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Arkansas Concurrent Challenge

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Arkansas Workforce Challenge

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General Information

Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.

The Workforce Challenge Scholarship was created in the 2017 legislative session and is funded by lottery revenue.  The purpose of the scholarship is for workforce training in high-demand areas of healthcare, information technology, and industry.  Classes are not limited to credit-bearing programs.  Non-credit, workforce-training classes that fit into the three above categories may also qualify.

List of eligible programs for academic 2021-2022 year

You can also visit Explore Arkansas Careers to view eligible programs!

Arkansas Workforce Challenge Award Amount

The Workforce Challenge Award will be the cost of a certificate program or program of study not to exceed $800.

Deadline for Application

Students must apply at least 30 days prior to enrollment in an eligible program. 

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Be an Arkansas resident
  2. Must be a high school graduate or received high school equivalency
  3. Cannot be a current recipient of the Academic Challenge Scholarship
  4. Be accepted for admission into an approved program as defined by ADHE

Continuing Eligibility  

Arkansas Workforce Challenge is a non-renewable grant. Students who successfully complete their program of study will be allowed to reapply for the award in another eligible program. Students who receive funding from Workforce Challenge and do not successfully complete their program will be allowed to reapply one time.

Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture)

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General Information

Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those who are applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.

Arkansas Future (ArFuture) is the newest state grant program. The purpose of this grant is to increase the education and skills of Arkansas’s workforce in an affordable manner. The grant applies to students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or regional high-demand areas of study. The grant will cover tuition and fees for qualifying certificate and Associate degree programs at Arkansas’ public institutions for eligible students. The grant is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  

Qualifying Degree Programs

You can also visit Explore Arkansas Careers to view eligible programs!

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

An applicant must:

  • Have either graduated from an Arkansas public school, private school, home school or received high school equivalency diploma approved by the Department of Career Education; OR verify that he or she has resided within the state for the three (3) years immediately preceding application and has either:
    • Graduated from an out-of-state high school, private school, home school, or received a high school equivalency diploma approved by another state
  • Be enrolled part-time or full-time at an approved institution of higher education in a program of study that leads to an associate degree or a certification in a STEM or regional high-demand field
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Continuing Eligibility Criteria

A student may continue to be eligible until the student has:

  • Received an associate degree;
  • Received funding from the ArFuture Grant for five (5) semesters;
  • Failed to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by their institution of higher education; or
  • Failed to complete mentoring or community service requirements

Application Deadline

The application deadline is July 1 for the fall semester and January 10 for the spring semester.  

Amount of Grant:

An Arkansas Future Grant shall be in an amount equal to the tuition, fees, and other charges incurred by an eligible student less the amount received from state-supported scholarships, federal student financial assistance, and private scholarships.

If the approved institution of higher education in which the student is enrolled is a four-year institution of higher education, the total amount of tuition, fees, and other charges shall be calculated as the average cost of tuition, fees, and other charges at approved two-year institutions of higher education.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis in the order in which applications are received from eligible students.

Grant funds will be distributed directly to the institution of higher education on behalf of the student. 

Grant Recipient Requirements:

A student who receives an Arkansas Future Grant shall enter into a written agreement with the Arkansas Division of Higher Education to:

  • Receive monthly mentoring from a mentor from an organization determined by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education; and
  • Complete at least ten (10) hours of community service each semester the student receives a grant; and
  • Reside in this state for three (3) consecutive years and be employed beginning within six (6) months after receiving an associate degree or a certification.

If the student fails to meet this requirement, the grant will convert into a loan at an interest rate and term determined by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education. 

Important Note: For students receiving AR Future funds for Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022, the Mentorship and Community Service requirements have been waived for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

Important Note: The Arkansas Division of Higher Education will delay the work requirement if education beyond an Associate Degree is pursued.  The work requirement need not be full-time nor in the field of study to qualify. 

Washington Center Scholarship

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General Information

The Washington Center Scholarship Program is a program that awards scholarships of up to $6,000 to Arkansas students who are accepted to The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars located in Washington, D.C. The Washington Center (TWC) is an independent nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. TWC serves Arkansas students and society as a whole by encouraging participants to be informed, public-spirited and civically engaged for life. The institution’s academic experience is made up of three components: the internship, academic coursework, and the leadership forum. Students are placed, according to their interests, in supervised internships in governmental, international, for-profit or nonprofit organizations.

