South Dakota Student Loans And Financial Aid Programs
South Dakota has several private student loan and financial aid programs that can help you pay for college. If you're going to be attending college in South Dakota, you need to be looking to take advantage of these programs.
These programs are designed to help make college more affordable - so that you can get the education you need. These programs can include scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Don't forget that there are Federal student loan programs available as well. You can find out more on how to get a Federal student loan here.
There is also a specific order of operations to pay for college that we recommend students follow. These programs specific to the State of Dakota can help you to avoid borrowing more money than you need to.
South Dakota Student Loan Programs
South Dakota doesn't have any unique student loan programs to help it's students pay for college. However, there are still Federal student loans available to students who attend college in South Dakota.
If you're just looking for private student loan options, we recommend:
- Credible - Like the Kayak of student loans, they help you shop around and compare options. Try Credible here.
- College Ave - One of the best private student loan lenders. Get A Quote At College Ave Here.
Check out our complete guide to finding the best student loans here.
South Dakota Scholarship Programs
South Dakota only has one state-wide scholarship program that we could find, but most of the colleges and universities in the state offer scholarships as well.
Build Dakota Scholarship
You can get a 100% scholarship to South Dakota technical schools if you apply to the Build Dakota Scholarship and complete all qualifying activities.
The scholarships will support 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.
Learn more about the Build Dakota Scholarship here.
Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship
Provides financial assistance to South Dakota high school graduates who attend an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota and promise to work in a critical teaching need occupation in South Dakota for five years after graduating from a participating postsecondary institution.
Learn more about the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship here.
Dakota Corps Scholarship
The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program was created by Gov. Rounds to encourage South Dakota’s high school graduates to:
- Obtain their post-secondary education in South Dakota
- Remain in the state upon completion of their education
- Contribute to the state of South Dakota and its citizens by working in a critical need occupation
The intent of the program is that the recipients do not pay anything towards tuition and generally applicable fees. The scholarships are in an amount approximately equal to:
- The maximum tuition and generally-applicable fees for 16 undergraduate credit hours (per fall and spring semester) at an institution of higher education under the control of the South Dakota Board of Regents for recipients attending a public four-year college, or
- The same amount that is paid for a public four-year college if the student is attending a private nonprofit college. Remaining tuition and generally applicable fees must be covered by the participating nonprofit college through institutional scholarship or tuition waiver.
- An amount determined on an individual basis for technical college recipients that will never exceed the maximum tuition and generally applicable fees for sixteen (16) undergraduate credit hours per semester for a public college, or
- The maximum tuition and generally-applicable fees for a full-time undergraduate student at a tribal college if the recipient is attending a tribal college.
- Not all eligible applicants will be selected for a scholarship. From the total pool of applicants, a limited number of recipients will be selected. Also, some South Dakota colleges may limit the number of scholarship recipients they accept, or not participate at all.
- All applicants will be notified of the decisions made by the second week of May.
Learn more about the Dakota Corps Scholarship.
The Freedom Scholarship was created to help students finish college degrees and keep skilled, talented workers in state.
Qualified South Dakota students may be eligible to receive a needs-based scholarship to attend a participating postsecondary institution located in the state. Each institution determines Freedom Scholarship recipients based on eligibility criteria including a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Learn more about the Freedom Scholarship here.
Hagan Harvey Scholarship
Provides $6,000 over four years for study at a South Dakota postsecondary institution to enrolled members of American Indian tribes.
Annual scholarship award amounts include a minimum of $1,000 for each of the first two years of attendance, a minimum of $1,500 for the third year of attendance, and a minimum of $2,500 for the fourth year of attendance.
Learn more about the Hagan Harvey Scholarship here.
South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides up to $7,500 over four years to a qualifying student who attends an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota. Recipients may participate in the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship program for the equivalent of four academic years (eight consecutive fall and spring terms), or until attaining a baccalaureate degree.
Learn more about the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship here.
South Dakota Grant Programs
We could not find any South Dakota Grant programs to help students pay for college.
If you already have student loans and are looking for options as a South Dakota resident, check out our South Dakota Student Loan Forgiveness Program page. That page has all the different options available to South Dakota residents to potentially get some of your student loan debt forgiven.
You might also look at refinancing your student loans and saving money in interest while also potentially lowering your payment. Check out our guide on the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
If you're looking for ways to save for college in South Dakota, check out the South Dakota 529 Plan and College Savings Guide.
Finally, check out the other student loan and financial aid programs by state.
Editor: Colin Graves Reviewed by: Chris Muller