Finish Strong

Too many Americans think a four-year degree is the only path to a successful career. Build Dakota and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation are working to change that.

The new Finish Strong Scholarship will award up to 10 second-year tech students with $5,000 for tuition. If you’re entering your last year at a South Dakota tech school—and aren’t afraid of a little hard work—we invite you to apply.


  • Both in-state students and out-of-state students are eligible for the scholarships.
  • Scholars of all ages are welcome to apply, as long as they are on track to complete their first year of technical education by May of 2020 and planning to continue their education at the same institution in the Fall of 2020.
  • The scholarships will support tuition, fees, books, and other required program expenses in the eligible technical institute programs.
  • As part of the process, applicants must sign The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge.
  • The application Deadline is Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Time Zone. *This deadline has passed.
  • Faculty and staff from South Dakota technical schools are invited to recommend students for the Finish Strong Scholarship. Please email your recommendation to


  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in one of four South Dakota technical schools:
    • Western Dakota Tech
    • Mitchell Technical Institute
    • Lake Area Technical Institute
    • Southeast Technical Institute
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing and on track to complete all first-year course work by May of 2020
  • Applicants need not be South Dakota residents.
  • U.S. citizen or U.S. national (May be eligible if you have a green card and are eligible for federal financial aid.)
  • Build Dakota Scholarship recipients are not eligible to receive the Finish Strong Scholarship.


  • In accepting scholarship awards, recipients will agree to:
    • Carry out the oath outlined in The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge the applicant signed as part of their application.
    • Be used to promote Build Dakota, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, and Technical Education in South Dakota.

Applications for 2020-2021 are now closed.

If you are looking for information on the Build Dakota Scholarships program, please click here. If you are looking for information on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, click here.