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Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 by generous business leaders and forward-thinking lawmakers to address South Dakota’s workforce challenges. Lake Area Technical College is proud to facilitate the Build Dakota Scholarship program that supports students entering high-need workforce fields in South Dakota. The program goal is to help close the workforce gap in these high-demand careers by graduating highly skilled workers.

Scholarship Details & Student Commitment

Students awarded a Build Dakota Scholarship are one step closer to a successful future. Since Build Dakota Scholarships support tuition, fees, books, and other required program expenses, scholarship recipients graduate debt-free. 

By accepting a Build Dakota Scholarship, the student agrees to:

  • Enroll full-time in a high-need industry program at Lake Area Tech
  • Following graduation, work full-time in their field for a minimum of three years in South Dakota
    ° Most LATC Build Dakota scholars earn their scholarship with a Stretch-the-Million industry partner. These scholars fulfill their Build Dakota work commitment through their STM partner.


  • Both in-state students and out-of-state students are eligible for the scholarships.
  • Scholars of all ages can apply.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national (Must meet citizenship eligibility requirements according to the federal financial aid regulations). Contact the college with questions regarding specific situations.
  • Must complete the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Must demonstrate aptitude through one or more of the following:
    ° The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) or other industry-recognized certifications in the career area
    ° Technical, dual, or concurrent credit courses taken in the career interest area
    ° Work-based learning experiences, internships or work experience in the career interest area

How to Apply

The Build Dakota application window is open from January 1 – March 31.
Lake Area Tech students use their MyPortal login to access the Foundation’s comprehensive online application. Note: new students will need to have been accepted into their program of choice before receiving MyPortal credentials. 

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About Build Dakota
Tips for Applying for Scholarships
Tips for the Build Dakota Industry Match Process
Login Assistance

Build Dakota Scholarship Eligible Programs at Lake Area Tech

Agriculture – Agri-Production Option
Agriculture – Dairy Option
Agriculture – Precision Technology Option

Auto Body & Paint Technology
Automotive Technology
Building Trades Technology
Computer Information Systems*

Dental Assisting* – Certified
Diesel Technology
Electronic Systems Technology*
Energy Operations
Energy Technology
Environmental Technology
Heavy Equipment Operator

Law Enforcement
Med/Fire Rescue
Med/Fire Rescue – Paramedic*
Medical Lab Technician*
Practical Nursing*
Precision Machining*
Registered Nursing*

Surgical Technology

* Online E-Degrees available in these programs

Build Dakota 2023-24 Recipients

Congratulations to Build Dakota Cohort 9 at Lake Area Tech!

More Information/Questions

For more information about Build Dakota Scholarships, please email foundation@lakeareatech.edu or call:

Brittany Rost, Foundation Scholarship Coordinator
605-882-5284  Ext. 292
Jessi Eidson, Development & Alumni Coordinator
605-882-5284  Ext. 308
Melissa Waldner, Business Partner Specialist
605-882-5284  Ext. 263
Tracy (Hlavacek) Buisker, Foundation Director
605-882-5284 Ext. 268