Qualified Applicants Must:
  • Graduate from an accredited South Dakota high school with a Grade Point Average (GPA of) 2.8 or greater on a 4.0 scale.  Home schooled students will be allowed to provide supplemental information if this requirement is not applicable.
  • Have a composite ACT score of 27 or greater (or the SAT equivalent).
  • Agree, in writing, to stay in South Dakota and work in a critical need occupation after graduation for as many years as the scholarship was received, plus one year.   The current critical need occupations for 2023-24 are:
      • ​​​​Teacher - K-12
        • Special Education
        • Foreign Language​
        • Vocal or Instrumental Music
        • English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL)
      • Teacher - Secondary
        • Math
        • Science
        • Career and Technical Education
        • Language Arts
      • Accountant / Auditor
      • Engineer (all fields EXCEPT mining, chemical, biomedical, and computer hardware)
      • ​​Information Technology
      • Registered Nurse​
  • Apply for the Dakota Corps Scholarship for a school period that begins within one year of high school graduation, or within one year of release from active duty of an active component of the armed forces.  
  • Attend a participating South Dakota college as an undergraduate student in a program that will prepare the student to work in a critical need occupation.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
Among those that qualify, recipients will be chosen based on GPA, test scores, activities, honors, and community service. 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.