Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship updates to benefit students amidst pandemic


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Despite a global pandemic, high school students across KELOLAND are still looking to further their academic career by going to college. Students wanting to attend SDSU have a new opportunity to allow them to get a scholarship.

For seniors in high school, this is often a busy time in their life.

And with the extra stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, SDSU wants to make sure students know their options.

“For this fall we felt it was important to emphasize that pathway so that students and families were familiar with the option and aware that they could be admitted without having to have an SAT or ACT test, and they could use either an SAT or ACT, or high school GPA, or high school class rank, or smarter balance scores,” director of admissions, SDSU, Shawn Helmbolt said.

Many students rely on scholarships to further their education, that’s why SDSU has made changes to their Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship program.

“In the past the student would have had to have an SAT or ACT test score in order to qualify for those minimum merit award scholarships that we awarded through the Jackrabbit Guarantee program,” Helmbolt said. “Now we are piloting a program for fall of 2021 and for this year, where a student can qualify for a Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship using solely their high school GPA or using a combination of their high school GPA and ACT or SAT test score that they may have completed already.”

This is good news for Brookings High school senior, Taylor Bortnem who will be attending SDSU. She originally planned to take the ACT back in April.

“It got canceled and I signed up to take it in May and it got canceled then too, and then again in July it got canceled, so I finally got signed up in October and I got to take it October 10th and I just got my scores back, but I wasn’t necessarily super happy with them so when I found out we don’t have to have a perfect score to get a scholarship it took a lot of pressure off,” Brookings High School senior, Taylor Bortnem said.

“We are hopeful this provides a pathway for students and families, and relieve some stress, gives them an opportunity to be recognized, Helmbolt said.

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