraws from all classes before completing 60% of the semester, a pro-rated portion of the Federal aid received must be returned to the Federal aid programs equal to the percentage of the semester remaining.
  • If the student does not officially withdraw from classes and stops attending all classes, a pro-rated portion of the Federal aid received, based on the documented last date of attendance, must be returned to the Federal aid programs. If the college is unable to document the last date of attendance, one-half of all Federal aid received during the semester must be returned to the Federal aid programs.

If the student owes money to the University or to one of the financial aid programs in the form of repayment, the Office of Financial Aid or the Cashier's Office will notify the student.

B. Funds to be Disbursed

When a student officially or unofficially withdraws, the Office of Financial Aid will determine if the student is entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal disbursement occurs when the student receives less Federal student aid than the amount earned (based on the withdrawal date). DBU will then offer, in writing, disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. All post-withdrawal disbursement offers will be made within 30 days of the date DBU determined that the student withdrew.

How is eligibility for financial aid determined?

Eligibility Guidelines

Institutional Scholarships

Recipients of Institutional Scholarships should be:

  • A student in good standing.
  • Making satisfactory progress toward his/her educational goals.
  • Have completed the FAFSA annually.

Additional eligibility requirements may exist for each specific award; please check the scholarship page for more information.

Federal or State Financial Assistance

Students seeking Federal or State assistance must be eligible for Federal or State financial assistance by meeting the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education, the State of Texas and:

  • Successfully complete (in a timely manner) the FAFSA  and any other documentation required in this application process;
  • Possess a valid Social Security Number (SSN). SSN matches are conducted by the government processor for each applicant for Federal aid programs;
  • Be registered for Selective Service if male and required to do so. Federal or State financial aid cannot be disbursed until the Office of Financial Aid receives notification that the student has successfully registered with Selective Service;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen. (Check with the Office of Financial Aid for details);
  • Be a degree-seeking, non-transient student enrolled in a degree-granting eligible program for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate;
  • Enrolled in an eligible pattern of enrollment. In most cases, this means enrolled in at least one long semester class. (Check with the Office of Financial Aid for details);
  • Fully admitted to the University. Students admitted to the University on a conditional basis (incomplete admission file) may be awarded financial aid, but no aid will be disbursed until the student completes his/her admission file;
  • In good standing and making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and not on Financial Aid Suspension;
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED. Students who have successfully completed at least two years of college-level work that is acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree at DBU may also be eligible to apply for Federal aid. Students completing their high school education in a home school environment may also be eligible to apply for Federal financial aid under certain conditions. (See the Office of Financial Aid for more information.);
  • Not owe a refund on grants previously received under the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, or the Leveraged Educational Assistance Grant.
  • Not be enrolled and receiving aid at another school concurrently;
  • Not be in default (or delinquent) on any educational loan programs with the State or Federal government or have borrowed in excess of the loan limits on Federal loan programs;
  • Also...for Federal programs, be enrolled at least halftime during the Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. Halftime at DBU is defined as six (6) semester hours for Undergraduate and 4.5 hours per semester for Graduate students. Some students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant may be enrolled in fewer than six hours and still receive this grant.
  • For State programs, students must be enrolled full-time.

Visiting (or transient) students at DBU who are pursuing degrees at other colleges are not eligible for financial aid.

Transfer and Professional Studies Students

To receive Federal or State Financial Assistance Transfer and Professional Studies, students must meet all of the above requirements, as well as the following standards for admittance to DBU.

Transfer and professional studies students desiring to receive Federal or State financial aid must be admitted to the University under one of the following standards as set forth by the U.S. Department of Education:

  • An official high school transcript from an accredited high school that denotes that a diploma was received through graduation; or,
  • A General Education Development Certificate (GED); or,
  • An academic transcript showing successful completion of at least a two-year degree program that is acceptable for full credit toward the student's anticipated degree at DBU.

Amount of Financial Aid

How are financial aid amounts determined?

Determination of Financial Aid

After the Office of Financial Aid has received a student's FAFSA information, the student's financial need and the types of awards for which he or she qualifies may then be determined. 

The Office of Financial Aid, working within the Federal government's policies set to measure need, determines the student's "financial need" using the following formula:

[Cost of Attendance (tuition, room, board, books, fees, and other expenses)]
- [Family Contribution or EFC as calculated by the Federal Government]
= [Financial Need, or the amount of need-based aid a student may receive]

If a student is determined to demonstrate financial need, the Office of Financial Aid then makes every effort to assist the student in meeting his/her determined financial need using all resources available. Both need-based and non-need-based aid–in the form of Federal and State programs, as well as institutional aid–could be available to meet that need.

Financial Aid Counselors are available to discuss any question a student or his/her family may have regarding the student's or family's financial situation.

