South Dakota

Need Based Scholarship Program

The South Dakota Needs Based Grant Program (SDNBGP) was established with the passage of Senate Bill 237; whereby interest earned from a one-time investment of $1.5 million in state monies will be used to fund the grant program.

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to college students who are South Dakota residents, and will attend a college or university in South Dakota accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Opportunity Scholarship provides $1,000 for the first three years of undergraduate studies and $2,000 for the fourth year. Eligible students will have completed a South Dakota Regents Scholar curriculum or the equivalent with a grade of C or better while in high school and have a minimum ACT score of 24.

South Dakota students interested in applying for the Opportunity Scholarship should submit the application, along with high school transcripts and a copy of the ACT score report, to the college or university they wish to attend.

Dakota Corps Scholarship

The Dakota Corps Scholarship was created by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to encourage South Dakota high school students to attend college in state and remain in South Dakota after graduation. The Dakota Corps Scholarship covers maximum tuition and fees for up to four years at a public, technical or tribal college in South Dakota.

Students who choose to attend a private college must apply for additional funding through the college. To be eligible, students must have a high school GPA of 2.8, a minimum ACT score of 24 and must commit in writing to work in a critical-need field as determined by the South Dakota Department of Labor after graduating. The critical need commitment period is equal to the years of scholarship assistance plus one.

Jump Start Scholarship

The Jump Start Scholarship is offered to students who graduate from a South Dakota public high school in three years or less. The Jump Start Scholarship is funded with money the state saves as a result of the student graduating early. South Dakota students who attend full-time at an in-state college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools will receive $1,771.34 for their first year of college.

Ardell Bjugstad Scholarship

The Bjugstad Scholarship provides financial support in the amount of $500 during the first year of undergraduate study to one Native American student each year from South Dakota or North Dakota who will study agriculture or natural resources at any college or university in any state.

Haines Memorial Scholarship

The Haines Memorial Scholarship is a highly competitive, non-renewable scholarship awarded to one South Dakota public college student each year in the amount of $2,150. Eligible students must be studying to become a teacher, have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and be a sophomore, junior or senior.

Annis Irene Fowler/Kaden Scholarship

The Fowler/Kaden Scholarship is awarded to two South Dakota college freshmen each year in the amount of $1,000 each. Eligible students will have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and plan to major in elementary education at Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University or the University of South Dakota.

Marlin R. Scarborough Memorial Scholarship

The Scarborough Memorial Scholarship provides a $1,500 award to one South Dakota public university student each year. Any South Dakota public college student with a GPA of 3.5, who will be a junior when the scholarship is received, may submit an application to their university’s financial aid office. Each public university in South Dakota will then submit one student nominee (chosen from the university’s applicant pool) to the South Dakota Board of Regents, who will select a scholarship recipient for the year.

Presbyterian Church (USA) Grant

South Dakota college students who are a member of a federally or state-recognized tribe can apply for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Native American Education Grant (NAEG). The NAEG provides students up to $1,500 a year for a maximum of four years of undergraduate study.

Indian Health Service Scholarships

South Dakota college students who are either American Indian or Native Alaskan US citizens are eligible for one of three Indian Health Service (IHS) scholarships. These highly competitive scholarships are awarded to Native American students who are training for a career in a healthcare field.

AISES Intel Scholarship

The AISES Intel Scholarship is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship for students majoring in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering. Award amounts are $5,000 for undergraduate students and $10,000 for graduate students.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Scholarship

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Foundation awards five scholarships annually, totaling $10,000 apiece, for eight semesters of undergraduate course work. Native American high school seniors in South Dakota who will study Business, Math, Science, Technology, Engineering, Education, Medicine or Health Administration, and have maintained a 2.0 GPA in high school are eligible to apply.

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for undergraduate students and $2,000 for graduate students working toward a degree in science, engineering, medicine, natural resources or math.

Native American Finance Officers Association Scholarships

The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) awards multiple merit-based scholarships to Native American students working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in finance, business, accounting, economics or marketing.

American Legion

The American Legion of South Dakota sponsors two scholarships annually to be awarded to accomplished high school seniors.

The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship program awards multiple scholarships to South Dakota students who demonstrate exemplary oratory skills. Students compete at the district and state level, with the state winner advancing to the national competition.

Scholarships vary according to contest results, with prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000 at the state level, and up to $18,000 at the national level.

South Dakota National Guard Enlisted Association

The South Dakota National Guard Enlisted Association (SDNGEA) selects multiple scholarship winners each year. Eligible students are current and retired members of South Dakota National Guard units and their immediate family members.

SI Women’s Opportunity Award

The SI Women’s Opportunity Award is open to female heads of household residing in South Dakota who are working on their first college degree that would otherwise be unable to afford a college education. The North Central Region will award one $5,000 scholarship and at least one $3,000 scholarship each year.

SI Past Governors Award

The SI Past Governors Award provides a $2,000 fellowship to a female student in South Dakota working on a postgraduate degree in Public Service, International Studies, or a field women don’t traditionally enter.

Reduced Tuition – Veterans

South Dakota residents who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or have served in active combat qualify for a 100% tuition waiver for campus-based undergraduate courses at state-supported colleges and universities. Tuition for off-campus and distance education courses is assessed at fifty percent for eligible veterans. The tuition waiver is renewable for up to four years, dependent upon length of military service.