South Dakota Freedom Scholarship helps students fill the gaps when paying for higher education

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 8:23 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The South Dakota Freedom Scholarship is helping students of all economic backgrounds in the Mount Rushmore state access higher education.

“The Freedom Scholarship is the first public/private partnership for a need-based scholarship in South Dakota,” said Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier Bank in Sioux Falls. “We are aiming to build the workforce here in our state. You need to be a South Dakota resident to qualify and seek a baccalaureate degree from one of the participating universities, graduate in 5 years or less and maintain a 2.0 GPA and there’s a work requirement. Fall 2022 is our first year granting these scholarships and $5 million was available. The universities awarded roughly 1,276 scholarships to students all over South Dakota. Scholarships ranged between $1,500 and $5,000. In October we held a press conference in Sioux Falls where we shared some students’ stories and announced First PREMIER and PREMIER Bankcard gave another $50 million to the scholarship endowment. We would love to have other businesses and donors join us.”