Does the amount of hours I am enrolled in affect my aid?

Yes. When awarding, the Office of Financial Aid attempts to award students using the most current enrollment information available. So a student’s current enrollment, changes in enrollment, and the timing of these changes can all affect aid eligibility and amounts, as well as tuition charges. We encourage all students to be familiar with this important information as it may heavily affect both charges and aid.

Students who drop or withdraw from any classes (who cease to be enrolled full-time) may be subject to an adjustment of previously awarded aid based on eligibility requirements for each individual Federal and State, or institutional award eligibility, requirements, and policy criteria. Students are cautioned that dropping classes after being awarded on a full-time basis may affect their eligibility for certain types of aid.

The estimated amounts for scholarships and grants that are paid per semester hour will be adjusted to the actual number of hours enrolled at registration. Awards offered in set amounts may, in some cases, be pro-rated for enrollment that is less than full-time.

Since financial aid rules can be complex and can vary by the particular type(s) of financial aid, we encourage students to contact our office ahead of considered changes to classes or enrollment.

For the purposes of financial aid budgeting and awarding:

For Undergraduate Students:

  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours or more during a semester or term (Fall, Spring, and/or Summer) to be considered full-time.
  • Undergraduate students taking 9 to 11 credit hours are considered to be attending three-quarters time during a semester or term (Fall or Spring semester or Summer term), and
  • Undergraduate students taking 6 to 8 credit hours are considered to be attending halftime during a semester or term (Fall or Spring semester or Summer term).

For Graduate/Master's Level Students:

  • Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours or more during a semester or term (Fall, Spring, and/or Summer) to be considered full-time.
  • Note: Doctoral students are full-time at 6 hours

For purposes of estimating award amounts on the award notification letter, the expected full-time enrollment for undergraduate students is 15 hours per semester. For Graduate students, it is 9 hours per semester, and for Doctoral students, 6 hours of enrollment per semester is considered full-time.

In general, financial aid can only be used to help pay for coursework that is used to meet degree requirements (this includes major, electives, and general education requirements). Students should always contact the Office of Financial Aid for information on how academic actions such as add/drops, withdrawals, and other enrollment status considerations may affect aid.

How will my financial aid be affected if I withdraw from or fail some classes?

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Dallas Baptist University established minimum standards and practices for Federal financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) that students must meet to receive and continue to be eligible for Federal financial aid.

Our SAP policy is reviewed at the end of each payment period during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters after semester grades have been posted. We last amended our SAP policy in 2019 to adhere to Federal regulations regarding SAP.

Please be aware that some State and institutional aid programs may have higher academic eligibility requirements. Eligibility for those financial aid programs is determined by the requirements of each program.

Financial aid satisfactory academic progress eligibility is different from academic probation or suspension. Students who are on financial aid suspension may be allowed to register for and attend classes in future semesters if they are not also on academic suspension. Please check with the Registrar's Office for more information.

Regaining Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Eligibility

DBU's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy specifies how a student may regain financial aid eligibility.

Appeal Process

Refer to DBU's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for information on how to appeal a decision to remove financial aid eligibility. 

Financial Aid Academic Plan

If a student is placed on suspension and successfully appeals the decision, but the student’s academic situation is such that is would be mathematically impossible for him/her to regain SAP eligibility during the next semester as required by federal SAP guidelines, DBU may, at its sole discretion, place the student on a financial aid academic plan. This plan will be designed to outline steps of progress that, if followed by the student each semester, will lead to SAP eligibility being regained at a specific time in the future. If a student does not meet these progressive steps each semester, he/she will immediately be placed on financial aid suspension.

Other Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Guidelines

  • Dual Enrollment: A student may not receive federal aid from more than one institution at the same time. A student transferring to DBU from another institution must have their aid canceled at the former institution. A "Cancellation of Aid” form may be required.

  • Repeat Courses: Students may receive federal financial aid for repeat courses in which a previous grade of “F” was received. For courses in which a grade of “D” or higher is received, federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat. Funding for remedial courses (i.e. MATH 1101) can only be repeated once. If a student registers for a course in which he/she has previously received a grade of D or higher, an evaluation of the student’s history taking that course will be made, and aid will be paid accordingly. Institutional scholarships cannot be applied toward any repeat courses regardless of course grade or status.

  • Incomplete grades: Courses in which a grade of "I" is received will affect a student’s pace of progression and may lead to the student being placed on financial aid warning or suspension. Once the student has completed the course(s), he/she may request an evaluation to re-assess his/her SAP status using the Suspension Evaluation or Appeal Request form.

  • Second Bachelor’s Degree: Not all financial aid programs are available to students seeking a second bachelor’s degree, including accredited and non-accredited degrees. Students should see their financial aid counselor for more information.