Non-South Dakota Mines Scholarship Resources

Scholarships can be an important source of funding for students (incoming and current) and their families. Generally, they provide funds without the obligation of repayment, though there may be other requirements or conditions. Scholarships are offered by a wide variety of organizations and entities. Some offer substantial awards and some are more modest.

The links on this page provide some guidance for students seeking non-South Dakota Mines scholarships but do not represent all that may be available.

There are lots and lots and lots of scholarships out there! To aid in your search, check out the below tips for searching and attaining scholarships. Also below are some myths, truths and advantages to applying for scholarships.

Tips

  • Check with parent or guardian employers about available scholarship funds.
  • Search for scholarships based on interests.
  • Search for less competitive scholarships – can always call or email scholarship to find out chances when applying for scholarship.
  • Check your community about possible scholarship opportunities (i.e., Banks, Churches, community organizations, foundations, etc.). They are only open to community members so there is less competition and less time to complete. Chances could be 1/20 compared to larger scholarships that could be 1/200,000.
  • Some scholarships look at applicant’s achievement, character, leadership qualities, community involvement, and extra-curricular activities more than GPA or test scores – Non-Prestigious scholarships.
  • Always tailor your essays to the requirements, but do build an essay template about experiences or obstacles you have overcome has impacted your character and has led to personal growth. (May also want to include sections on hobbies, achievements, leadership skills, volunteerism, extra-curricular involvement, etc.)
  • Keep your resume up to date – add your awarded scholarship to your resume so employers are aware of your achievements!
  • Keep track of deadlines with calendaring system, the earlier you apply and submit your application the better!
  • Make sure to check the criteria first when applying to scholarships – if you don’t meet the criteria don’t waste your time applying, move forward!
  • Have someone proofread your applications and essays.
  • Complete one application at a time and submit, then move on to next scholarship and repeat the process to avoid getting bogged down by overwhelming amount of scholarships and due dates.
  • Check with professional associations in your career field – you may need to be a member to access scholarship opportunities.
  • Rejection letters sting, just like getting a bad grade, but remember once you apply to so many your chances of winning a scholarship increase.
  • Point out academic achievement in chosen field (ex. A’s in major classes)
  • Add in your activities, community involvement, or Co-Op and internship experience to help your application stand out.
  • Some scholarships are need based compared to merit based. 
  • Don’t pay for scholarships – if a scholarship requires an application fee or any other payment it’s a scam.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute – you may need transcripts or recommendation letters, allow plenty of time to pull together all the required elements of the application.

Myths

  • Too much time/trouble
  • Huge essay involved
  • Can’t write
  • Need a high gpa
  • Don’t have any references
  • Don’t have a special “story” to tell in essay
  • Finding scholarships takes forever and you’re ineligible for 90% of what you find
  • Scholarships are all heavily weighted towards minorities and those with financial need

    Truths

    • Major/prestigious scholarships = more time
      • However, most = simple online application, possible essay
      • Use free weekends, vacation breaks to apply
    • Most essays 200-500 words, or you answer 1-3 questions
    • More important to address the essay/questions
    • Many awards are “need based”; GPA’s on merit-based are wide range (e.g., 2.7 up to 3.5 and above)
      • Some place more importance on community service/volunteering
    • Reference examples:  advisor, instructors, current/past employment supervisors, church personnel, sports coaches
    • Everyone has a unique story to tell for an essay
    • There are scholarships out there for everybody

      Advantages

      • Lower college cost/loan amount
      • Internship and job acquisition
        • Résumé bullet (“gold nugget”)
        • Scholarship recipients valued by potential employers
        • Sets you apart from other job candidates
      • Extra funding for studying abroad
      • Development of references for résumés and jobs

      Potential Local and National Scholarship Entities to Pursue

      National:

      • Alumni Associations
      • American Legion Auxiliaries
      • American Red Cross
      • Boy Scouts
      • Dollars for Scholars
      • Farmer Bureau Foundations
      • Girl Scouts
      • Health Foundations
      • National Merit Scholarship Corporation
      • Oahe Foundation
      • Scholarship America
      • SMART Scholarship Funding Corporation

      Local:

      • Banks
      • Booster Clubs
      • Chamber of Commerce
      • Churches
      • Credit Unions
      • Electric Power Cooperatives
      • Elks Associations
      • FFA or FHA Foundations
      • Fraternities
      • Kiwanis Clubs
      • Knights of Columbus
      • Lions Clubs
      • Masonic Clubs
      • Memorial Scholarship Funds
      • P.E.O. Chapter Foundation
      • Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
      • Rotary Clubs
      • Sororities
      • Sports Clubs
      • Stockgrowers Associations
      • Tribal Grants
      • VFW

      Scholarship Links

      Students who receive a non-South Dakota Mines scholarship must notify the Financial Aid Office; please complete the Outside Financial Assistance Form.

      *Always check with your academic department about scholarship opportunities from related industry or student organizations.