PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Board of Regents says it will ask policymakers to create a comprehensive state financial aid program.

The board said Friday that Dakota’s Promise will be aimed at closing the gap between current financial aid and South Dakota college students’ cost of attendance.

Regents President Bob Sutton says the state is at the “very bottom” when it comes to state-financed scholarship programs. He says many South Dakota students still have unmet need after exhausting all existing aid options.

The $3.5 million aid request would have the state fill the financial gap for a student after all other available sources have been used. The board says the funding would scale up in future years until an estimated roughly 6,000 students receive financial support each year at a $10.3 million cost.