The Washington Center will select the students that are eligible to participate in the internship program for each applicable academic period. Of those selected students, ADHE will determine the number of students to be awarded the scholarship based on the amount of funds available. In the event there are more eligible applicants than funds available, awards will be determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those not awarded will be given priority for participation in a subsequent term. The amount of the reward for each recipient will be up to $6,000 for one-time participation in The Washington Center internship program.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility of Arkansas applicants to The Washington Center Scholarship program is conditioned upon admission to The Washington Center. In order for one to be enrolled at TWC, the institution requires that all applicants:

  • be enrolled in an accredited college or university as a second semester sophomore or above;
  • maintain a grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale;
  • receive academic credit from the student’s college or university for participation in the internship program; and,
  • receive the endorsement of the student’s campus liaison or faculty sponsor.

Additionally, the State of Arkansas requires, per Act 1046 of 2007, that all Arkansas applicants meet the following:

  • be an Arkansas resident and US citizen or permanent resident alien;
  • be enrolled in an eligible Arkansas institution that will grant academic credit for participation in The Washington Center Internship Program located in Washington D.C.;
  • meet The Washington Center admission requirements; and,
  • be enrolled in a program of study, which leads to or is creditable towards a baccalaureate degree. (These programs include baccalaureate degree programs and associate degree programs.)

Application Deadline Date

Application deadlines for domestic undergraduate and postgraduate students often are set on a space-available basis. All applicants are encouraged to apply many months in advance of the desired commencing academic term to maximize possibility of availability; and all applicants are encouraged to check The Washington Center’s website for up-to-date application deadlines: www.twc.edu

For more information, contact the ADHE financial aid division at 501-371-2000; and, contact The Washington Center at 800-486-8921 or 202-238-7900.

Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

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SURF Applications

SURF applications must be received by November 1 at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, 423 Main Street, Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72201.

The Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program is designed to allow undergraduate students to conduct in-depth research projects in their specific fields of study with the assistance of faculty mentors. To be eligible to apply for these funds, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25, 30 or more hours of credit toward his/her degree at the time of funding, and the support of a faculty mentor. The student must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.

Eligible Projects

All types of undergraduate research are eligible for support, and all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. In addition to the usual science, engineering and mathematics projects, this program will support, for example, a philosophy major who is preparing a paper in the area of bioethics, or an art major who wants to sculpt a major project. Funds are provided for students to travel to conferences to present their accomplishments.

Required Materials for Application Submission

  1. SURF cover page (signed by mentor and institutional official)
  2. Mentor form and mentor's vita (2 page maximum)
  3. Student form and student vita
  4. Current transcript and listing of current semester classes
  5. One page summary of proposed research
  6. Description of proposed research (maximum of 5 pages, doubled spaced)
  7. Budget and budget justification forms
  8. Letter of support from mentor
  9. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members
  10. Original application and one copy

Application Preparation Assistance: If you require technical assistance with preparation of your application, please contact Quinton Morgan at 501-371-1064.

Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship (LEO)

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General Information

The Law Enforcement Officers’ (LEO) Dependents Scholarship program provides an eight-semester scholarship to any state-supported college, university, or technical institute in Arkansas to dependents of Arkansas residents in one of the categories below who were killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Full-time or volunteer firefighters
  • Municipal and/or college or university police officers
  • Sheriffs or deputy sheriffs
  • Constables
  • Game Wardens
  • Certain Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department employees
  • State forestry employees engaged in fighting forest fires
  • State correction employees killed or totally disabled due to contact with inmates or parolees
  • State park employees who are commissioned law enforcement officers or emergency response employees
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Department of Community Punishment employees

Award Amount

The scholarship will reimburse the institution the cost of tuition, fees and dormitory room charges when provided in campus-owned facilities. The scholarship will not pay the cost of books, food, school supplies and materials, or fees for extracurricular activities. Dependent children are eligible to receive benefits for eight semesters and must be less than twenty-three (23) years of age on or before the first day of the semester or quarter. Spouses are entitled to an eight-semester scholarship. The spouse will no longer be eligible if he or she remarries. The benefits will cease at the end of the semester in which the spouse is currently enrolled at the time of the remarriage.

