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Academic Scholarships

The freshmen application for academic scholarships is now closed.
Transfer student scholarship application is currently open.  Apply Today!

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Check out our freshman scholarship calculator and see how much Coyote Commitment Scholarship money may be available to you!
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University of South Dakota Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa and Transfer Students

The USD Transfer Scholarship Application is now available online
. Create your account  to begin your application.

  • Transfer students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply.
  • Community College transfer students who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society are encouraged to apply.
  • Up to $2,000 over two years.
  • Deadline to apply is April 1
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The University of South Dakota and the USD Foundation annually award more than $6.4 million in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. Based on your grades, standardized test scores or your interest in pursuing a major in a particular field, you may be eligible for a Coyote Commitment Scholarship or some of the other scholarships and awards listed below:

Coyote Commitment Scholarship Program

All first-time freshmen students who apply for fall admission to USD are automatically eligible for up to $3,500 per year for four years as a full-time student based on GPA, standardized test scores and committee review. The Coyote Commitment may include a combination of funding from other scholarships or additional sources awarded to you. Although there is no deadline or separate application for this award, students should apply to South Dakota prior to March 15 for full consideration. 

  • Get an estimate on what you might receive for a Coyote Commitment Scholarship using our Net Price Calculator or our new Coyote Commitment Scholarship Calculator.
Applying for Scholarships

Students may apply for the following scholarships using the online Academic Scholarship Application.  The Academic Scholarship Application is generally available in October of each year and the deadline for submitting the application is January 13.

Academic Achievement Scholarships

Among the University's most prestigious awards, Academic Achievement Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and/or scores on the ACT or SAT. 

Barnes & Noble Valedictorian Scholarship

Valued at up to $500 (up to $250 per semester for the first two semesters), the Barnes & Noble Valedictorian Scholarship is presented to high school seniors who rank at the top of their graduating classes during the awarding period. Recipients must remain enrolled full-time on the Vermillion campus.

George S. Mickelson Scholarship

One of South Dakota's most prestigious scholarships, the Mickelson Scholarship awards up to $40,000 (up to $10,000 per year renewable for four years) to academically talented South Dakota students with high ACTs/SATs.  Finalists for The Mickelson Scholarship are invited to an on-campus interview. Deadline Jan 13.

Glenn E. & Barbara R. Ullyot Lakota Scholarship

This premier scholarship recognizes American Indian high school seniors who demonstrate strong academic potential. The full Ullyot Scholarship is valued at up to $20,000 over a four-year period. Recipients are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Partial, one-time scholarships also are available to American Indian students who demonstrate a commitment to academic learning. The Ullyot Lakota Scholarship is administered by the Institute of American Indian Studies.  Deadline Jan. 13. 

University of South Dakota Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa and Transfer Students

Awarded to eligible transfer students with a minimum 3.0 GPA or transfer students from two-year colleges who have earned membership into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and intend to pursue their first baccalaureate degree at The University of South Dakota. Students are eligible to apply when they initially transfer to The University of South Dakota. The scholarship provides up to $2,000 (up to $1,000 per year) award renewable for two years. Recipients must remain enrolled full-time on the Vermillion campus. Deadline April 1.

Presidential Alumni Scholarship

Open to high school seniors with a 27 or higher ACT (1210 SAT), the scholarship awards up to $28,000 (up to $7,000 per year renewable for four years). Finalists for Presidential-Alumni Scholarships are invited to an on-campus interview. Deadline Jan. 13. 

Rawlins Scholarship

Awarded to the highest ranking senior at the following South Dakota high schools: Aberdeen Central and Roncalli; Brandon Valley; Brookings; Huron; Mitchell; Rapid City Central and Stevens; Sioux Falls Lincoln, O'Gorman, Roosevelt, and Washington; Vermillion; Watertown and Yankton  Deadline Jan. 13 

Field of Study Scholarships

Criteria for certain scholarships may include an interest in pursuing or majoring in a particular field of study. An additional application or supplemental materials may be required for some scholarships.

Al Neuharth Scholarship for Excellence in Journalism

This premier scholarship is for exceptional journalists who plan to pursue a career in journalism.  Recipients must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, be active in the USD student newspaper, The Volante, and meet all other criteria as specified by the award. The scholarship is valued at $5,000. A maximum of three scholarships are awarded annually and may be renewed. Deadline is Jan 13..

