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South Dakota Senate Endorses Needs-based Scholarship Plan

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PIERRE – The South Dakota Senate has endorsed a plan to create a new scholarship program that would award money based on students’ financial needs.

The Senate voted unanimously to keep the idea alive by sending a bill to the House of Representatives.

The bill originally provided that $5 million would be placed in a trust fund so interest earnings could support scholarships. The bill has been changed to spend only $1, with the idea that money will be added once the Legislature decides how much money is available.

The bill’s main sponsor, Senate Republican Leader Russell Olson of Wentworth, says South Dakota is the only state without a scholarship program based on financial need.

He says state money would be added to private donations and university funding to pay for scholarships.

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