Securing Funds to Help Pay for College


College Just AheadTo be considered for financial aid — money given or loaned to you to help you pay for college — you have to apply.  The financial aid application process usually has its own forms, deadlines and requirements — and you don’t have to wait to be admitted to a college before you apply for financial aid.


Financial aid comes in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study jobs. Learn more about these opportunities below.


Fast Web Scholarship Search

Access over 1.5 million scholarships to help you pay for college.

College Board Scholarship Search

Find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion.

Search for national, state, and local scholarships plus scholarship essay examples and financial aid resources.


RaiseMe allows students to earn scholarships from colleges for the things that best prepare you to succeed in high school, like having perfect attendance, getting an A in a class, participating in an extracurricular activity, and more.

Build Dakota Scholarship

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.

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides up to $6,500 over four years to a qualifying student who attends an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota.

Dakota Corps Scholarship

The Dakota Corps Scholarship covers tuition and generally applicable fees for eligible students who complete their undergraduate degree in South Dakota, remain in the state upon completion of their education, and contribute to the state of South Dakota and its citizens by working in a critical need occupation.

Federal Student Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FAFSA DatesLocated at, the FAFSA form is the FREE application used to apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, loans, and work-study.


Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).

Subsidized Loans

A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income-driven repayment plans.

Unsubsidized Loans

A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

Work Study

A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses.

Net Price Calculator

Net price calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.

Saving for College

CollegeAccess 529

529 College Savings Plans are designed to help individuals and families save for college in a tax-advantaged way. The plans are named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Additional Opportunities

Dual Credit

Dual credit is an opportunity for high school students who meet admissions standards to enroll in public postsecondary institutions in South Dakota and simultaneously earn credits for both their high school diploma and postsecondary degree or certificate.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Testing

This program allows students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds to demonstrate their mastery of introductory college-level material and earn college credit. Students can earn credit for what they already know by getting qualifying scores on any of the 33 examinations.


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