​​Purpose

The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program was created by Gov. Rounds to encourage South Dakota’s high school graduates to:
  • Obtain their postsecondary 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
 

Administration and Funding

  • The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program is funded by private businesses, nonprofit corporations, the Governor's Office and the South Dakota Department of Labor.
    • The Dakota Corps Scholarship Board, a Board appointed by the governor, selects the scholarship recipients.
    • As of June 2011, the program is administered by the South Dakota Board of Regents, governing board of SD's public university system.

Scholarship Award

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.

Remaining tuition and generally-applicable fees must be covered by the participating college through institutional scholarship or tuition waiver. 

 

The Dakota Corps Commitment

 
Each recipient promises to enter a critical need occupation in South Dakota following completion of the program of study.  The number of years a recipient must work in a critical need occupation to fulfill the entire obligation is equal to the sum of the number of years of scholarship received, plus one year.  For example, a four-year scholarship recipient must work five years; a three-year scholarship recipient must work four years; a two-year scholarship recipient must work three years, etc.
 
If the recipient does not complete his/her commitment, the scholarship converts to a low interest loan which must be repaid.
 

Areas of Critical Need

The Department of Labor will designate shortage occupations from time to time.  The current critical need occupations for 2017-18 are:
 
  • Teacher - High School Math
  • Teacher - High School Science
  • Teacher - Elementary or Secondary Special Education
  • Teacher - High School Career and Technical Education
  • Teacher - K-12 Foreign Language
  • Accountant / Auditor
  • Engineer (includes all fields EXCEPT mining)
  • Information Technology
  • Registered Nurse