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Build Dakota Scholarship Fund

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Tech will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota.

Between 2014 and 2018, $50 million dollars were invested through private donations from T. Denny Sanford and the South Dakota Future Fund to create and operate the Build Dakota Scholarship program.

Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals. The scholarship program will grow South Dakota’s own and recruit new South Dakotans. Recipients of the full-ride scholarships will commit to living and working in the state, in their field of study, for three years following graduation. The full-ride scholarships will support tuition, fees, books and other required program expenses in the eligible technical institute programs.


For more information about Build Dakota Scholarships at Western Dakota Tech, email Jennie Best, Western Dakota Tech Assistant Director of Scholarships, at (605) 718-3061 or email her at

Frequently Asked Questions


Build Dakota Flyer 2021

WDT Build Dakota Flyer 2021 

Eligible Applicants
  • Anyone with an Interest in one of the high-needs workforce areas
  • Any U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • Residents of any U.S. state
  • Anyone who shows financial need (complete the FAFSA)

Student Commitment

In accepting a Build Dakota scholarship, recipients agree to:

  • Enroll full-time in a technical institute program determined as a high-need workforce area in South Dakota
  • Maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • Complete the program as a full-time student
  • Following graduation, work full-time in the field of study in South Dakota for a minimum of three years

Industry Partners

How it works for employers:

  • Cost-effective method gives current employees an opportunity for advanced training.
  • Builds a pipeline of new talent from South Dakota technical institutes. By partnering with Build Dakota, students have the opportunity to fulfill their employment commitment to Build Dakota while working for YOUR great company.
  • Free advertising is provided on the Build Dakota website.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to connect with potential employees.

For more Industry Partner information call Danita Simons at (605) 718-2436 or email her at

Build Dakota Industry Partners Flyer

For Industry Partners:

For Students:

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