Exemption Request (South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship)


This service will let you request an exemption or waiver to either the Credit Hour Thresholds or Persistence Requirements for the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship (SDOS).


Controlling Policies & Statutes

State statue grants the Executive Director of the Board of Regents the authority to grant exemptions to continuous enrollment requirements when good cause is shown. As a result, when a situation arises that hinders a student from meeting the eligibility requirements for the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship, he/she has the opportunity to request an exemption waiver from the Executive Director. 

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 post-secondary institution within South Dakota;
  • Enter into the program within five years of graduation
  1. Failure to meet the established application deadlines (24:40:13:1224:40:13:14);
  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.


Expectations Following the Exemption Submission

Once an exemption request is received by the Executive Director, additional information may be sought to provide additional context to the request. Also, to meet legislative oversight of the exemption request process, Board of Regents staff must obtain verification from campus representatives.


Contact Information

Kerri Richards, Scholarship and Financial Aid Policy Analyst

Phone: (605) 773-3455

Email: Kerri.Richards@sdbor.edu



Submit Exemption Request


Service ID: 70
Thu 9/1/22 4:58 PM
Thu 2/1/24 3:46 PM