Eligibility Requirements

An Applicant must:

  • Be a bona fide Arkansas resident;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien;
  • Be the biological, stepchild, legally adopted child OR spouse of an eligible Arkansas law enforcement officer;
  • Be enrolled, or be accepted for admission to, an approved Arkansas public institution;
  • Provide required documentation as determined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in order to determine eligibility.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements

Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Application Deadline Date

June 1 to apply.
June 15 to submit required documentation.

For complete information regarding the Law Enforcement Officers' Dependents Scholarship Program (LEO), please see the LEO Rules and Regulations or call 501-371-2000.

Military Dependents Scholarship (MDS)

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General Information

The MIA/KIA Dependents Scholarship Program, created by Act 188 of 1973, was amended by Act 2127 of 2005, and subsequent legislation to include the dependents of disabled veterans. The Program, now called the Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), provides financial aid for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion at any public or private college, university or technical school in Arkansas who qualify as a spouse or dependent child* of an Arkansas resident who has been declared to be missing in action, killed in action, a prisoner of war, or killed on ordnance delivery, or a veteran who has been declared to be 100% totally and permanently disabled during, or as a result of, active military service. *The Department of Higher Education uses the criteria of “dependent child” as defined by the U. S. Department of Education.

Eligibility Requirements

An Applicant must:

  • Be a bona fide Arkansas resident;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien;
  • Be the biological, legally adopted child OR spouse of an eligible Arkansas veteran;
  • Be enrolled, or be accepted for admission to, an approved Arkansas public or private institution;
  • Provide required documentation as determined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in order to determine eligibility.

Award Amount

The MDS Program will cover the unpaid portion of the cost (if any) of tuition and mandatory fees and a room and meal plan when provided in on-campus facilities after three (3) months of Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 benefits have been deducted from the total costs. If there is no positive balance after deduction of DEA benefits, then no benefits will be paid.

The MDS Program cannot be used to cover the cost of books, auto permit, damages or accessories to dorm room, or utility bills. The institution will be reimbursed for covered charges after verification of full-time (12 or more credit hours) enrollment each semester. Eligibility is limited to eight semesters or the achievement of a degree, whichever occurs first. The spouse will no longer be eligible if he or she remarries.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements

  • Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours per academic year.

Application Deadline Dates

July 1 to apply and submit required documentation.

For complete information regarding the Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), please see the MDS Rules and Regulations or call 501-371-2000.

Out-Of-State Veterinary Medical Education Loan Repayment Program

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Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG)

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Starting in fall 2017, we will not award any new Osteopathic students. Those students already receiving funds will be paid through the end of their eligibility.

The Arkansas Health Education Grant Program assists students seeking professional training in chiropractic medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine to allow them to attend out-of-state institutions. Due to current economic conditions, the number of students who receive assistance may be limited by the availability of funds. Applicants are encouraged to apply but are also encouraged to pursue alternative sources of funding.

Arkansas Health Education Grant | About the Program

The Arkansas Health Education Grant Program (ARHEG), which is funded by the state of Arkansas, assists Arkansas residents attending certain out-of-state accredited health and medical professional schools for graduate or professional programs that are unavailable in Arkansas. The ARHEG is administered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE), and assistance is provided pursuant to rules established under Act 1218 of 1999. Such assistance is currently available for attendance at any accredited school of dentistry, school of optometry, school of veterinary medicine, school of podiatric medicine, school of chiropractic medicine, or school of osteopathic medicine that's located outside the state; and offers a full-time course of instruction in at least one eligible profession; and grants, after completion of such course of instruction, a degree acceptable to the applicable licensing board as the sole requirement, or as one requirement, for the applicable licensing board's granting of the applicable professional license; and is a party to a currently effective written agreement between the institution and the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education (SREB) or the ADHE which sets forth (1) the terms and conditions under which disbursements will be made, (2) the number of eligible students for which disbursements will be made, and (3) the amount of disbursements to be made with respect to each eligible student by the ADHE to the institution.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) determines the priorities for the applicable programs. Based upon these priorities and the availability of funding, the board establishes the number of student places (contract slots) for entering students in each professional field in which the state has needs that are not satisfied by its own institutions. Based upon these determinations, the ADHE negotiates contracts with participating schools either (1) through the SREB or (2) directly with the institutions. The AHECB allocates a number of contract slots to each participating school, and each school selects students certified as Arkansas residents to fill its allocated slots.

