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USD Medical School Receives Major Scholarship Gift

USD Sanford School of Medicine Receives Scholarship The USD Sanford School of Medicine received a $300,000 pledge from Sanford Health to fund student scholarships.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Sanford Health has pledged $300,000 per year to fund scholarships to students enrolled in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. That amount will be matched by the USD Foundation.

As a result of this new Sanford Health Scholarship Program, 40 students (10 per class) will receive a large scholarship each year, equal to roughly half the cost of tuition and fees. Students who are enrolled in medical school classes for the 2019-2020 school year are eligible in the scholarship program’s first year.

This scholarship program will be the largest single source of scholarship money available to medical students at the USD Sanford School of Medicine. It also rates as one of the largest scholarship programs available to students at a specific medical school in the United States.

Approximately 90 percent of the students enrolled in the USD Sanford School of Medicine are South Dakota residents, and those who are non-residents have strong connections to the state. The average total debt incurred by medical students during their four-year medical education at USD is about $180,000. This scholarship can eliminate about one-third of that debt for those who are recipients.

“We are deeply grateful to Sanford Health for this transformational gift,” said Dr. Mary Nettleman, dean of the medical school and vice president of health affairs at USD. “The Sanford Health Scholarship Program will make a significant difference for our students and inspire them to become the best physicians they can be.”


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News