Regents launch Our Dakota Dream Coalition, extend free college application campaign


PIERRE – The South Dakota Board of Regents announced the launch of the Dakota Dream coalition today as part of an ongoing effort to encourage South Dakotans to pursue post-secondary education.

The coalition is funded by a national grant through the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated through the Board of Regents.

The coalition includes representatives from the regents’ central office, Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota Mines, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota Department of Education, South Dakota Board of Technical Education, and Mapping Your Future.

Our Dakota Dream is designed to support the dreams of South Dakotans who require education after high school. Post-secondary certifications can take many forms, and many dreams can only be achieved by attending college.

“Pursuing higher education can help make many dreams come true, while supporting the vitality of communities across South Dakota,” said Brian L. Maher, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “As workforce demand for jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree increase, ‘Our Dakota Dream’ will help demonstrate that college for South Dakotans is accessible and affordable – and that college can make dreams a reality.”

The regents also announced an extension of its Free College Application Campaign from one week to six weeks. Application fees at all South Dakota colleges and universities will be waived from Oct. 18 to Nov. 30. Our Dakota Dream coalition will also coordinate a series of initiatives to help potential students navigate the college application process.

“Applying for college can be an intimidating and scary process,” said Janice Minder, the regents’ system vice president for academic policy and planning. “By offering a free application period we hope to increase the number of first-generation students and students from low-income families who might otherwise not pursue their dreams of attending college. Our Dakota Dream is that all South Dakotans have an opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

Learn more about college application month and how you can apply for free: https://www.selectdakota.org/parentscounselors/collegeapplicationweek/.

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