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:
- Situations where a medical hardship has hindered a student's progress;
- Student participation in an approved exchange program through their institution;
- Conflict with program of study requirements that influence student credit hours;
- Participation in an institution approved internship or cooperative education program; and/or,
- 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.
- 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
- Failure to meet the established application deadlines (24:40:13:12, 24:40:13:14);
- Failure to meet the 3.0 GPA requirements for continuous eligibility criteria (13-55-34); and/or
- 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 Dr. Paul
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.