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Financial Aid | Scholarships

No ACT? No SAT? No Problem

High School seniors, we hear you. Life’s a little different right now. Your junior year ended virtually, you’ve seen big moments adjusted dramatically and you’ve ridden the waves of uncertainty over the past year like champions. All of this while sorting through the question of “what’s next?” as you navigate college searches and prepare for life’s next steps.

At South Dakota State, we are doing our best to make the process easier, emphasizing options for high school seniors to apply to SDSU without an ACT or SAT score. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty and anxiousness into the testing process. Unable to take the SAT or ACT? No problem. Didn’t score as well on your first test opportunity as you’d like but unable to retest this fall? We’ve got your back.

Graduating high school seniors will be able to apply to SDSU for fall 2021 and still qualify for the Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship program based solely on your strong high school GPA or a combination of your high school GPA and ACT/SAT test score.

Students who do not submit a test score may earn a minimum scholarship in amounts between $1,000 and $3,000 based on a GPA of 3.25 or better. If you do take the ACT or SAT test, we’ve got great news. Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $4,000 annually based on the combination of test scores and high school GPA.

We know the value of a four-year degree and are ready with solutions when the question of, “what will it cost?” comes up.

Want to see how much you qualify for? Check out the chart below, or click here.


The Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship program annually awards scholarships to students who attend SDSU. Additionally, several other merit scholarships are available to incoming first-time freshmen, including SDSU Foundation Scholarships, Stephen F. Briggs Scholarships, J. Lohr Scholars, Stai Honors Scholarships and others. Each of those scholarship will not require an ACT or SAT score to qualify for consideration, either.

How does this work?

James is a high school senior from Redfield, South Dakota, and like many future Jackrabbits, knows a public university makes sense for him and his family. After working hard through the past three-plus years, James is proud of his 3.6 grade-point average, but is worried about how, where and when he’ll take the ACT or SAT before applying to South Dakota State University. Thankfully, James can worry about one less thing in his final year of high school, knowing a $1,000 Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship is available without test scores.

Woodbury, Minnesota senior Sara holds a 4.0 GPA in her final year of high school, but like so many, saw her ACT prep course canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic this summer. She was able to take the ACT last fall, but after scoring a 28, hoped to retake the test this fall after the prep course to achieve a higher score and larger scholarship. This year, however, Sara does not need to retake the exam, because her 4.0 GPA and score of 28 will guarantee the top minimum award of $4,000.


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