SREB Contracts

If the school participates in the SREB contract program, the state pays a set fee per student to the SREB according to the table below.

Field of Study FY 2016-17 FY 2017-18 FY 2018-19
Dentistry $20,300 $21,300 $21,900
Chiropractic Medicine $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Optometry $17,800 $18,700 $19,200
Osteopathic Medicine $17,800 $18,700 $19,200
Podiatric Medicine $11,300 $12,700 $13,000
Veterinary Medicine $31,100 $32,600 $33,500

 

In return, the SREB negotiates a contract with the school to hold a certain number of slots open for Arkansas students and to charge those students resident tuition. (Exceptions: Students attending the University of Tennessee (dentistry), Texas A&M University System Health Science Center (dentistry), University of Louisville (dentistry), Oklahoma State University College (osteopathic medicine), and Northeastern State University (optometry) are charged the resident tuition plus the difference between the non-resident tuition and the sum of the resident tuition and the SREB contract fee. Schools that do not have a resident/non-resident tuition differential agree to hold a number of slots open for Arkansas students at reduced tuition.

Non-SREB Contracts

If the school has a direct contract with the ADHE, the contract basically provides that the state will pay to the schools that charge different resident and non-resident tuition an amount equal to the difference between the resident and non-resident tuition, which the school will apply to the tuition and fees of such students. Should the differential exceed the contract price approved for similar programs by the SREB, the lesser amount will be paid. For schools that charge the same amount of annual tuition for residents and non-residents, and such annual tuition is extraordinary as determined by the ADHE, the amount will not be less than $5,000 per student, which the school will apply to the amount of tuition and fees of such students.

Participating Institutions

Asterick (*) indicates SREB contract
Plus sign (+) indicates Private Institution

Field Study Entering Slots
Dentistry Total: 35
University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN* 23
Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN + 1
Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA * 4
University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO 2
University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK * 1
Texas A & M University System HSC, Dallas. TX * 4
University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL * 0
Veterinary Medicine Total: 13
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA * 10
Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 0
Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL + 1
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 1
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 1
Optometry Total: 8
Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN *+ 5
Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK * 3
University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO 0
Podiatric Medicine Total: 4
Rosalind Franklin Univ of Medical Sciences, Chicago, IL *+ 1
Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland, OH *+ 1
Barry University, Miami Shores, FL *+ 1
Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA + 1
Chiropractic Medicine Total: 13
Cleveland Chiropractic College, Kansas City, MO + 2
Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO + 3
Life University, Marietta, GA+ 0
Parker College of Chiropractic, Irving, TX + 6
Texas Chiropractic College, Pasadena, TX + 1
Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA + 1
Grand Total: 73

 

Certification and Application

To receive ARHEG funding assistance to study chiropractic medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, or veterinary medicine, a prospective student must be "certified" as an Arkansas resident. Certification is a procedural process that the student initiates by completing the Application and Affidavit and submitting them to:

ARHEG Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201-3818
Phone: 1-800-54-STUDY or (501) 371-2000
Email: finaid@adhe.edu

The prospective student must also apply to and be accepted by a school under contract with the state. The total number of contract slots is limited by available funds, so it is important to apply and gain acceptance by the school at the earliest possible time.

(Note: ADHE processes requests for certification on a monthly basis. Students applying for the ARHEG and residency certification receive a letter from ADHE confirming their certification status; at the same time, an updated list of certified students is sent to the institutions participating in the ARHEG. Participating institutions have sole discretion in selecting grant recipients from the list of certified students using the same criteria they use in determining those students that will be accepted for enrollment.)

Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP)

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General Information

The Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP) offers tuition reimbursement grants to Arkansas teachers and administrators. Teachers and administrators may apply for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses paid for up to six (6) college credit hours completed for each academic year, not to exceed $3000.

An applicant must:

  • Be an Arkansas resident twelve (12) months prior to the application deadline;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien;
  • Have and maintain a current teacher and/or administrator license with the Arkansas Department of Education;
  • Be employed as a classroom teacher or administrator in Arkansas and declare intention to continue such employment in Arkansas;
  • Be enrolled in an approved institution of higher education in Arkansas;
  • Be enrolled in a college level course(s) directly related to employment;
  • Have at least a 2.50 cumulative GPA in the course(s) funded by the TOP Reimbursement Grant during the application period.

Documents Required:

  • College transcript for the semester(s) you are seeking reimbursement
  • Itemized statement of charges for semester(s) you are seeking reimbursement
  • Copy of your paid receipt for the semester(s) you are seeking reimbursement

The amount awarded will be based on the tuition, mandatory fees, books, and required supplies paid by the applicant for six (6) college credit hours completed. Reimbursable fees are those required of all students. Costs such as graduation fees, late fees, car registration fees, and mileage are not reimbursable. Grants may not exceed the cost of the Arkansas public institution assessing the highest rate of tuition and mandatory fees or $3000, whichever is less.

If necessary, teachers taking courses in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, literacy or reading, prekindergarten education, or special education will be given priority when awards are made. 

Application Deadline

  • June 1, 2021 - Priority deadline - all documentation must be postmarked by June 1, 2021
  • July 1, 2021 - Final deadline to apply
  • July 15, 2021 - All documentation must be postmarked by July 15, 2021

State Teacher Education Program (STEP)

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General Information

The State Teacher Education Program (STEP) provides assistance for eligible teachers with repayment of outstanding federal student loans. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) shall administer the State Teacher Education Program (STEP) within the policies set by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The State Teacher Education Program recipients may receive:

  • Loan repayment for federal student loans in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) per year for each year a licensed teacher teaches in a public school located in a geographical area of the state designated as having a critical shortage of teachers OR in a subject matter area designated as having a critical shortage of teachers.
  • Additional loan repayment for federal student loans in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for each year a licensed minority teacher teaches in a public school located in a geographical area of the state designated as having a critical shortage of teachers or in a subject matter area designated as having a critical shortage of teachers in Arkansas.

Total term of federal student loan repayment shall not exceed three years.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be a bona fide Arkansas resident, as defined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, for at least twelve (12) months prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicant must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien.
  • Applicant must have graduated from a teacher education program after April 2004.
  • Applicant must have outstanding federal student loans.
  • Applicant must hold a valid Arkansas teacher’s license.
  • Applicant must teach full-time at a public school district in Arkansas during the award year.

In addition to the above, applicant must meet one of the additional criteria:

  • Teach in a subject area with a teacher shortage, as identified by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in consultation with the Arkansas Department of Education; or
  • Teach in a geographic area with a teacher shortage, as identified by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education

Documents Required

  • College transcript that lists the completion date and undergraduate degree
  • Lender Statement that includes:
    • Borrower Name
    • Account Number
    • Loan Balance
    • Mailing Address of the Lender

Continued Eligibility

STEP recipients must re-apply each year and meet all eligibility requirements each year. Total term of federal student loan repayment shall not exceed three years.

Application Deadline

  • June 1, 2021 - Priority deadline - all documentation must be postmarked by June 1, 2021
  • July 1, 2021 - Final deadline to apply
  • July 15, 2021 - All documentation must be postmarked by July 15, 2021

Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship

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Scholarship Information

Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.

Governor’s Distinguished Scholarships - Students who meet the following minimum eligibility criteria are eligible to be named Governor’s Distinguished Scholars: either a 32 composite score on a single ACT or 1410 combined math and critical reasoning score on a single SAT AND either a 3.50 academic grade point average or selection as a National Achievement Finalist or National Merit Finalist. (Those named National Merit Finalists or National Achievement Scholars may qualify without meeting the GPA requirement but must still meet the ACT/SAT requirement). If funding allows, up to 375 Governor’s Distinguished Scholars may be named. If a county in Arkansas does not have a Distinguished Scholar, the highest-ranking applicant from that county will be awarded a Governor's Scholarship at $5,000 per year.

