Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship – ​Frequently Asked Questions

Parents / Students​ ​


What are the critical need areas for the 2021-2022 academic year?

  • Teacher - K12 Special Education
  • Teacher - High School Career or Technical Education
  • Teacher - Secondary Language Arts
  • Teacher - High School Math
  • Teacher - High School Science
  • Teacher - Secondary World Language
  • Teacher - English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Teacher - K12 Vocal or Instrumental Music
What is the interest rate of the CTNS for the 2020-2021 academic year?
  •   It is a fixed rate of 2.75%


What are the initial eligibility criteria to apply for Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship?

  • Agree in writing to stay in South Dakota and work in a critical teaching need occupation for five years after graduating from a participating  postsecondary institution;
  • Agree, through a promissory note, that failure to abide by employment requirement above will result in the scholarship being converted into an interest-bearing loan;
  • Attend a participating South Dakota postsecondary institution as and undergraduate enrolled in your final two years of postsecondary education and be fully admitted in an elementary or secondary education program at the institution that is preparing you to work in a
    critical need teaching area;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
  • Have a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and an average of 2.8 GPA for all major coursework.

What is the term for the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship? 
  • The scholarship term is awarded for one academic year, typically paid out each Fall and Spring Semester.  Students who are awarded the scholarship for their junior year and have maintained the Continuing Eligibility Criteria for the scholarship are eligible to reapply and receive the scholarship for their senior year with a two year maximum award. 



What is the process for verifying employment after graduation?


Do you need to be a Regents Scholar in order to qualify for the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship?

  • No, because these are two different programs, you do not have to be a Regent Scholar to qualify for this particular scholarship.    


Is Business Education a program that would fall under the Career & Technical Education area?
What is the Continuing Eligibility Criteria for receiving the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship?
(Must be maintained by those who are in the program to continue to receive their funding) (Must reapply for the scholarship each academic year)
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale;
  • Be considered a full-time student as defined by the college;
  • Make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree; and
  • Attend a participating South Dakota College.

Must a student be a South Dakota resident?
  • Students do not need to graduate from a South Dakota high school or be a South Dakota resident, but they do need to be a U.S. citizen
    or lawful permanent resident.