Top Scholarships for South Dakota Students to Apply in May 2024

South Dakota, with a population of over 895,000, is home to a diverse range of educational opportunities. Of the 51,809 college students in South Dakota, about 33,600 attend public universities governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. The state also boasts 137,468 students enrolled in K-12 public education. With the rising number of K-12 students, more opportunities are opening up for those planning to pursue college educations. The financial stress brought on by COVID-19 has had a significant impact, making scholarship awards and federal student aid crucial for students looking to attend higher education institutions.

Top 10 Scholarships for South Dakota Students

  1. South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship: This scholarship is designed for high school seniors who have shown academic excellence. It provides financial assistance to students attending one of the 16 eligible institutions in South Dakota.
  2. Dakota Corps Scholarship: This program offers full-tuition scholarships to students who agree to work in critical need occupations within South Dakota after graduation.
  3. South Dakota Need-Based Grant: This grant provides financial assistance to students with significant financial need who are attending eligible South Dakota colleges and universities.
  4. Build Dakota Scholarship: This scholarship covers full tuition and fees for students enrolled in eligible technical programs in high-demand fields in South Dakota.
  5. Richard Hagen-Minerva Harvey Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship supports Native American students from South Dakota who are pursuing higher education.
  6. South Dakota Retired School Personnel Scholarship: This scholarship is for students majoring in education or a related field with plans to become teachers in South Dakota.
  7. South Dakota Soil and Water Conservation Society Scholarship: This scholarship is for students pursuing degrees in natural resources, conservation, or related fields.
  8. South Dakota Engineering Society Scholarship: This scholarship supports students pursuing engineering degrees in South Dakota.
  9. Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation Scholarships: Various scholarships for students from the Sioux Falls area, based on academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need.
  10. Horatio Alger South Dakota Scholarship Program: This scholarship assists high school seniors who have faced and overcome significant obstacles in their lives and are pursuing higher education.

South Dakota Students and Student Debt

College costs can seem daunting, especially with rising tuition rates nationwide. Since the start of the 21st century, college costs have increased by 16.1% when adjusted for inflation. The national student loan debt currently totals $1.75 trillion. Financial aid is available to help students avoid future debt or pay off existing loans.

In South Dakota, there are 113,000 residents with student loan debt, averaging $31,900 per borrower. This is lower than the national average of $39,351, but still significant. About 73% of South Dakota students graduate with student debt, highlighting the importance of scholarships and financial aid.

South Dakota Student Demographics

South Dakota has a predominantly white population, with 84.6% of residents identifying as white, compared to the national average of 76.3%. The state has a small population, ranking 46th in the country. About 11.6% of South Dakota’s population lives below the poverty line, close to the national percentage of 11.4%.

Education Opportunities in South Dakota

South Dakota is home to 31 colleges and universities, including 12 public institutions and 19 private schools. Popular colleges in South Dakota include the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Augustana University. The student-to-teacher ratio at South Dakota universities averages 12.14:1, providing a more personalized educational experience.

High school seniors planning to attend college in South Dakota have various 2-4-year programs to choose from, each accepting students with varying levels of academic achievement and financial need.

Costs of a College Education in South Dakota

For the 2021-2022 school year, the average cost of tuition for in-state South Dakota students was $7,957, while out-of-state tuition averaged $12,670. These figures are higher for in-state students but lower for out-of-state students compared to the national averages of $6,617 and $18,070, respectively.

Tuition is not the only cost associated with college. Students must also consider the cost of living, including housing, food, textbooks, and other expenses. Planning for these additional costs is crucial when saving for college.

Scholarships for High School Students in South Dakota

High school is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the scholarship process. Various scholarships are available to help high school students prepare for college, including:

  • A Courageous Spirit No-Essay Scholarship
  • Financial Freedom No-Essay Scholarship
  • Lo Easton’s “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship
  • 100 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship
  • Lillian’s and Ruby’s Way Scholarship

Scholarships for High School Seniors in South Dakota

High school seniors have specific scholarships aimed at helping them transition to college:

  • Jake Thomas Williams Memorial Scholarship
  • Davila Scholarship
  • Frances Loretta Memorial Scholarship

Scholarships for College Students in South Dakota

College students in South Dakota can find numerous scholarships to help fund their education. Here are a few examples:

  • Forget Your Student Debt No-Essay Grant
  • Financial Freedom Scholarship
  • HSINTELLIGENCE Minority/Indigenous Nurse Leader Scholarship

Scholarships for College Freshmen in South Dakota

College freshmen can start their scholarship journey with these opportunities:

  • Dr. Magidson Memorial Theater Scholarship
  • KBK Artworks Scholarship
  • Bold Financial Literacy Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships in South Dakota

Are there South Dakota scholarships for teachers?

Yes, there are education scholarships specifically for future teachers to help them prepare for their important roles. These scholarships are available through various organizations and educational institutions.

How to apply for scholarships in South Dakota?

Applying for scholarships typically involves creating a profile on a scholarship platform, filling out personal and academic information, and searching for scholarships that match your qualifications. Most scholarships will require an application, which may include an essay or other materials.

When can I start applying?

High school students aged 14 and older can start applying for scholarships. It’s best to begin the search early, as scholarships are available year-round.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a scholarship?

Each scholarship has specific eligibility requirements listed in its description. Make sure you meet these requirements before applying to avoid wasting time on ineligible scholarships.

Are scholarships counted as income?

Scholarships are generally not counted as income if the award is sent directly to your educational institution to cover tuition and fees. If you receive excess funds after paying education expenses, those funds may be considered taxable income.

By exploring and applying for scholarships, South Dakota students can significantly reduce their financial burden and make higher education more accessible.