News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Carol Stonefield, Director of Information

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320


For Immediate Release 06 December 2000


Governor Recommends Regents Scholarship, Appropriation Increase


PIERRE—South Dakota high school students who study hard will soon be rewarded for their efforts, if Governor William J. Janklow’s recommendation is approved by the South Dakota Legislature. In his budget address today, Governor Janklow proposed to establish a scholarship to be awarded to any high school students who earn a Regents Scholars diploma. The scholarship could be used at any public university or technical institute in the state.

"We are delighted that the Governor has recommended the creation of this scholarship," said Regents President Harvey Jewett, Aberdeen. "The Regents have known for some time that those students who take the most rigorous high school courses score higher on the ACT and other college entrance exams. The fact of the matter is that people respond to incentives. When parents realize that their children can earn scholarship money by studying hard in high school, they will see to it that their kids follow that curriculum."

To be eligible for the scholarship a South Dakota resident must complete the Regents Scholars curriculum. In every course the student must earn no final grade below a "C" and must maintain an average grade of "B" (a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) for all courses. A recipient must attend college the first year following high school graduation and must use the assistance in four years. The courses in the Regents Scholars curriculum are compared to the current high school graduation requirements listed on the table below.

Governor Janklow has recommended that the scholarship be financed with money from the tobacco settlement. "I applaud the Governor’s recommendation that tobacco revenues fund this scholarship. We know that smoking habits are affected by educational attainment," said Regent Rudy Nef, Milbank. "As education increases, a person is less likely to smoke. By using the tobacco money we are making a long-term investment in the health of our citizens and encouraging responsible behavior among our young people. I am all for it."

"This program has the potential to have a major impact on high school curriculum," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "We hope that tying scholarships to performance will encourage more students to challenge themselves to take the more demanding courses. In districts where some of the courses are not offered, we hope parents and communities will see the value in expanding their curricular offerings."

Jewett said, "The Governor is sending a very positive message that we want our young people to make something of themselves. Not only that, we want them—indeed, we need them—to stay in South Dakota to earn their degrees, work, and raise their families. This scholarship is a vote of confidence in the next generation."

In other budget matters, the Governor has recommended for higher education a net increase of $19,657,971 over the current fiscal year budget. That comprises $6,185,130 in general funds, $3,300,598 in federal fund authority, and $10,172,243 in other fund authority. Among items recommended for funding are Internet 2, a high speed network used in research and other educational activities. Funds are recommended for on-going operations associated with V-Tel equipment used with the Dakota Digital Network.

Comparison of Current High School Graduation Requirements
and the Regents Scholars Curriculum


Current High School Graduation Requirements

Regents Scholars Curriculum

English/language arts

4 units: 1 of writing, 1 of literature, of speech

4 units

Social Studies

3 units: 1 of US history, of US government, of geography

3 units


2 units

4 units: 3 units in the academic track at algebra and higher

Laboratory science

2 units

4 units: 3 units of approved laboratory science

Computer skills

unit: laboratory computer studies

unit: laboratory computer studies

Fine arts



Foreign language


2 units: modern or classical language

For more information contact Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, (605) 773-3455.



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