STATE OF ARKANSAS FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS
For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:
Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE)
114 East Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-2000
The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Arkansas.
Academic Challenge Scholarship
The Arkansas Academic Challenge (ACS) Scholarship program is a college scholarship plan to promote academic achievement and encourage academically prepared Arkansas high school graduates to enroll in the state's colleges and universities. The scholarship pays up to $3,500 annually and is renewable for up to 3 more years provided the student maintains a cumulative college grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale and completes 30 semester hours per academic year (12 semester hours the first semester and 15 semester hours each semester thereafter).
Must be a resident of Arkansas and complete the precollegiate core curriculum, have the required GPA in those courses, achieve at least a 15 on the ACT, and demonstrate financial need.
Contact your school’s financial aid office or your high school guidance counselor for an application.
Arkansas Health Education Grant Program
The Arkansas Health Education Grant Program (ARHEG), provides financial assistance to 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.
The ARHEG is administered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE). 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
(a) is located outside the State; and
(b) offers a full-time course of instruction in at least one eligible profession; and
(c) 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.
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 is initiated by the student by completing the Application and Affidavit and submitting them to:
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
114 East Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201-3818
Phone: 1-800-54-STUDY or (501) 371-2000
Fax: (501) 371-2007
Email: [email protected]
Arkansas Governor’s Scholars Program
Governor’s Scholarships are divided into two categories:
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 3.50 academic grade point average, OR selection as a National Achievement Finalist or National Merit Finalist. The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship will pay up to $10,000 per year for tuition, mandatory fees, room and board.
Governor’s Scholarships – students who do not meet the Governor's Distinguished Scholars criteria compete for the Governor’s Scholarship, which will be awarded to the student who scores the highest in each of Arkansas’ 75 counties (based on the student’s county of residence). Selection is based on the following: 40% ACT or SAT score, 25% high school grade point average in academic courses, 25% class rank, and 10% leadership. Those students who receive the Governor’s Scholars award will receive $4,000 per year at any approved Arkansas college or university.
Financial need of the student is not a factor in the award of the scholarship, therefore no financial information is required.
Any person who meets the following eligibility requirements may apply to become a Governor’s Scholar:
- The minimum standard to apply is a high school grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in academic courses OR an ACT composite score of 27, OR a combined SAT score of 1220. The highest score attained on a single test will be used to determine ACT composite or SAT combined score. Test scores must be earned by December 31 prior to the application deadline. This criteria is only the eligibility to apply; there is no assurance of award.
- Leadership capabilities must be demonstrated.
- To receive the Governor’s Scholarship, the student must enroll full-time as an undergraduate student at an eligible public or private college or university in Arkansas in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation.
- The student or one parent must be a bona fide resident of the State of Arkansas for at least the six consecutive months immediately prior to the application deadline. To be considered a resident of the State of Arkansas for the Governor’s Scholars Program, a dependent student is considered a resident only when his/her/parents reside within the state and are classified as residents who pay taxes, vote, have Arkansas licenses, etc.
- The student must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.
- Permanent resident aliens must include a copy of their permanent resident alien form to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education with the application.
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.
Higher Education Opportunities Grant (GO! Opportunities Grant)
The Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant (GO! Opportunities Grant) is awarded based on financial need and is intended to help low income students complete their college degree. Eligibility is based on the family's adjusted gross income as reported on the FAFSA. For a family with one dependent child, the maximum adjusted gross income is $25,000. For each additional dependent child in the household the maximum income increases by $5000. Dependency is as defined for federal financial aid purposes.
In addition to the income requirements, applicants must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien, be an Arkansas resident for the 12 months prior to application for the grant, their parent or legal guardian must also have been an Arkansas resident for that period of time, and they must enroll in an eligible Arkansas institution within one year of high school graduation or successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) Test. Students completing the GED test must be 16 to 18 years old. Students must also be enrolling as first time freshman, not counting concurrent enrollment while in high school.
Students apply by completing FAFSA and the HEOG application available on the ADHE website. Application deadlines are June 1 for applicants enrolling the fall term and November 1 for applicants enrolling in the spring term. For 2007 high school graduates and high school graduate equivalents only, the deadlines are October 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008 respectively.
The annual award amount is $1000 for full time students and $500 for part time students. For the HEOG program, full time is defined 12 semester credit hours for the fall term freshman year and 15 semester credit hours thereafter. Part time is defined as less than full-time but at least 6 semester credit hours.
For more information, contact the ADHE financial aid division at 800-54STUDY or 501-371-2050.
Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship Program
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
- 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
The scholarship will pay 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 re-marries. The benefits will cease at the end of the semester in which the spouse is currently enrolled at the time of the re-marriage.
Call (501) 371-2050 or (800) 54-STUDY for an application.
Minority Teachers Scholars Program
The Minority Teacher Scholars Program (MTSP) provides forgivable loans to African-American, Asian-American, Native-American, and Hispanic students who have completed 60 semester credit hours, have either been admitted to an approved program resulting in teacher licensure or successfully passed their Praxis I examination, and will be attending a public or private institution of higher education in Arkansas.