The financial need of the student is not a factor in the award of the scholarship; therefore, no financial information is required. (You do not have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for this scholarship.)

Amount of Governor's Distinguished Scholarship

The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship will pay up to $10,000 per year for tuition, mandatory fees, room and board.

The scholarship will be disbursed by the institution the student is attending and will be apportioned according to that institution’s academic terms. The student must be enrolled in at least 15 semester credit hours (12 semester credit hours the fall term of the freshman year) to receive funds for that term.

When this scholarship is combined with other scholarship funds, the total amount of the student’s financial aid package cannot exceed the cost of attendance at the higher education institution where the student attends. If a student receives a total financial aid package that exceeds the cost of attendance, the amount of this scholarship or other scholarships may be reduced.

Receiving Governor's Distinguished and Academic Challenge Scholarships

Recipients of the Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholarships may also receive Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships, but they shall not receive more than the maximum scholarship amount for the Arkansas Distinguished Scholarship.  The charts below provide a breakdown per Academic Year.

If a student does not complete their FAFSA or chooses to decline the Academic Challenge, the full amount of the $10,000 per year would come from only the Governor's Scholars Program funds.

Student receiving both Governor's Distinguished and Academic Challenge per Academic Year at a 4-Year institution:

  Academic Challenge Governor's Distinguished
Year 1 $1,000 $9,000
Year 2 $4,000 $6,000
Year 3 $4,000 $6,000
Year 4 $5,000 $5,000

Student receiving both Governor's Distinguished and Academic Challenge per Academic Year at a 2-Year institution until they transfer to a 4-Year institution:

  Academic Challenge Governor's Distinguished
Year 1 $1,000 $9,000
Year 2 $3,000 $7,000
5th Semester $1,500 $3,500

Renewal of Scholarships

Governor’s Distinguished Scholar awards may be renewed for three academic years in addition to the initial award year, provided the Governor’s Distinguished Scholar has maintained a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale at the end of each academic year and has completed 27 semester credit hours in the first academic year and 30 semester credit hours per academic year thereafter. If the Governor’s Distinguished Scholar fails to meet these requirements at the end of the academic year, the scholarship will be revoked. There are no provisions for probation or reinstatement.

The Governor’s Scholars Award may be renewed for three academic years in addition to the initial award year, provided the Governor’s Scholar has maintained a minimum 3.0 cumulative college grade point average on a 4.0 scale at the end of each academic year and has completed 27 semester credit hours the first academic year and 30 semester credit hours per year thereafter. If the Governor’s Scholar fails to meet these requirements at the end of any one academic year, the scholarship will be revoked. There are no provisions for probation or reinstatement.

Students who receive either award and complete their baccalaureate degree in less than four (4) years may use the remaining term of the award at any Arkansas postgraduate school or at certain approved graduate programs within the southern region, where no identical program exists in the state of Arkansas. The maximum term will not exceed four academic years.

Refund Policy

A Scholar who withdraws from an institution may owe a refund to the Arkansas Governor’s Scholars Program if the above action occurs before the end of the institutional tuition refund period.

Temporary Withdrawal

A Governor’s Scholar may temporarily withdraw from the program after the fall semester of the freshman year for a period of time up to one year upon written petition to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The petition must be received by October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the spring term. Failure to petition the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in writing for a temporary withdrawal from the program by the dates specified above will result in a loss of the award. Failure to enroll at an approved college or university following the temporary withdrawal will also result in the loss of the award.

Acceptable hold reasons are as follows:

  1. Student’s illness
  2. Family member’s illness
  3. Death in the family
  4. Financial hardship
  5. Military training
  6. Military deployment
  7. Internship or co-op
  8. Need an additional semester to earn an associates degree or to complete pre-requisites for a specific program

Transfer of Scholarship

A Governor’s Scholar may change their choice of college prior to registration and may transfer between approved institutions during the school year. The deadline for notifying ADHE of a change in colleges is October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the winter and/or spring terms. Failure to notify the Governor’s Scholars Program in writing of this institutional change by these dates will result in the loss of the award for the term in question.

