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South Dakota’s first need-based scholarship

Those who receive the scholarship will be required to work in South Dakota for three years...
Those who receive the scholarship will be required to work in South Dakota for three years following graduation.(KSFY)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 7:19 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -South Dakota is the only state in the country that does not offer need-based scholarships to public or private universities, according to officials.

Now that’s going to change thanks to a $50 million dollar gift from T. Denny Sanford and Premier Bankcard to start the “Premier Scholarship” fund. This gift is just the start of what will be a $200 million endowment.

The scholarship will be awarded to students at the state’s six public universities, as well as Augustana and the University of Sioux Falls. Its intention is to give students an opportunity to attend college who wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

“When I look and talk to middle school teachers and high school teachers they tell me about the students that are so strong, but they don’t have that opportunity down the line and they give up, they know they can’t afford to go to college. This will help them dream, chase their dream, and be able to get an education in college,” said Miles Beacom, CEO of Premier Bankcard.

The amount of money available to each university will depend on each school’s enrollment but will range from $200,000 to $1.25 million per school. Those who receive the scholarship will be required to work in South Dakota for three years following graduation.

Governor Kristi Noem has asked the legislature to match Wednesday’s donation.

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