Building a Better Future – For You and For South Dakota

Build Dakota gives students entering South Dakota tech schools an opportunity to plan a foundation for their future. You’ll come out of school with no student debt and a set of skills in high demand, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and start your career right away.

Program Details

  • Both in-state students and out-of-state students are eligible for the scholarships.
  • Scholars of all ages are welcome to apply.
  • The scholarships will support tuition, fees, books and other required program expenses in the eligible technical college programs.
  • Recipients of the scholarships will commit to living and working in the state, in their field of study, for three years following graduation.
  • In the first five years, a projected 300 scholarships will be awarded annually. Beyond the first five years, the endowment will support approximately 50 full-ride scholarships.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. national (May be eligible if you have a green card and are eligible for federal financial aid.)
  • Applicants need not be South Dakota residents.
  • Must complete the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Demonstrated aptitude through one or more of the following:
    • The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) or other industry-recognized certifications in the career area.
    • Technical, dual or concurrent credit courses taken in the career interest area.
    • Career & Technical Education coursework completed in the career interest area.
    • Work-based learning experiences, internships or work experience in the career interest area.
  • Enrolling as a first-time student in a high need program. Previous college or technical college attendance is acceptable.

Student Commitment

In accepting scholarship awards, recipients will agree to:

  • Enroll full-time in a technical college program determined as a high-need workforce area in South Dakota.
  • Following graduation, work full-time in the field of study in South Dakota for a minimum of three years.