The South Dakota Department of Education is reaching out to qualifying South Dakota high school students in the fall of their senior year to alert them that they have already met criteria for guaranteed general acceptance into the state’s six public universities and four technical institutes. For more information on this initiative, visit the SDMyLife Proactive Admissions page.



Guaranteed general acceptance is automatic eligibility for admission into any of South Dakota’s six public universities and four technical institutes, based on Smarter Balanced test and ACT scores.


What is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium?

SBACSouth Dakota’s public postsecondary institutions now use student performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test and the ACT to determine automatic eligibility for admission.

Smarter Balanced assessments are customized for each student to provide a more accurate measurement for every student through the use of computer adaptive testing.


What are the eligibility criteria for Guaranteed General Acceptance?

Students have two ways in which they can demonstrate eligibility for guaranteed general acceptance into the South Dakota public university or technical institute of their choice:

  • Achieve a Level 3 or 4 on the English Language Arts and Math portions of the 11th Grade Smarter Balanced Test


  • Achieve an ACT composite score of 18* or higher

(* The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology requires an ACT score of 18 in English and 20 in Math)


What do student need to do after earning Guaranteed General Acceptance?

Students must complete their application for admission, pay the application fee, and submit their official high school transcript to the school(s) of their choice by December 1 of their senior year in order to take advantage of guaranteed general acceptance. After December 1, students may still apply, but their acceptance is no longer guaranteed.

Students must graduate high school during the school year in which they are granted guaranteed general acceptance.


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