The application deadline is February 1 of the year of high school graduation. The application and all supporting documentation, except National Merit/Achievement Finalist status notification, must be received by the deadline. Applications submitted after then will not be considered.

GDS Information Sheet

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

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General Information

Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those who are applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Program provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing higher education. Funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to students regardless of their academic status, whether just graduating from high school, currently enrolled in college, enrolling in college for the first time, or re-enrolling after a period of time out of college. 

Arkansas Scholarship Stacking Law

Application Deadline

The application deadline is July 1 of a student’s senior year in high school.

Arkansas Academic Challenge Award Amounts

Students who were originally awarded prior to the 2016-17 school year are awarded at the following rates:

  Four Year College Two Year College
Year 1 $2000 $2000
Year 2 $3000 $2000
Year 3 $4000 -
Year 4 $5000 -

 

Starting with the 2016-17 school year, students are awarded at the following rates:

     
Year 1 $1000 $1000
Year 2 $4000 $3000
Year 3 $4000 -
Year 4 $5000 -

Eligibility Requirements

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship's eligibility requirements are based on two student categories: Traditional (Incoming Freshman) and Nontraditional Students.

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

An applicant must:

  • Be an Arkansas resident (at least 12 months prior to enrollment) and US citizen/lawful permanent resident
  • Be accepted for admission at an approved institution of higher education in a program of study that leads to a baccalaureate degree, associate degree, qualified certificate, or a nursing school diploma
  • Not have earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (although there is no maximum income)
  • Not owe a refund on a federal or state student financial aid grant for higher education
  • Not be in default on a federal or state student financial aid loan for higher education
  • Not borrowed in excess of annual federal loan limits
  • Not be incarcerated at the time of application for or during the time the applicant receives the scholarship
  • Complied with the United States Selective Service System requirements for registration
  • Certify to be drug-free

Additional Eligibility Criteria for the Traditional Student:

  • Enroll full-time each semester (Fall and Spring) - 12 hours the fall semester immediately following high school graduation and 15 hours each semester thereafter. Students must enroll in required hours at one institution. 
    • Students who complete their bachelor's degree at the end of a term may be enrolled in less than 15 hours and still be awarded a prorated award amount based on their hours
  • Students who graduate after 2010 must also meet the following:
  1. Graduate from an Arkansas public high school and has a minimum composite or superscore of nineteen (19) on the ACT (On-site ACT permissible) or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent test
  2. Applicant who has  a disability identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20U.S.C.§ 1400 et seq., as it existed on July 1, 2009, and graduated from an Arkansas public high school, and:
    • Achieve a minimum composite or superscore of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent
  3. Graduate from a private or out-of-state or home school high school and achieve a minimum composite or superscore of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent.
  4. Students who are enrolled as a full-time, first-time freshman but not receiving the Arkansas Academic Challenge will also be considered Traditional if they meet the following:
    • Successfully completed at least twenty-seven (27) semester hours in the academic year immediately following high school graduation; and
    • Achieved a postsecondary grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale as a full-time, first-time freshman.

Continuing Eligibility Criteria

SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR COVID-19:  If you were enrolled in the required number of hours on MARCH 20, 2020, you meet continued eligibility criteria for the Fall 2020 semester.  This means you must have earned the correct number of hours in the FALL 2019 semester.  If you compensated for fewer hours in Fall 2019 by enrolling in extra hours during the Spring 2020 semester and were still enrolled in the required hours (plus the make-up hours) on March 20, 2020, you have met eligibility.  If you were not enrolled in the required hours in Fall 2019 and planned to make up those hours in the Summer 2020 term, you will need to enroll in the correct number of deficient hours for the summer to maintain eligibility.      

