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USD Sanford School of Medicine selects Alumni Student Scholars

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Four South Dakota high school seniors have been selected to participate in the Alumni Student Scholar Program (ASSP), sponsored by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council. This year’s recipients are Tanner Colombe, of Mission, S.D.; Jacob Haiar, of Mitchell, S.D.; Michaela McGrann, of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Schae Hanson, of Burke, S.D.

Since 1992, this program has identified promising South Dakota high school students who have demonstrated a strong interest in medicine and a desire to practice in primary care – particularly family practice – in South Dakota. Recipients of the scholarships will be enrolled in USD’s Honors Program and receive conditional admission into the Sanford School of Medicine.

“For a long time, we’ve had a sense that if you have students from the state, who receive their undergraduate and medical school educations in-state and ultimately do their residencies in the state (or somewhere close by), there is a much greater likelihood that they will establish their medical practice within the state,” said Gerald Yutrzenka, Ph.D., associate professor in the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Director of ASSP and pre-medicine advisor at the Sanford School of Medicine. “For a significant number of these ASSP students, this is exactly what has happened.”

ASSP students qualify for a USD Coyote Commitment during their undergraduate years and will receive a $1,000/year medical school tuition scholarship renewable for up to four years of medical school at Sanford School of Medicine. In addition, ASSP students entering Sanford School of Medicine are eligible to compete for one $5,000 ASSP medical school tuition scholarship renewable for up to four years of medical school.

Alumni Student Scholar Program applicants must be South Dakota residents, must be graduating seniors enrolled in a South Dakota high school, must have, as a minimum, a combined score of 1240 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT, and must attend the University of South Dakota for their undergraduate degree. Selected ASSP applicants must graduate within four years with at least a 3.5 undergraduate grade point average, complete all pre-medicine and ASSP requirements as well as complete the requirements of the USD Honors Program.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News