Build Dakota Scholarship Fund

$20,000–$60,000Award Amount
1Number of Awards
3/31/2023Submission Deadline

In South Dakota, several workforce fields have been deemed to have a high need, indicating a labor shortage. Particular fields include nursing, engineering, and automotive technology. The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund was established to offer full scholarships to qualified students and, in doing so, alleviate the state’s labor needs.

To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be accepted into an eligible area of study in one of the four South Dakota technical colleges. All applicants must be citizens of the United States with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. By accepting the scholarship, you are making a three-year commitment to remain in South Dakota after graduation and work with one of the industry sponsors.

The recipients of the scholarship are awarded amounts between $20,000 to $60,000. This amount, which covers one’s entire tuition, fees, books, and tools needs, ensures that the student studies for free. As such, the scholarship ensures that students get free and quality education, businesses in South Dakota get quality professionals, and the whole of South Dakota’s economy expands.

Key Information of Build Dakota Scholarship Fund

Study Details

Area of Study

  • Architecture
  • Automation
  • Electrical
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Nursing
  • Technology

Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools

  • Mitchell Technical College
  • Lake Area Technical College
  • Southeast Technical College
  • Western Dakota Technical College

Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study

Vocational/Technical School

Award Amount


Number of Awards


Build Dakota Scholarship Fund Timeline

January 2023

Application Opening Date

Applications open on January 1.

March 2023

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is on March 31.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Senior – Undergraduate
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: 2.5
  • Geographic Eligibility: South Dakota
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Financial Information
  • School Verification
  • Grade transcript

How to ace the Build Dakota Scholarship Fund


Research on the industry partners

Research the potential industry sponsors before settling on one to make sure that you choose to work with a company that aligns with your personal goals and ensures your growth.


Start early

Start your application process as soon as they open because you will require ample time to complete and file the Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, collect your transcripts, and complete the application form.


Sell yourself

If the industry sponsors contact you for an interview, make sure to refer broadly to your past work experiences and the skills and qualities that you have built over the years.


Prepare adequately for the interview

Research and prepare thoroughly for the interview with the business partners. During the day of the interview, arrive early, dress appropriately, and do not shy away from asking questions if prompted to.

How the Build Dakota Scholarship Fund is Judged

The selection criteria will include academic performance, industry partnerships, previous work experiences, high school CTE experience, financial need, and other awards or certifications.

Why We Love the Build Dakota Scholarship Fund


A win for all parties involved

Businesses commit to sponsoring students and covering some of their program costs while the scholarship covers the remaining amount, with that, the students get a free and quality education while the industry sponsor gains a qualified employee.


Guaranteed employment

Recipients of the scholarship can secure a three-year employment opportunity before their graduation.


Training for students

The scholarship allows students to experience on-the-job training and part-time work while they are still in school.

5 Facts About Build Dakota Scholarship Fund


Specific colleges under the scholarship program

The four colleges under the Build Dakota Scholarship Fund are Southeast Technical College, Mitchell Tech, Lake Area Technical College, and Western Dakota Technical College.


Financial need is required

Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide accurate financial information.


A 98-100% placement rate

Every year, 98–100% of the Build Dakota scholars are integrated into companies with industry sponsors.


The fund was established in 2015

The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 by business leaders and forward-thinking legislators to address South Dakota's workforce issues.


Scholars are ineligible for other institutional scholarships

Scholars of the Build Dakota Scholarship are not eligible to apply for other institutional scholarships while they are under the scholarship program.

NFWL Essay Student Scholarship Contest

NFWL Essay Student Scholarship Contest is an annual scholarship program that awards a total of $5,000 to an undergraduate or graduate female student attending college or university in South Carolina.

Scholarships awarded
1 winner
Required GPA
August 1

Talent Incentive Program Grants

Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program (WEOP) offers the Talent Incentive Grants, ranging from $600 to $1,800, to low-income and disadvantaged first-time freshmen Wisconsin students to support their education.

Scholarships awarded
1 winner
Required GPA
December 31