Arkansas scholarships and grants can help make the cost of education in Arkansas more affordable. Students who are residents of the state or who are attending college in Arkansas should look at different types of Arkansas financial aid in addition to federal aid and aid from their specific school. Here are several different scholarships and grants available in Arkansas:
- Arkansas Student Assistance Grant
This is a need-based grant that students can receive as long as there are Arkansas residents and full-time students at an Arkansas postsecondary educational institution. In order to apply for this grant, students must simply fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is due in March of each school year. Students who are eligible for the Pell grant, a federal grant, based on their financial need in paying for schooling may also be eligible for the Arkansas Student Assistance Grant.
This award is doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should file their FAFSA early to stand a better chance of a larger award through this grant program.
- ADHE Governor’s Scholars Distinguished Scholars Award
This is one of the Arkansas scholarships based on merit rather than need. Students who take the SAT and ACT are eligible to apply for this award. Those who score at least 32 on the ACT, at least 1410 on the SAT, and maintain a 3.5 GPA in their high school career are eligible for this scholarship. Students who are named National Merit Finalists based on their pre-SAT scores are also eligible for this award.
This large award helps to pay tuition, room and board, and other educational fees for up to $10,000 a year. Students who are chosen as Governor’s Distinguished Scholars will automatically receive an award of their entire tuition, room and board, and mandatory school fees upon reapplying for the award each year. Other students may qualify to be Governor’s Scholars, and these students can receive up to $4,000 per school year, which is still enough to cover a substantial amount of tuition and fees.
- Arkansas High-Tech Scholarship Program
This scholarship program offers up to $250 a semester for Arkansas residents who graduated from an Arkansas high school and are enrolling full time in technical programs at public Arkansas colleges and universities. While those who are already enrolled in college are welcome to apply, the preference is for graduating high school seniors who are planning to enroll in a program right out of high school.
Each year, the application deadline is July 1st, and students can apply through the DWE website. In order to qualify, students must show that they have maintained a 2.5 GPA in high school or college and that they had a composite ACT score of at least 19. Students can also qualify by being ranked in the top 10% of their graduating classes.
- Go! Opportunities Grant
This grant is also known as the Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant. It’s meant for low-income students who need assistance completing their college degrees. Students can receive up to $1,000 a year for a total of four years throughout their lifetimes. Part-time students can also receive money from this scholarship. For the purposes of this scholarship, full-time is twelve credit hours during the first fall semester of college and fifteen credit hours per semester thereafter. Part time students can carry anywhere from six to fourteen hours of credit.
This grant is based solely on income. Students operating as a single-person household must make under $25,000 a year to qualify. With each additional household member, the limit goes up by $5,000. In order to apply, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and grant eligibility is determined by the adjusted gross income listed there. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress, demonstrate continuing financial need, and maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or above to be awarded this grant another year.
- Academic Challenge Scholarship
This scholarship is funded partially by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, which means it can provide opportunities for higher education to a broad range of Arkansas residents. Students are chosen based on their category – either Traditional Incoming Freshman, Current Achiever, or Nontraditional Student. The requirements are different for each group, but basic requirements are the same. For instance, students must be Arkansas residents for at least a year before enrolling in college, must not already have a baccalaureate degree, and must fill out the FAFSA, though this is not a needs-based scholarship.
Incoming freshman students in the Traditional category must graduate from an Arkansas high school with a 2.5 GPA or a 19 composite ACT score. Students must also score proficient on end of course exams in Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, and Literacy. Traditional students attending a four-year university can receive $5,000 a year, and those attending a two-year college can receive $2,500 per year.
Current Achievers must have completed at least twelve hours of three-credit-hour or more courses and have maintained a 2.5 GPA. Students must be currently enrolled in college and must of enrolled as a full-time freshman within a year of graduating from high school. Students are eligible for the same amount of aid as Traditional students so long as they continuously enroll in at least 15 credit hours a semester. The award is renewable until a student earns a baccalaureate degree or attempts 130 credit hours over eight school semesters.
Nontraditional students must enroll either part time or full time each semester they are awarded this Arizona scholarship. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, to be evaluated at the end of each spring term, and they must have already completed twelve credit hours of college coursework. Students can use this money to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or until they have been through eight semesters of full-time coursework or sixteen semesters of part-time course work. The normal award amount is prorated for part-time enrollment so that students can still highly benefit from these Arizona scholarships.
For more information on these grants, check out www.asla.info.