Recipients who maintain eligibility may receive the forgivable loan for a maximum of four (4) semesters or six (6) trimesters or until such time as they have completed the requirements for licensure. Participating scholars may receive up to $5,000 per academic year and must teach in an Arkansas public school for five (5) years after completing teacher licensure requirements. The loan will be forgiven at the rate of 20% per year for each year the recipient teaches full-time in an Arkansas public school.
The teaching requirement will be reduced to three (3) years for guidance counseling, or teaching in the areas of math, science, foreign language, or for African-American males teaching at the elementary level, or teaching in one of the 42 counties (Arkansas, Ashley, Baxter, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Clay, Cleveland, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Fulton, Grant, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Ouachita, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Francis, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Union, Van Buren, White, and Woodruff) of Arkansas designated as the Delta Region.
MTSP converts to a loan if the recipient does not attend college on a full-time basis, withdraws from an approved teacher licensure program, or does not fulfill the required teaching obligation. The loan must be repaid, plus accrued interest at a simple per annum rate, not to exceed five (5) percentage points above the Federal Reserve Discount rate at the time of the contract.
To be eligible for MTSP, the student must submit an application by June 1 and:
- be an African-American, Asian-American, Native-American, or Hispanic ;
- be a bonafide Arkansas resident, as defined by ADHE, for at least six months prior to the application date;
- be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien
- be enrolled full-time in an Arkansas public or private 4-year institution;
- be at least a junior (have completed between 60 - 90 semester credit hours) and have been admitted to an approved program resulting in teacher licensure or have successfully passed their Praxis I examination; and,
- have a minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average.
For continued eligibility, the scholar must have met the above eligibility requirements (1-6) and have successfully completed 24 semester credit hours (or the equivalent) during the previous academic year.
Call (501) 371-2050 or (800) 54-STUDY for an application.
Military Dependents Scholarship
The Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), provides financial aid for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion at any public 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 scholarship provides assistance with the cost of tuition at the in-state rate, room and meal plan when provided in campus facilities, and mandatory fees that include general registration fees, any special course fees and activity fees. *The Department of Higher Education uses the criteria of “dependent child” as defined by the U. S. Department of Education.
To be eligible for a Military Dependents Scholarship, the applicant must meet the following criteria: be a dependent (as determined by the federal guidelines) natural child, a legally adopted child (stepchildren are not eligible unless they have been legally adopted by the veteran), or a child who's legal guardian is the veteran under whose eligibility they are applying OR the spouse of the veteran under whose eligibility he or she is applying. In addition, the applicant and his/her parent or spouse must be a current resident of the State of Arkansas.
The following documents are required for application. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education reserves the right to request additional documentation as needed to verify eligibility.
- A completed and signed MDS Application.
- Proof of current Arkansas residency status (i.e., most recent state tax return, automobile registration, payment of property taxes, etc.).
- A copy of eligibility status under the federal program for dependents of disabled veterans, the Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Program (aka Chapter 35 benefits).
- A Statement from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA Form 20-5455) attesting to “ special monthly compensation by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for service-connected, one hundred percent (100%) total and permanent disability ” for the parent or spouse under whose name the applicant is a dependent of.
- A copy of his/her Birth Certificate and/or evidence of adoption by, or legal guardianship of, the veteran if the applicant is a dependent child;
- A copy of his/her Marriage License, if a spouse.
- A Death Certificate IF the parent or spouse was declared killed in action or on ordnance delivery;
- A Report of Casualty from the appropriate U.S. Military Department IF the parent or spouse was declared missing in action or a POW.
The completed application and supporting documentation must be received by the ADHE by: AUGUST 1 for the Fall Term DECEMBER 1 for the Spring/Winter Terms MAY 1 for Summer I Term and JULY 1 for Summer II Term.
If awarded, the student must be enrolled full-time as defined by the institution, complete 24 semester credit hours per academic year, and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale towards a degree or certificate of completion.
Call (501) 371-2058 or (800) 54-STUDY or for an application.
Second Effort Scholarship
The Second Effort Scholarship was established to recognize the importance of the Arkansas High School Diploma (GED) Program and to encourage those students who successfully pass the Arkansas High School Diploma test to enroll in an Arkansas post secondary institution.
The Arkansas Second Effort Scholarship program awards ten scholarships per year valued at $1,000 or the cost of tuition, whichever is less, to those scholars who achieved the ten highest scores on the Arkansas High School Diploma test during the previous calendar year. The scholarship is renewable annually, for up to three additional years (or the equivalent if a student is enrolled part-time), or the completion of the baccalaureate degree, provided the recipient maintains a minimum college grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale each academic year.
Students do not apply for this award. Those scholars who achieved one of the ten highest scores on the Arkansas High School Diploma test during the previous calendar year are contacted directly by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
State Financial Aid Information
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