State Financial Aid for Undergraduates
The state lottery funds the merit-based Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship Program. Applicants may qualify for the scholarship if one of three ways: high school GPA, assessment scores, or college freshman GPA.
Recent graduates may qualify with a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or an ACT Composite score of at least 19. . Full-time college students may earn the merit scholarship if they receive a first-semester GPA of at least 2.5 or produce an ACT composite score of at least 19. Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA earn 15 credits each semester to continue receiving aid.
Students will receive scholarship renewals until they reach one of the following milestones: attempting 120 credits, earning a baccalaureate degree, or receiving eight semesters of funding.
Recipients may regain the scholarship if they meet the GPA and credit completion requirements within the same academic year that they became ineligible.
The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board revised award amounts beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year. Freshmen at all eligible postsecondary institutions now receive $1,000 per academic year. The award increases to $4,000 for sophomores and juniors. Seniors who maintain the award for three academic years receive a $5,000 award during their final year. Second-year students at community and technical colleges receive a $3,000 award.
The Arkansas Future Grant Program provides grants for students enrolled in qualifying certificate and associate degree programs. Recipients receive funding for five semesters or until they attain an associate degree. While in their program, recipients must meet regularly with a mentor and complete at least 15 hours of community service per semester.
Graduates must work in the state for at least three years. The grant converts into an interest-bearing loan if recipients do not meet the job requirement or leave the state.