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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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10 South Dakota Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

What’s Covered:


Rolling prairies, historical monuments, streams and hills — these are all features that define South Dakota. Even though that state is one of the smallest in the nation in terms of population, it continues to offer abundant educational opportunities, including scholarships for its residents.


10 South Dakota Scholarships


1. South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship


Amount: Up to $6,500

Deadline: September 1 (fall enrollment)/January 15 (spring enrollment)

Eligibility: Minimum 24 ACT or 1180 SAT and 3.0 GPA and attend an approved school in South Dakota

Application Requirements: Application, transcript, SAT/ACT score report


The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to students who have pursued a challenging curriculum and high academic standards. The scholarship may be granted to students for the equivalent of four academic years or until they receive their baccalaureate degree. 


2. ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 29

Eligibility: High school seniors and residents of Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wisconsin

Application Requirements: Registration


Students who are planning on attending an eligible college the fall following registration may register for this scholarship. There are no financial need, minimum grade point average or class rank requirements. Recipients are selected from a random drawing. Parents may also sign up on behalf of their students.


3. Richard Hagen-Minerva Harvey Scholarship


Amount: Minimum $6,000 for four years of attendance (total)

Deadline: April 13

Eligibility: Enrolled members of American Indian tribes who graduated from an accredited South Dakota high school who apply within five years after high school graduation

Application Requirements: Application, transcript, two letters of recommendation, essay, verification of tribal enrollment, personal statement, community service, standardized test scores if available


American Indian tribal members can take advantage of this scholarship, amounting to a minimum of $1,000 each for the first two years, a minimum of $1,500 for the third year, and $2,500 for the fourth year. Students must submit an essay explaining why they deserve to receive the scholarship.


4. Dakota Corps Scholarship Program


Amount: Tuition and fees (varies)

Deadline: February 1

Eligibility: Must commit to enter a critical need occupation in state following completion of the program of study; must have a minimum 2.8 GPA and 27 ACT or SAT equivalent

Application Requirements: Application; certification of GPA, class rank, and ACT/SAT from school official; signed Acceptance and Promissory Note


The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program was established to encourage South Dakota’s high school graduates to complete their postsecondary education in state and work in a critical need occupation. Critical need occupations vary from year to year; in 2022–23, they include Teacher, Accountant, Engineer, Information Technology, and Registered Nurse. 


5. Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship


Amount: N/A

Deadline: April 15 

Eligibility: Must attend a participating SD postsecondary institution and have a minimum 2.8 GPA

Application Requirements: Agreement in writing to stay in South Dakota and work in a critical teaching need occupation, promissory note, scholarship application form, employment verification form


The Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship encourages South Dakota residents to become teachers in the state. Upon program completion, recipients must work in a critical need teaching area in South Dakota. 


6. Scott Mecham BBB Student of Integrity Award


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 11

Eligibility: High school senior in Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas Plains, or Southwest Iowa

Application Requirements: Essay, application, recommendations


Honoring former Better Business Bureau President Scott Mecham, these awards recognize students who personify the values of leadership and integrity that Mecham exemplified. Qualities that are considered include community service, leadership, and academic excellence. 


7. Ardell Bjugstad Scholarship Program


Amount: $500

Deadline: February 25

Eligibility: Enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe whose reservation is located in South Dakota or North Dakota

Application Requirements: Application, transcript, two letters of recommendation, verification of tribal enrollment


The Ardell Bjugstad Scholarship Program for Native American High School Seniors recognizes students planning to pursue a degree in agriculture or natural resources or a related field. Applicants must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe whose reservation is located in South Dakota or North Dakota.


8. KASF Midwestern Region Scholarship


Amount: $500-$5,000

Deadline: June 30

Eligibility: Must be of Korean heritage, have a minimum 3.0 GPA and enroll at a school in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin

Application Requirements: Application, essay, recommendations


This award is offered to qualified Korean American students, including foreign students from Korea (if additional funds are available, non-Korean descendants of American veterans who served in the Korean War may apply as well). Applicants are evaluated based on financial need, scholastic achievement, community service, and extracurricular activities.


9. ​​Jump Start Scholarship


Amount: $1,500

Deadline: N/A

Eligibility: Must complete the requirements of a recommended high school program (per the Board of Education) and complete high school in three years or fewer

Application Requirements: Application, transcript


The Jump Start Scholarship supports students who graduate from a public high school in three years or fewer. In order to be eligible, students must enroll in a college, university, or technical school accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools that provides instruction from a campus located in South Dakota.


10. Marlin R. Scarborough Memorial Scholarship


Amount: $1,500

Deadline: Set by individual universities

Eligibility: Students in their junior year at public universities in South Dakota with a minimum 3.5 GPA

Application Requirements: Nomination from university, application, essay


Named for the late president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, this scholarship supports students who are already in college at a South Dakota public university. Each school may nominate one student each year. As part of their applications, students will complete an essay explaining their leadership and academic qualities, career plans, and educational interests.  



Tips for Applying for Scholarships


1. Look to institutional aid first.


Your best source of financial aid is the college or university you attend. Many schools offer generous packages, including both merit and need-based scholarships, and most of the top schools have done away with loans. That means you won’t even have to pay back the awards you receive.


2. Start early.


Kick off your scholarship search freshman year. That way, you will have mapped out your strategy by the time college season rolls around, when you’re bogged down with college applications. You’ll also be able to take advantage of scholarships with earlier deadlines.


3. Cast a wide net.


Apply for as many scholarships as you can — assuming you meet the qualifications. There’s no limit to the number of awards you can win (although they may impact your institutional aid), so there’s no downside to applying — and continuing to apply!

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.