Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Training Opportunities for Individuals

Tuition Assistance

Financial aid can help you afford the education you need for your career. The basic types of financial aid are:

  • Grants are awards you don't have to pay back. Grants mostly come from the government, such as the Federal Pell Grant. Learn more about grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.
  • Scholarships are financial gifts that help you pay for school. They can come from a college, community group, business or the government. Scholarships are granted based on different criteria, including your location, race, ethnicity, life experience, music ability, sports ability or other characteristics. Check with the institution of your choice for local scholarship opportunities and use the Scholarship Finder to see opportunities.
  • A loan is money you have to pay back. Government-backed loans usually have the lowest interest rates, while loans through a private bank or other financial institution may cost you more in the long run. Learn more about loans from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.
  • Work-study is on-campus employment offered through the school. It helps you earn money to pay for your education. Learn more about work-study jobs from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.

Students may receive a combination of these in a financial aid package the school puts together after you've been accepted. The first step to get financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about the FAFSA, and start your application. Here is a Eight steps to completing the FAFSA.

Other Ways to Help Pay for Education

Our Dakota Dreams

Featuring South Dakota’s state public technical colleges and universities, Our Dakota Dreams offers resources and support for students, parents and educators in preparation for college.

Paying for College Videos

Do you want little or no debt when you go to college? Visit to watch easy-to-follow videos designed to help you get the best return on your college investment and avoid costly mistakes. Find tips about budgeting, learn more about financial aid and student loans, and hear advice from South Dakotans like you.

This project is supported by a grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Learn What Your Actual Costs Would Be

You can find the average total cost of U.S. colleges and universities at College Scorecard. This will help you compare schools and figure out the best investment for you. You will find:

  • Total average costs
  • Graduation rates
  • Average salaries of students 10 years after enrolling
  • Typical debt amounts for students
  • Typical monthly debt payment of students
  • Much more!

Once you know the average cost of your class, program, or school, make sure you understand what's included and what might be additional expenses, such as: books and supplies, transportation, and room and board if you live on a campus.