VERMILLION — Sanford Health has pledged $300,000 per year to fund scholarships to students enrolled in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. That amount will be matched by the USD Foundation.  

As a result of this new Sanford Health Scholarship Program, 40 students (10 per class) will receive a large scholarship each year, equal to roughly half the cost of tuition and fees. Students who are enrolled in medical school classes for the 2019-2020 school year are eligible in the scholarship program’s first year.

This scholarship program will be the largest single source of scholarship money available to medical students at the USD Sanford School of Medicine. It also rates as one of the largest scholarship programs available to students at a specific medical school in the United States.    

Approximately 90 percent of the students enrolled in the USD Sanford School of Medicine are South Dakota residents, and those who are non-residents have strong connections to the state. The average total debt incurred by medical students during their four-year medical education at USD is about $180,000. This scholarship can eliminate about one-third of that debt for those who are recipients.  

“We are deeply grateful to Sanford Health for this transformational gift,” said Dr. Mary Nettleman, dean of the medical school and vice president of health affairs at USD. “The Sanford Health Scholarship Program will make a significant difference for our students and inspire them to become the best physicians they can be.”

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