SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Stopping the “brain drain” continues to be a priority for the state of South Dakota.
The process starts when high school students decide to go for higher education and then once gaining a degree deciding to live in the Rushmore State. A recent report from the South Dakota Board of Regents concludes the university system has been “consistently successful at keeping SD graduates in the state following degree completion.”
Once high school graduates attend college in South Dakota, 71% stayed in the state after college graduation.
The Fact Book is an annual publication of the South Dakota Board of Regents, produced each January. You can look through the 72-page document attached below.
The 71% rate for previous South Dakota residents and in-state college graduates matches data recorded from the past decade from FY2011 (71%).
Rep. Erin Healy (D-Sioux Falls) said the state needs to constantly be looking at ways to keep people here in our state.
“So many of my friends have left our state because there has been no access for the type of job they do,” she said on Tuesday after Gov. Noem’s State of the State speech. “We need to continue to evaluate what types of positions are available. What types of industries are here and ways that we can keep people my age in the state of South Dakota and those who are younger than me.”
Healy said the people in her Sioux Falls-based District 14 are always asking for ways to keep the cost of college down.
“We need to make it affordable for people to stay in the state of South Dakota for a good education,” Healy said. “Having that needs-based scholarship opportunity is incredibly important. I was very happy to see the governor wants to focus on that and I’m very excited to work with her on that issue.”
While higher education costs and funding will continue to be an issue Republicans and Democrats focus on during the 96th legislative session, South Dakota public universities received a big boost in the creation of the PREMIER scholarship.
Last week, $50 million was donated by First PREMIER Bank and T. Denny Sanford for the creation of a brand new need-based scholarship for the six public universities in South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) called for the state legislature to give an additional $50 million to the scholarship and work towards creating a $200 million self-sustaining endowment to fund.
One big stipulation with the newly announced scholarship is requiring all students who receive the financial assistance to live and work in South Dakota for three years after graduation. Otherwise, the scholarship turns into a loan and will need to be paid back.
The three-year live and work requirement for South Dakota students receiving the new South Dakota aid, is another example of trying to stop the “brain drain.”