The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program is funded by private businesses, nonprofit corporations, the Governor's Office and the South Dakota Department of Labor.
- The Dakota Corps Scholarship Board, a Board appointed by the governor, selects the scholarship recipients.
- As of June 2011, the program is administered by the South Dakota Board of Regents, governing board of SD's public university system.
The intent of the program is that the recipients do not pay anything towards tuition and generally applicable fees. The scholarships are in an amount approximately equal to:
- The maximum tuition and generally-applicable fees for 16 undergraduate credit hours (per fall and spring semester) at an institution of higher education under the control of the South Dakota Board of Regents for recipients attending a public four-year college, or
- The same amount that is paid for a public four-year college if the student is attending a private nonprofit college. Remaining tuition and generally applicable fees must be covered by the participating nonprofit college through institutional scholarship or tuition waiver.
- An amount determined on an individual basis for technical college recipients that will never exceed the maximum tuition and generally applicable fees for sixteen (16) undergraduate credit hours per semester for a public college, or
- The maximum tuition and generally-applicable fees for a full-time undergraduate student at a tribal college if the recipient is attending a tribal college.
- Not all eligible applicants will be selected for a scholarship. From the total pool of applicants, a limited number of recipients will be selected. Also, some South Dakota colleges may limit the number of scholarship recipients they accept, or not participate at all.
- All applicants will be notified of the decisions made by the second week of May.
Remaining tuition and generally-applicable fees must be covered by the participating college through institutional scholarship or tuition waiver.
Each recipient promises to enter a critical need occupation in South Dakota following completion of the program of study. The number of years a recipient must work in a critical need occupation to fulfill the entire obligation is equal to the sum of the number of years of scholarship received, plus one year. For example, a four-year scholarship recipient must work five years; a three-year scholarship recipient must work four years; a two-year scholarship recipient must work three years, etc.
If the recipient does not complete his/her commitment, the scholarship converts to a low interest loan which must be repaid.
Qualified Applicants Must:
- Graduate from an accredited South Dakota high school with a Grade Point Average (GPA of) 2.8 or greater on a 4.0 scale. Home schooled students will be allowed to provide supplemental information if this requirement is not applicable.
- Have a composite ACT score of 27 or greater (or the SAT equivalent).
- Agree, in writing, to stay in South Dakota and work in a critical need occupation after graduation for as many years as the scholarship was received, plus one year. The current critical need occupations for 2017-18 are:
- Teacher - High School Math
- Teacher - High School Science
- Teacher - Elementary or Secondary Special Education
- Teacher - High School Career and Technical Education
- Teacher - K-12 Foreign Language
- Accountant / Auditor
- Engineer (includes all fields EXCEPT mining)
- Information Technology
- Registered Nurse
- Apply for the Dakota Corps Scholarship for a school period that begins within one year of high school graduation, or within one year of release from active duty of an active component of the armed forces.
- Attend a participating South Dakota college as an undergraduate student in a program that will prepare the student to work in a critical need occupation.
- Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
Among those that qualify, recipients will be chosen based on GPA, test scores, activities, honors, and community service. Not all eligible applicants will be selected for a scholarship. From the total pool of applicants, a limited number of recipients will be selected. Also, some South Dakota colleges may limit the number of scholarship recipients they accept, or not participate at all.
The deadline to apply is for the following academic year is usually around February 1.