PIERRE | The leader of the Republican majority in the South Dakota Senate says he will introduce a bill to create a state program that awards scholarships based on financial need.

Sen. Russell Olson of Wentworth says South Dakota is the only state that has no scholarship program based on financial need. He says details are not yet worked out, but he intends to use money available for one-time use to create an endowment fund for the scholarships.

Olson says Alumni associations at the state universities and technical schools would be asked to match the state money for scholarships.

House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says he would welcome a change to get a needs-based scholarship started. He says low-income students have a hard time affording college in South Dakota.

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As a middle class that doesn't qualify for refunds,pell grants, ADC, Hud housing Etc.. it seems to me that low income children get enough free thing compared to most...not being able to give my children very much money to go to school, they recieved scholorships, took out students loans....one in law school will have $60,000 to pay back, the Nurse practioner daughter will have about the same. It is OK to go to school, work hard to get scholorships,take loans, work, and pay back the money...I get upset when a class of people get pell grants that others can not get, than we want to add more $$$$ for that group to have? Again you can not choose your parents, how you apply yourself in school is also a choice...scholorships,work,take loans, than you pay your way not your neighbor..

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