South Dakota scholarship now more obtainable for some students

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A bill signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem will help level the playing field for home school students looking to receive the South Dakota opportunity Scholarship.

Parents of home school students have been advocating for the bill to be passed. Many of them are happy to see the change.

"That would be a blessing for our family and for other families too that may thing 'we cant afford it, so we might not be able to do this,' but this could just be that little bit of incentive to say 'yes we can make this work,'" said Dara Ekanger, a home school parent.

Starting on July 1st, House Bill 1040 will go into affect.

"Previously, high school students needed a 24 on their ACT to qualify to receive the Opportunity Scholarship, but home school students needed to get a 28," Governor Kristi Noem said.

Passing this bill changes those requirements.

"This legislation lowered the home school requirement down to 24, that across the board South Dakota students would all be treated the same," Governor Noem said.

The Ekanger family advocated for this by contacting state leaders and urging them to pass the bill.

All three of Dara Ekanger's children are home schooled.

"My oldest is 16, then I have a 13 year old, and an 8 year old," Ekanger said.

She's excited they will be able to have an equal chance as kids attending public schools to receive the Opportunity Scholarship of $6,500.

"That really makes it a financially feasible possibility for us, so yeah it could be a big plus for our family," Ekanger said.

Governor Noem is looking forward to giving more students than ever before the opportunity to receive the scholarship.

""It'll make sure that more students are aware of that opportunity, that more will apply, and help them be considered for this scholarship and financial help for higher education," Governor Noem said.

The Opportunity Scholarship is given out over the course of a four year degree. It's only offered if the student is going to college in South Dakota.