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SDSU launches dual credit scholarships, including one for low-income students

Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship now available fall 2020
President Barry Dunn announced two dual credit scholarships for high school juniors and seniors in South Dakota, including one for low-income students.

South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn announced today two dual credit scholarships for high school juniors and seniors in South Dakota, including one for low-income students.

The Jackrabbit Access College Early Scholarship will be available to qualified high school juniors and seniors from low-income families. The Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship will provide financial assistance to all students who enroll at SDSU following high school after earning dual credits from SDSU.

“These scholarships represent the fundamental mission of South Dakota State University by providing access to the educational benefits of higher education for the citizens of South Dakota,” Dunn said. “We want the young people in the state to have the opportunity to explore all options for postsecondary education. These scholarships will open more doors to participate in higher education. More importantly, getting these students to see early on in high school that they can be successful in college helps them make informed decisions about their exciting futures.”

The Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship will begin this fall. High school juniors and seniors who qualify for the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship will receive a scholarship that funds one dual credit course (up to five credits) each semester of their junior and senior year of high school and the summer between their junior and senior year. Textbooks and/or course materials are the responsibility of the student.

Eligible students for the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a federal free or reduced lunch program at school based on the USDA income levels; or
  • Have a family annual income at or below the USDA income levels for free or reduced lunches based on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website,

If a student is eligible for the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship, they can choose to pay for additional dual credit courses and would also be eligible for the Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship, if they enroll at SDSU as a college freshman. Credits earned through the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship are eligible to transfer to other institutions.

“The Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship allows students who have historically not enrolled in dual credit courses to participate in higher education, explore the opportunities college provides and better understand the doors a four-year degree opens for their future,” said SDSU Vice President for Student Affairs Michaela Willis. “The connection we will make through the scholarship program will also allow us the chance to advise, coach and mentor this group of students as they explore and better understand all the benefits SDSU provides.”

The Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship starts fall 2021 and will be available for any student who enrolls as a full-time, first-time freshman at SDSU and also earned dual credits from SDSU. The one-year scholarship will be awarded based on the number of SDSU dual credits earned:

  • 1-6 credit hours = $500;
  • 7-12 credit hours = $1,000; or
  • 13 or more credit hours = $1,500.

To be eligible for the Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship, students must earn a “C” or higher in all dual credit courses completed during high school and enroll at SDSU as a full-time, first-time freshman.

The Jackrabbit Journey Scholarship does not replace the Jackrabbit Guarantee Scholarship or other awards. This scholarship would be in addition to other scholarships earned through academic achievement to attend SDSU.

For more information or to apply, students must visit or contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at 605-688-5278.

What others are saying about the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship?

"South Dakota does a great job utilizing dual credit in high schools to move students to postsecondary education. I believe that adding Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship to give that little extra push to those who need it the most will result in more highly skilled SDSU graduates building a better future staying in South Dakota. Thank you for leadership and thank you to all the donors that will make the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship possible."
--South Dakota Sen. John Wiik

"I am excited to hear about, and enthusiastically support the Jackrabbit ACE Scholarship program. I believe this program is a testament to the commitment SDSU has in helping students of South Dakota on their journey toward success;  I should emphasize ALL STUDENTS of South Dakota. This program is a game-changer for kids, families and our state. I commend SDSU and look forward to the countless positive stories of lives changed due to this vision for success.
--Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher

“The Brookings School District is excited to continually expand our relationship with South Dakota State University as we serve the students, families and community of Brookings. Opportunities to work together to provide potentially underserved students access to the array of higher education opportunities available in the Brookings community is essential in an ever-growing, knowledge-based economy. The Brookings School District is excited to work together with SDSU in the ongoing developments with this venture.”
--Brookings School District Superintendent Klint Willert