Continuing Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions


What will I have to do to maintain my eligibility once I get the scholarship?

A student must meet certain continuing requirements or the scholarship renewal award is cancelled. In order to maintain scholarship eligibility, a college student will have to:

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, calculated after the second semester and for every semester after that. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the recipient forfeits the scholarship for the subsequent semester and for additional semesters after that until eligibility is reestablished. The scholarship will be reinstated beginning in the semester after which the student has raised the cumulative GPA back to 3.0 or greater, and met other continuing eligibility requirements. Reinstating a lapsed scholarship does not extend the time allowed under the scholarship program, and students who lose eligibility a second time cannot reestablish it in any event.

  • Complete consecutive spring and fall terms.

  • Meet the credit hour benchmarks specified below for each year of eligibility in the scholarship program. (Remedial courses at the 0-credit level and repeated courses do NOT qualify toward the credit hour benchmarks.)

    • 30 Credit Hours - Sophomores or those receiving 3rd and 4th term funding
    • 60 Credit Hours - Juniors or those receiving 5th and 6th term funding
    • 90 Credit Hours - Seniors or those receiving 7th and 8th term funding


I was awarded college credit through the AP testing process during high school and have chosen to take the corresponding course in college.  How will this affect my continuing scholarship eligibility?

When a high school student scores 3 or better on an AP test (i.e. AP Biology), a letter grade of “A” is recorded for the corresponding course (i.e. Biology 101) on the student’s college transcript. If a student chooses to re-take the course for which he/she earned credit through the AP process, this will be a repeat course which will not count toward the credit hour benchmark requirements. To maintain eligibility, the student must enroll in more credit hours in addition to this course to meet his/her respective credit hour threshold.



Will I be able to keep my scholarship if I transfer to another school?

Recipients may transfer among eligible South Dakota postsecondary institutions and retain their scholarship eligibility, as long as they meet all other criteria noted above as well as submitting a transfer application form. Transferring out of state terminates eligibility.


I became temporarily ineligible after falling below the 3.0 GPA requirement.  If I am able to raise my cumulative GPA above 3.0 next semester would I qualify to receive $2,600 during my senior year?

Yes. Student funding is based on the number of semesters he/she has attended at one of the 16 participating institutions.  If you have met all other continuing eligibility requirements each semester since becoming temporarily ineligible, then you can qualify for $1,300 during each of your final semesters of eligibility in the program.  You would need to submit an eligibility reinstatement form once you have raised your cumulative GPA in order to reinstate funding (NOTE: Falling below the cumulative GPA requirement a second time after you have reinstated it once before, terminates eligibility).


If I received the Opportunity Scholarship for two semesters, then transferred to an institution out of state, can I continue to receive the scholarship if I return to one of the 16 participating institutions in South Dakota?

No. Persistence requirements for the Opportunity Scholarship specifies that a student must be continuously enrolled at one of the 16 participating institutions in South Dakota.  Once a student leaves the state to continue their postsecondary education, they violate this requirement and become permanently ineligible in the scholarship program and may not reestablish eligibility.




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Kerri Richards

Scholarship and Financial Aid Policy Analyst





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