Applying to scholarships can make a big impact — even a small scholarship can have an impact on making your #DakotaDreams come true by pursing education after high school. Don’t miss out on these worthwhile opportunities to make your dreams more affordable!


Build Dakota Scholarship

Sometimes your Dakota Dreams can help make the dreams of others a reality — A career in nursing, engineering, automotive, or ag technology are high-need jobs that help to provide essential services to your community, friends, and family.

Build Dakota is a scholarship program created for skilled scholars entering high-demand programs at South Dakota technical colleges — Allowing South Dakotans to earn their degrees for free, and it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to apply!

By applying for the Build Dakota Scholarship, you’re one step closer to a successful future — Opening the door to get there faster and debt-free, by supporting tuition, fees, books, and other required program expenses in the eligible technical college programs.

Accepting the scholarship means you agree to:

  • Enroll full-time in a high-need industry program at a South Dakota technical college.
  • Following graduation, work full-time in your field of study for a minimum of three years in South Dakota.
  • Students who graduate from South Dakota technical colleges have a 98-100% placement rate.

Dakota Corps Scholarship

Deadline is February 1st — Apply now!

The Dakota Corps Scholarship for high school and college students in South Dakota provides full tuition and generally applicable fees to selected qualified applicants in critical need occupations that for the 2022-2023 academic year included:

  • Teaching K-12 foreign language in a public, private or parochial school. (Reinstated May 2015)
  • Teaching K-12 special education in a public, private, or parochial school.
  • Teaching high school math or science in a public, private, or parochial school.
  • Teaching high school career and technical education in a public, private, or parochial school.
  • Working as a Registered Nurse.
  • Working as an Accountant/Auditor
  • Working as an Engineer (includes all fields EXCEPT mining, Chemical, biomedical, and computer hardware)
  • Working in Information Technology

SD Opportunity Scholarship

For fall semester, the deadline is September 1st — Apply now!

Do you meet the following requirements? If so, then through the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship you can receive up to $6,500 over the course of your postsecondary career! Open to eligible homeschool students as well.

  • Resident of South Dakota at time of high school graduation.
  • ACT composite or superscore of 24 or higher or an equivalent score as determined by the Board of Regents on the SAT.
  • Complete required coursework in areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Fine Arts, and other areas depending on graduation date. Students are encouraged to review additional information specific to the coursework requirements at 
  • Complete course requirements listed above with no final grade below a “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) and an un-weighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (grade of “B”).
  • Students earning a composite or superscore of 28 or higher AND meets the ACT college readiness benchmark scores (equaling or exceeding 18 for English, 22 for reading, 22 for math, and 23 for science), are not required to meet the curriculum requirements (see previous two bullet points)


Freedom Scholarship 

Education after high school can be expensive for anyone, but with the clear financial gap in post-secondary education, the fees and cost can disproportionality effect South Dakotans — The Freedom Scholarship wants to change that. A state-wide initiative, it encourages students of all economic backgrounds to live and work in South Dakota after graduation.

Apply today! 

The South Dakota Freedom Scholarship is South Dakota’s first public / private partnership for a need-based scholarship — now the state’s largest financial need-based scholarship — made possible by the generosity of First PREMIER Bank / PREMIER Bankcard, the State of South Dakota under the leadership of Governor Kristi Noem, Avera Health, and Sanford Health. Managed by the South Dakota Community Foundation, this funding is in an endowment that will continue to provide scholarships in perpetuity.

Critical Needs Teaching Scholarship

Deadline is April 15th — Apply today! 

Established under Senate Bill 233 in 2013, the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship opens doors for students preparing to work in a critical need teaching area.  Students who will be Juniors or Seniors in the upcoming academic year and who are accepted into an elementary or secondary education program at a participating South Dakota postsecondary institution are eligible to apply. 

The critical teaching needs areas with in a public, private, or parochial school for the 2020-2021 academic year include:

  • Teaching K-12 Special Education
  • Teaching High School Math or Science
  • Teaching High School Career and Technical Education
  • Teaching Secondary Language Arts
  • Teaching Secondary World Language
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Teaching K-12 Vocal or Instrumental Music