Policies and General Information

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Entrance and Exit Counseling

Every student who takes out student loans is required to have entrance and exit counseling. An online entrance interview is part of the financial aid packet. When completed, a confirmation document is sent electronically to the financial aid office. Until the certification is received no loans will be processed. Online exit counseling is also required when students leave Des Moines University and is available on Pulse.

Eligibility Requirements

The U.S. Department of Education has established certain basic eligibility requirements for all federal financial aid. Other financial aid programs may have additional eligibility requirements.

To qualify for most types of aid, students must:

  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development certificate.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs
  • Be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or an eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Register with selective service, if required.
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan and not owe money back on a federal student grant.
  • Certify that federal student aid will be used only for educational purposes (on FAFSA).


Good credit will play an important role in financing a student’s education if they plan on using a Direct Grad PLUS loan prior to completing their education. A credit check is done each time a student applies for a Direct Grad PLUS loan. Poor credit could diminish the ability to secure a Direct Grad PLUS loan. The financial aid office encourages all prospective Direct Grad PLUS loan applicants to order a credit report. Students can request a free credit report from three main bureaus at Annualcreditreport.com.

If something is incorrect now is the time to initiate the dispute process.

Three Main Credit Bureaus


The Department of Education randomly selects students to verify financial information. Students will be notified of this on their student aid report and the financial aid office will send a notification of what needs to be done. Verification requires a student to provide a verification worksheet and any other requested information to the financial aid office to verify that the information on the FAFSA is the same as the other forms. If something needs to be corrected the financial aid office will notify students by email of the discrepancy. If corrections need to be made to the FAFSA, the financial aid office must have the corrected one before any funds can be released. If a student cannot complete the verification process within 45 days federal regulations require the loan proceeds be returned to the lender. They can be reissued upon satisfactory completion of verification.

Cost of Attendance Budgets

Based on federal regulations, student cost of attendance budgets are designed for the student only and are not intended to cover family living expenses. If a student is married, the Department of Education along with the university expects their spouse to be a contributor to family expenses. Regulations allow budget increases to help with daycare expenses. If a student has children for whom their spouse chooses to be a caregiver and will not be working, students must arrange for outside support in addition to financial aid through the university.

The university works conscientiously to provide a reasonable expense budget and to monitor long-term debt and maintain low default rates.* Financial aid counseling is available on campus to help answer questions pertaining to financial aid concerns. See cost of attendance budgets for each program.

In certain documented circumstances, a student’s budget may be increased to receive additional funds. These may include but are not limited to child daycare costs, excessive un-reimbursed medical bills (student only) costs associated with a disability or certain other unusual or unforeseen circumstances (not associated with living expenses, car payments, credit card payments, etc.).

Contact the financial aid office for more information.

Disbursement Information

Loans are disbursed at the beginning of each term based on federal regulatory requirements. See DMU’s disbursement and tuition due dates for more information. The lender will also send a notice of guarantee with disbursement dates as well as approved loan amounts and interest rates. Students can also contact the financial aid office or the business and finance office for more information. All funds are delivered directly to the business office. If there is a balance on a student’s tuition account that amount is deducted from the loan proceeds and a refund is issued within three working days. Note disbursement dates may vary each year of the program.


Federal regulations and DMU policy require the university to calculate a possible return to the lender of Title IV federal financial aid students obtained for tuition and fees if they withdraw, are suspended, are dismissed, take a leave of absence or cease attendance before completion of the term for which they are registered. Return of funds calculations are based on the effective date of withdrawal or leave of absence or the effective date of administrative action. That is, any time a student’s status changes from full-time, there could be a return of financial aid.

View more information about refunds.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to maintain financial aid eligibility, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Each program has its own satisfactory academic progress policies.

Dual Enrollment

Full-time students may register to take a course in one of the master of public health, master of health care administration, master of science in anatomy or master of science in biomedical sciences programs. If a student meets the eligibility requirements they can apply for admission into their selected program as a degree-seeking student. See handbook for details on dual enrollment for the degree program. If a student meets the criteria to be eligible for financial aid, loans are available to cover the cost of additional tuition and books, there are no additional funds available for living expenses. Once accepted into the program, contact the financial aid office to verify financial aid eligibility.


Less-than-half-time status students do not qualify for most forms of financial aid (including Federal Direct Student Loans). There may be an alternative loan available.

Leave of Absence

A student on an approved leave of absence (check student handbook for details) may be eligible for a tuition refund based on the date of the leave. When a student returns from a leave, a credit is placed on the tuition account for the amount of tuition the school retained. A student is eligible for financial aid, but many factors dictate the amount and types of aid available.

Contact the financial aid office for specific information prior to returning from leave.


Students are required to begin repayment of Direct Student Loans 6 months after they cease enrollment, regardless of the reason for leaving school. If students are required to complete a residency or unable to make payments after the 6-month grace period, they may check with the lender about other options, including:

  • Deferment — Payments are suspended. Check Promissory note or with lender for details.
  • Forbearance — A period of time the lender may temporarily reduce or suspend payments. Contact lender for details.

Repayment Options

The following repayment options may be available to you. Visit studentaid.gov for more information.

  • Standard Repayment
  • Extended Repayment
  • Graduated Repayment
  • Income Driven Plans
    • Income Based Repayment
    • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE)
  • Consolidation
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Contact the loan servicer for details to determine what may be best for each situation. Visit studentaid.gov to identify the holder/servicer of all federal student loans.

Alternative loan programs may or may not have these options available. It is important to keep in touch with lenders/holders to find the repayment option that best fits your needs.

There are many repayment calculators available on the web to help students determine estimated monthly payments. A loan simulator is provided at studentaid.gov.

Contact the financial aid office if you have questions about repayment.

Student Loan and Loan Servicer Information

Visit studentaid.gov to identify the holder/servicer of all federal loans.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students Have the Right to Know:

  • What financial aid programs are available and how to apply for them.
  • The cost of attendance and how financial need is determined.
  • The criteria used to determine financial aid eligibility.
  • The type and the amount of assistance they will receive.
  • How financial aid will be distributed.
  • The terms and conditions of all awards made.
  • The schools refund policy.
  • The satisfactory academic policy for financial aid eligibility.

Students Are Responsible To:

  • Submit all forms required to complete the application process in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Respond to requests for additional information in a timely manner
  • Keep DMU informed of any change of address, name, marital or enrollment status while they are a student.
  • Keep their lender or servicer informed of any change of address, name, marital or enrollment status until the loan is paid in full.
  • Notify the financial aid office of any additional financial aid resources they expect to receive.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Re-apply for aid each year.
  • Use aid only for educational related expenses.
  • Repay all loans according to the term of the promissory note.
  • Borrow responsibly.

Veteran Information

Explanation about education benefit programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense.

  • If a student served on active duty, they might be eligible for education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for educational and housing expenses to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. A student must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.
  • If currently serving in the military, students may be eligible for funding offered through the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance program. Check eligibility status and the amount for which you qualify with your Service prior to enrolling.
  • If the spouse or child of a service member who is serving on active duty Title 10 orders in the paygrades of E1-E5, O1-O2 or W1-W2, students may be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Defense for education, training and/or the occupational license and credentials necessary for a portable career.
  • If the spouse or child of a service member, the service member’s Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits may be eligible for transfer to the student.

For additional veteran information, see the Veteran and Military Student Resource page.

*Visit our Default Rates and Average Debt page for more information on DMU student borrowers.

See more detailed information on outcomes for specific programs. If you have questions, contact registrar@dmu.edu.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

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