The deadline for the 2017-18 USD Scholarship Application was December 1, 2016.  Check back in the early fall to apply for 2018-19 scholarships. Freshmen entering in 2017-18 may still be considered for Coyote Commitment Scholarships and may still apply for additional, third-party scholarships.

USD students study in the library


The University of South Dakota and the USD Foundation annually award more than $6 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 considered for up to $3,500 per year.  Coyote Commitment is available to recipients for up to four years as a full-time student and is 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 April 1 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 the fall of each year with a priority deadline of October 15 and the final deadline for submitting the application is December 1.

Academic Achievement Scholarships

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

  • 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 interview. Deadline Dec. 1.


  • 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 2.5. Partial, one-time scholarships also are available to American Indian students who demonstrate a commitment to academic learning.  Deadline Dec. 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 interview. Deadline Dec. 1. 


  • 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 Dec. 1. 

  • Spearfish Area Scholarship
    This scholarship awards up to $40,000 ($10,000 per year, renewable for four years) to an incoming first-year student who is a graduate of Spearfish High School.  The scholarship recipient must demonstrate financial need and possess a strong high school academic performance record.  Deadline Dec. 1.


Transfer Students

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

    Awarded to select 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.


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 Dec 1.

  • 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 Dec. 1.

  • Bush Foundation Teacher Scholarship
    The Bush Foundation Teacher Scholarship is awarded to students committed to becoming effective and quality teachers. The scholarship is valued at $1,000 each year for four years as long as the candidate maintains eligibility as determined by the School of Education. To compete for this award, admitted incoming teacher education majors must complete the University of South Dakota Online Scholarship Application and answer the additional Bush Foundation Teacher Scholarship essay questions found within the application. Deadline is Dec. 1.

  • 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 Dec. 1. 

  • 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 Yoshiko 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 15 credit hours per semester.  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 Dec. 1.  


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 interview. Deadline Dec. 1.
  • 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. When completing the academic scholarships online application be sure to complete the additional questions for the Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Students Scholars Program.  Visit our website for additional information about the program.  Finalists for the scholarship are asked to interview on campus.   Deadline Dec. 1. 


Talent Scholarships

Talent scholarships are awarded to students by the academic departments based on a separate application and supplemental materials (auditions for theatre and music and a portfolio for art).

Department of Art

Department of Music

Department of Theatre


Athletic Scholarships

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

Department of Athletics


Additional Scholarships

Scholarship opportunities available through federal, state and other sources: