Scholarship Application

Early each November, this scholarship announcement is furnished to South Dakota high school counselors and financial aid offices and instructors at post secondary schools.  To apply, submit an application letter.  The required contents of this application letter are listed below.  Application letters must be postmarked no later than January 15 of each year, for the following school year. Further information can be obtained by contacting SDSWMA by phone 605-216-3256 or sending an email to SDSWMA at  You may request the scholarship application and responses to frequently asked questions by email for the applications which must be submitted by January 15, 2023.

What information must be supplied in the application letter?

An application letter must include:

  • Contact Information – please provide a permanent mailing address
  • Interests
  • Background
  • Work history and/or extra-curricular activity
  • Financial need
  • Goals for the future and career goals
  • Applicants must furnish a copy of their most recent grade transcript. This scholarship is not solely awarded based on grades or overall GPA. We are more interested in your dedication and goals for the future.
  • Three letters of reference.
  • High School seniors applying for a scholarship must include an acceptance certificate from the post-secondary institution they will be attending.

Submit application letters via email to: or through the mail at the following address by January 15 of each year.

SDSWMA Scholarship Program

1616 Melody Lane

Aberdeen, SD  57401

Who is eligible for SDSWMA Scholarship?

An applicant should desire a career in the solid waste industry and/or related fields. Applicants must intend to enroll for the fall semester.

  • Preference will be given to South Dakota residents intending to or enrolled at a
    South Dakota colleges and vocational schools.
  • High school seniors are eligible to apply.
  • Part-time studies will be considered if applicant can show good cause for other
    than full-time studies and that the course of study is directed toward a degree,
    certificate or similar identification of graduation.
  • Students who have received an SDSWMA scholarship in the past are eligible to apply each year
  • Children and spouses of Scholarship Committee members are not eligible.

What is considered a course of study that is supportive of the solid waste industry?

SDSWMA membership consists of a broad range of industries relating to and supporting the proper disposal, recycling, hauling, or reuse of solid waste.  Currently, our state and industry is suffering from shortages of CDL truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, diesel mechanics, environmental technicians, GPS/computer technicians, etc.  These are the courses of study that will be considered for scholarships.

How are scholarships awarded?

The SDSWMA Board appoints a committee of five SDSWMA members who review all applications. Applications are rated on a point system basis and those applications with the highest points are awarded scholarships.  Award letters will be mailed by April 30 and scholarship checks will be mailed out by August 1.

How many scholarships are awarded?

The number and amounts of scholarships vary from year to year.  In 2023, a total of $5,200 was awarded between 3 students!