Post-secondary funding

scoring scholarships

College and post-secondary education are a worthwhile investment. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Here are a few ways to pay for training.

You can find the average total cost of U.S. colleges and universities using 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 payments 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.


Scholarships are granted based on different criteria, including your location, race, ethnicity, life experience, music and sports ability. You can check for local scholarships regardless of where you attend. Then, once you’re accepted into a school, see what opportunities are available there. Usually, you’re automatically considered for eligible scholarships upon application.

You can also use the Scholarship Finder to see more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants and other financial aid opportunities.

Learn more


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.

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Work-study is on-campus employment offered through the school. It helps you earn money to pay for your education.

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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.

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other ways to help pay for education

• If you pay any amount for higher education, you will probably qualify for a tax credit or deduction on your next year’s taxes. Read about Tax Benefits for Education.

• Veterans may be eligible for a variety of education benefits through GI Bill programs. Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website to learn more.

• 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.

• The Department of Labor and Regulation has a Workforce Training Program that offers tuition assistance for eligible individuals in need of training to secure employment in an approved training program. To learn more about the Workforce Training Program, contact your job service office to schedule a meeting with an employment specialist.

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