South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

$1,300–$2,600Award Amount
1Number of Awards
1/15/2023Submission Deadline

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The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to South Dakota’s most academically accomplished high school graduate students. It enables them to receive an affordable education at any accredited university, college, or technical school in South Dakota.

Established in 2004 by the South Dakota Legislature, the program is funded through the state of South Dakota’s Education Enhancement Trust Fund. Starting in the fall of 2015, the scholarship provides between $1,300 – $2,600 per year to qualifying students attending an eligible higher education institute in South Dakota.

There is a list of eligible institutions on the scholarship website. The funding is now provided in installments over the course of four years.

Key Information of South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

Study Details

Area of Study


Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools

  • Augustana University
  • Black Hills State University
  • Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Dakota State University
  • Lake Area Technical College
  • Mount Marty University
  • Mitchell Technical College
  • National American University
  • Northern State University
  • Presentation College
  • South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • South Dakota State University
  • Southeast Technical College
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Sioux Falls
  • Western Dakota Technical College

Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study

  • Undergraduate
  • Vocational/Technical School

Award Amount


Number of Awards


South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship Timeline

November 2022

Application Opening Date

Applications open on November 1.

January 2023

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is on January 15.

Scholarship Eligibility

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

  • Eligible Grade: High School Graduate
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: 2
  • Geographic Eligibility: South Dakota
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

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

  • Essay
  • Standardized Test Scores

How to ace the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship


Get the right score

Whether you are applying based on ACT scores or SAT scores, ensure that you have the required scores.


Go through the list of approved courses

Applicants must meet the curriculum requirements. Before taking on a course in high school, they should ensure it is a listed approved course.


Go through the list of participating institutions

Every participating institution must be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Make sure the school you are interested in is listed on the website.


Apply as early as possible

Although it is alright to submit your application by the due date, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications at the earliest so the financial aid office can begin work and package the scholarship in a timelier manner.

How the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship is Judged

Applications will be judged on the basis of a high school transcript. However, through the course of the scholarship, applicants must continue to meet certain requirements. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the candidate being declared permanently ineligible for further funding.

Why We Love the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship


Everyone wins

Every student, who meets the eligibility requirements, can expect to receive a scholarship award. If there are more students than budgeted for the scholarship may be prorated and distributed to each recipient proportionately.


It continuously assesses students

Half the scholarship for a year is distributed at the beginning of the fall semester and the other half, at the beginning of the spring semester. In between, if a student fails to maintain their scores, they are ineligible to receive next year’s funding.


It allows for second chances

If a student loses eligibility because they failed to maintain their GPA, they can re-establish and improve their GPA and apply to be reinstated in the program.

5 Facts About South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship


It takes into account vocational studies

Students, pursuing vocational courses that have been approved by the Department of Education, can apply.


It allows students to transfer schools

If for some reason a student wishes to transfer to another school during the scholarship, they can do so as long as they meet all the initial requirements.


You can take a break after graduation

The scholarship program requires students to enter it within five years of high school graduation.


It requires a wide range of knowledge

As part of the curriculum requirements, students must have completed courses in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Technical Education or Language, Personal Finance or Economics, Physical Education & Health, or Health Integration.


Schools are the decision makers

All applications are to be submitted directly to the school where the candidate is applying. The school decides on initial eligibility.

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