CHAPTER 89

(HB 1157)

South Dakota opportunity scholarship eligibility
to South Dakota students who return to the state to attend school.


         ENTITLED, An Act to  extend opportunity scholarship eligibility to South Dakota students who attend college or technical school out-of-state and then return to South Dakota to attend school.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

     Section  1.  That § 13-55-31 be amended to read as follows:

     13-55-31.   In order to be eligible for a South Dakota opportunity scholarship award, a student shall:

             (1)      Be a resident of South Dakota at the time of graduation from high school;

             (2)      Have a composite score of 24, or higher, on the test administered by the American College Testing Program or a verbal-mathematics score of 1070-1100, on the Scholastic Assessment Test and the ACT or SAT test shall be taken before the student graduates from high school;

             (3)      Meet the high school course requirements as provided in Board of Regents Policy Number 2:3(2)(F) as in effect on January 1, 2003;

             (4)      Attend a university, college, or technical school that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and that provides instruction from a campus located in South Dakota; and

             (5)      Enter into the program within five years of graduation from high school or within one year of the student's release from active duty with an active component of the armed forces if the release is within five years of the student's graduation from high school. However, eligibility is lost if If a student attends full-time a regionally accredited university, college, or technical school located outside South Dakota and within the five two years following high school graduation or within the one year two years following release from active military service returns to the state to attend full-time a regionally accredited university, college, or technical school, the student is eligible to receive a partial award .

     A student is eligible to participate in the South Dakota opportunity scholarship program for the equivalent of four academic years (eight consecutive spring and fall terms) or until the attainment of a baccalaureate or technical degree, whichever comes first. However, the executive director of the Board of Regents may grant exceptions to the continuous enrollment requirements for good cause shown.

     A student who would have been eligible for the scholarship, but who applies after completing one or more semesters of full-time work at an accredited institution, may be admitted to the program only if the student has complied with the same grade point and credit hour requirements that would apply to program participants. Admission granted under these circumstances may not be retroactive, and eligibility for participation in the program shall be reduced by one semester for each semester of work completed prior to admission to the program.

     Section  2.  That § 13-55-33 be amended to read as follows:

     13-55-33.   One-half of the annual scholarship award shall be paid to public institutions on behalf of eligible students there enrolled or directly to eligible students enrolled at nonpublic institutions at the beginning of the fall semester and the other half shall be paid at the beginning of the spring semester. The amount of the annual award shall be as follows:

             (1)      One thousand dollars for the first year of attendance;

             (2)      One thousand dollars for the second year of attendance;

             (3)      One thousand dollars for the third year of attendance;

             (4)      Two thousand dollars for the fourth year of attendance unless the student attended full- time a regionally accredited university, college, or technical school located outside South Dakota prior to admission to the program, in which case the award shall be one thousand dollars .

     If, in any year, the total funds available to finance the scholarship awards are insufficient to permit each eligible recipient to receive the full amount provided in this section, the available moneys shall be prorated and distributed to each recipient in proportion to the entitlement contemplated by this section. The total amount of the scholarship may not exceed five thousand dollars.

     Signed February 22, 2006
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