Beacom Family Business Scholarship

Valued at up to $5,000 for one year, the Beacom Family Scholarship is a one-time award presented to talented freshman students who graduated from a South Dakota High School and plan to major in business field within The University of South Dakota's Beacom School of Business. Deadline is Jan. 13.

Bush Foundation Teacher Scholarship

The School of Education Bush Foundation Teacher Scholarship is awarded to students who show intent on majoring in a teacher education program and who have demonstrated outstanding academic credentials while in high school.  This scholarship is a one-time award. Students receiving this award are selected by the School of Education after applying for admission to USD. Deadline is Jan. 13.

Dorothy C. Schieffer Political Science Scholarship

The Dorothy C. Schieffer Scholarship is awarded to full-time students who major or minor in political science. Preference is given to non-traditional students with clear financial need. Valued at up to the cost of full tuition, fees, books, room and board for up to four years of full-time study . At least one international travel or study abroad experience  and a working internship or service opportunity may be included after consultation with faculty advisor and non-faculty mentor.  Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.7  grade point average each semester and must maintain a workload allowing for prompt graduation. Deadline is Jan. 13. 

Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC)

Qualified students are eligible for two-, three- and four-year on-campus full tuition scholarships, money for books and a non-taxed monthly stipend.

Walter A. & Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Scholarship (Business/Fine Arts)

Awarded to exceptional students enrolling in either the USD College of Fine Arts or the Beacom School of Business, the Buhler Scholarship provides funding equal to the cost of in-state tuition and fees for up to 16 credit hours per semester. The scholarship also provides for a one-time international study/travel abroad experience to be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Buhler scholarship may be renewed annually for four consecutive years provided the recipients maintain a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average, remain enrolled full time on the Vermillion campus and continue the pursuit of a degree in the business of fine arts school/college in which they originally enrolled. Deadline is Jan. 13. 

Early Admission Awards

Awarded to high-achieving students with professional school aspirations, USD's early admission awards grant conditional or provisional acceptance to either the USD School of Law or the Sanford School of Medicine – the only law and medical schools in the state of South Dakota.

USD School of Law Honor Scholar Program

Open to high school seniors with an interest in law, a 27 or higher ACT (1210 SAT) and excellent grade point average. Recipients of the award earn provisional acceptance into the USD School of Law. Finalists for the  Law School Honor Scholar Program are invited to an on-campus interview. Deadline Jan. 13.

Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Student Scholars Program

Awarded to South Dakota high school seniors with an interest in medicine, 28 or higher ACT (1250 SAT) and excellent grades, recipients of the award earn conditional acceptance into the Sanford School of Medicine at USD. Finalists for the scholarship are asked to interview on campus.  Deadline Jan. 13. 

Talent Scholarships

Additional scholarships may be awarded to incoming students with extraordinary talent in music, theatre or art. Please contact your specific department for more information.

Athletic Scholarships

Student athletic scholarships are awarded to varsity athletes by USD coaches in compliance with the policies and procedures of the university, Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). NCAA Division I scholarships offered by the Coyotes are extremely competitive and amounts and number of awards may vary.

Additional Scholarships
Scholarship opportunities available through federal, state and other sources:
  • Hatterscheidt Scholarship (Application Deadline March 13, 2015)
    Awarded to current seniors graduating from South Dakota high schools, the Hatterscheidt Scholarship is a one-year award valued at $1,500.
  •  Jump Start Scholarship  (September 1 deadline) Available to SD public high school students who graduate from high school in three years or less and enroll in an accredited college or university providing instruction from a campus located in South Dakota.
  • South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
  • Dakota Corps Scholarship Program (Deadline Feb. 1)
  • Davis Bahcall Scholarship Program  (Deadline Jan. 20) Available to HS seniors or college freshmen attending a South Dakota school and with the intent of pursuing a degree in math, science, engineering or technology.
  • John & Grace Dickson Scholarship (Deadlines: March 1 for freshmen, June 1 for renewals)
    Awarded to graduates of Stickney, Plankinton or White Lake High Schools.

Old Main at night USD and the USD Foundation annually award more than  $6.4 million in undergraduate and graduate scholarships.

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