The student governments of South Dakota’s six regental universities passed a resolution in support of the Dakota’s Promise Need-Based scholarship on Dec. 10.
This scholarship would move the Board of Regents one step closer to their post-secondary education goal. According to the resolution from the South Dakota Student Federation, the South Dakota Student Federation claims that SDBOR’s goal is for 65% of South Dakota residents to achieve post-secondary education by the year 2025. The SDSF claims the education rate has remained at 41% for the last 5 years.
South Dakota families who are most in need of financial assistance and qualify for the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship, typically still need an additional $2,300 to attend higher education after those scholarship. The Dakota’s Promise Scholarship could help cover that cost.
USD Student Government Association Vice President, Hannah Booth, said she supports the Dakota’s Promise Scholarship.
“It is important because there has been a decline in enrollment of PELL eligible students and the yearly financial need preventing an SD student from going to college is $2300,” Booth said in an email to The Volante. “It is so important that we invest in the future of South Dakota and a scholarship like Dakota’s Promise would improve enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.”
Executive Director of the South Dakota Student Federation and USD student, Josh Sorbe, signed the resolution and announced the news via Twitter.
“This is long overdue and we hope the state legislature shares our sense of urgency to invest in youth,” Sorbe said in a tweet.
The resolution concludes by calling on the State Legislature and Governor Kristi Noem for support.
“The South Dakota Student Federation encourages Governor Noem, the South Dakota State Legislature, and other appropriate state leaders to name the Dakota’s Promise Scholarship and South Dakota students as a financial priority for the 2020 legislative session,” the resolutions states.
Sorbe further elaborated on his enthusiasm for the resolution on Twitter.
“These discussions are a testimonial to the power of a young person’s voice, and I’m so proud of this board for advocating for a strong solution going into the 2020 legislative session,” Sorbe tweeted.
Current SGA President Carson Zubke said student voices will resonate with legislators.
“Student voices and personal testimony will be crucial to the future of Dakota’s Promise Need-Based Scholarship,” Zubke said in an email to The Volante. “Leaders across the state value student feedback and need to hear how this program could have impacted their college experiences.”
Zubke said SGA is preparing for Students for Higher Education Days (SHED) on Feb. 9. Over 100 students from the six regental universities will travel to Pierre, SD. Zubke said the students will meet with state leaders and advocate for student interests.
“The trip includes advocacy training to highlight SGA priorities and let students know what to expect while at the Capital,” Zubke said.
All students are welcome to participate by contacting SGA@coyotes.usd.edu for more information about the trip.