Exemption Requests


The administrative rules that govern the Opportunity Scholarship program provides authority to the Board of Regents to grant waivers to a limited number of continuous eligibility criteria including the Credit Hour Thresholds and Persistence Requirements.   As a result, when a situation arises that hinders a student from meeting the continuing eligibility requirements for the program, he/she has the opportunity to request an exemption waiver from the Executive Director.  To this date, waivers have been granted based on five specific rationales including:

  1. Situations where a medical hardship has hindered a student's progress;
  2. Student participation in an approved exchange program through their institution;
  3. Conflict with program of study requirements that influence student credit hours;
  4. Participation in an institution approved internship or cooperative education program; and/or,
  5. Military deferral for National Guard or military service.


While waivers are routinely granted for the issues outline above, the Legislature has not granted a Participating Institution or the Board of Regents with the authority to grant waivers for other requirements established in the state statute or administrative rules.  These include:

  1. Failure to meet all of the initial eligibility requirements (13-55-31 & 13-55-31.1);
      • Be a resident of South Dakota at the time of graduation from high school;
      • Have a composite score of 24 or higher on the ACT;
      • Meet the high school course requirements for graduation, with a cumulative average grade of “B” (3.0  on a 4.0 scale), and a C or higher in all required courses;
      • Attend a participating postsecondary institution within South Dakota;
      • Enter into the program within five years of graduation
  1. Failure to meet the established application deadlines (24:40:13:12, 24:40:13:14);
  2. Failure to meet the 3.0 GPA requirements for continuous eligibility criteria (13-55-34); and/or
  3. Early payment of scholarship awards outside the requirements set forth in 13-55-33 or 24:40:13:20.​


Students seeking a waiver to either the Credit Hour Thresholds or Persistence Requirements may do so by emailing Kerri Richards (Kerri.Richards@sdbor.edu). Prior to submitting a request, students are encouraged to review the Exemption Guidelines to ensure that they include all information necessary for expedient request processing.


Contact Information


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Kerri Richards

Scholarship and Financial Aid Policy Analyst

Email: Kerri.Richards@sdbor.edu




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