  1. Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA
  2. Complete 27 semester hours the first academic year and 30 semester hours each year thereafter
  3. Complete all remedial courses during the first 30 hours taken after receipt of the scholarship
  4. Be continuously enrolled unless student request for scholarship to be placed on hold (Maximum hold of 4 semesters)
  5. Shall enroll in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree after:
    • Earning an Associates Degree; or
    • Having less than four semesters of funding left.
  6. Will be renewed until recipient first:
    • Earns a Baccalaureate degree
    • Attempts a total of 130 semester hours in 8 semesters
    • Starting with 2016 awardees, students will be renewed until the student attempts a total of 120 semester hours or receives 8 semesters of funding, whichever comes first.
      NOTE: If the recipient’s undergraduate degree requires additional hours, ADHE, in conjunction with the student’s institution, shall determine the maximum period of time for renewal.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for the Nontraditional Student:

  • Enroll full-time or part-time each semester (Fall and Spring) - Full-time = 15 hours, Part-time = at least 6 hours
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
  1. If the applicant has not been enrolled in an approved institution of higher education, has either:
    • Graduated from an Arkansas public high school and achieved a 2.5 high school grade point average; or
    • Graduated from an Arkansas public high school, a private high school, an out-of-state high school, a home school high school, or obtained a high school equivalency diploma approved by the Division of Career and Technical Education and had a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT (On-site ACT permissible) or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent; or 
  2. If the applicant has been enrolled in an approved institution of higher education, has earned a postsecondary grade point average of at least 2.5 in completed courses.

Continuing Eligibility Criteria

  1. Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA (will be evaluated at the end of each Spring term)
  2. Complete 15 hours each consecutive semester for full-time and complete at least 6 semester hours for part-time (excluding summer terms)
  3. Be continuously enrolled unless student request for scholarship to be placed on hold (Maximum hold of 4 semesters)
  4. Shall enroll in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree after:
  • Earning an Associates Degree; or
  • Having less than four semesters of funding left.

      5. Will be renewed until recipient first:

  • Earns a Baccalaureate degree
  • Attempts a total of 130 semester hours in 8 semesters (full time) or up to 16 semesters (part-time)
  • Starting with 2016 awardees, students will be renewed until the student attempts a total of 120 semester hours, receives 8 semesters of funding, or the student earns a Baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.
    NOTE: If the recipient’s undergraduate degree requires additional hours, ADHE, in conjunction with the student’s institution, shall determine the maximum period of time for renewal.

Graduate School Information

Those that graduate from undergrad early have the option to use the remaining semesters for graduate school.

There are a few rules that come with this option, listed below:

  • Only the Senior Award Amount can be used for graduate school (Max 2 semesters)
  • The Graduate school must be based in Arkansas.
  • Student must be accepted and start the graduate program the semester immediately following their undergraduate graduation (summer semesters not included).
  • If a student has an extenuating circumstance, they can have their scholarship held up to a year
  • Student must complete 30 hours with a 2.5+ GPA for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 year to be awarded the scholarship for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 year.

The scholarship amount for graduate school is based on the hours you are enrolled in. Seniors receive $2,500 a semester, if enrolled in 9 or more hours. Below is a chart of the proration.

  • Enrolled in 3-5 hours= 50%
  • Enrolled in 6-8 hours= 75%
  • Enrolled in 9+ hours=100%

To request your remaining semesters be used for graduate school, please submit your Graduate Acceptance Letter. 

Graduate Acceptance Letter Submission >

ACT Equivalency Chart

These tests below will not be superscored.

New SAT (Test taken March 2016 or later) 990
ASSET (average of all subscores) 40
COMPASS (average of Reading, Writing, and Algebra scores) 64
ACCUPLACER (average of all subscores) 79
Next-Generation ACCUPLACER (average of Reading, Writing, and Math scores) all three scores must be on one test 246
Disclaimer: The laws, rules, regulations, award amounts, amount of awardees, eligibility criteria, funding per program, etc. are subject to change at any point prior to, during or after application through the YOUniversal application. These changes will be based on changes in law or funding provided by the Arkansas General Assembly. It is understood that ADHE is not at fault for any changes that occur to any financial aid program. In addition, awards for all ADHE programs are limited by the availability of funds.