Arkansas Challenge Scholarship and How To Apply | ACST

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship and How To Apply | ACST

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship: Scholarships for higher education are offered to residents of Arkansas through the Arkansas Academic Challenge Program. The Arkansas Challenge Scholarship, which the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery mostly funds.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
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This is open to students irrespective of their academic standing. Including those who have recently graduated from high school. They are enrolled in college right now and are enrolling in college for the first time. Some are returning to school after a hiatus. The deadline for applying for scholarships

Deadline for the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

July 1st,

Award Sum

Firstly, Four-year institutions: $1,000 for the first year. Also $4,000 for the second. And $4,000 for the junior year, and $5,000 for the senior year. Moreover, Two-year colleges: $3,000 for the sophomore year and $1,000 for the freshman year.

Who Can Apply for the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

Applicants must have an ACT composite score or super score of at least 19. An equivalent of a 19 composite on an equivalent test. If they plan to attend an approved college or university in the academic year. Following their graduation from a public high school.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
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Equally important, is a private or out-of-state high school, or homeschool. To receive their money for that semester. Traditional students must start attending at least 12 credit hours in the first Fall semester after graduating from high school. And at least 15 credit hours in each subsequent semester.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
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They must then earn at least 27 credit hours in their first academic year and at least 30 credit hours each academic year thereafter with a 2.5 cumulative GPA.  Freshmen finishing their first academic year who did not apply or qualify for the Academic Challenge Scholarship may be considered Traditional students if they were enrolled as full-time first-time freshmen and completed 27 hours with a 2.5 GPA in their first academic year.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

They can still apply as Non-Traditional if they do not have 27 hours at the end of Spring. Non-traditional students are defined as students who are currently in college and did not receive Challenge, as well as adults who have completed some college but do not have a degree.

Who Can Apply for the Scholarship?

Students may be eligible with little or no college credit. If you have completed some coursework and have at least a 2.5 cumulative college GPA.

If a student has no college credit and has an ACT composite score or super score of at least 19 (or the equivalent of a 19 composite on a comparable test), they can be considered Non-Traditional.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery joins us to discuss who can apply for the Arkansas scholarship

Non-traditional students are still eligible to receive a prorated portion of the scholarship for that semester even if they start attending fewer credits every semester than regular students are required to.

Along with earning the required number of hours depending on whether they attended full-time (15+ credit hours) or part-time (15+ credit hours) each semester, students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

Scholarship Description: Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

Students don’t need to reapply every semester or year to keep receiving the scholarship. The scholarship is extended every year following the spring semester as long as the student maintains the necessary qualifications.

We’re happy to provide you more chances to repeat the exam through the national ACT testing date in July if you’re still working toward the necessary score!

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery officials are here to answer your questions about the Arkansas

The Accuplacer test is available remotely and can be used in place of the ACT if you don’t think you’ll be able to get the required score on the ACT or if you didn’t take the test.

If you are awarded over your Federal Cost of Attendance Budget at your institution for the semester or academic year, your scholarship may be reduced.  Scholarships are reduced in the order listed in the Stacking Law linked below.

Basic Eligibility Criteria (Traditional & Non-Traditional Student)

An applicant must:

  • Be an Arkansas resident (at least 12 months before enrollment and a 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 previously earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Not have previously earned a total of 120 or more semester credit hours.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (income is not a determining factor for this scholarship) (due by August 1, 2024)
  • Not owe a refund on a federal or state student financial aid grant for higher education
  • Borrowing not more than annual federal loan limits
  • Not be incarcerated at the time of application for or during the time the applicant receives the scholarship
  • Have complied with the United States Selective Service System requirements for registration
  • Certify to be drug-free
Arkansas Division of Higher Education

Form for Forfeiting Freshman Award Amount:

  • If, as a senior in Arkansas High School, you have earned or plan to earn 27 college credits or more before starting college in the fall (after your senior year), you may be qualified to apply for an increase in Arkansas Academic Challenge funding from the freshmen level to the sophomore level.
  • You must forfeit the first two semesters of Arkansas Academic Challenge funding that would have otherwise been available to you.
  • Equally important, by July 1st, requests to relinquish the freshman award amount must be submitted.
Arkansas Division of Higher Education on X Arkansas students interested in attending a state

Forfeiting to Senior Award Amount Form: Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

  • You may be eligible to request an increase in Arkansas Academic Challenge funding to the Senior level, which is $2,500 per semester for two semesters.
  • If you are currently receiving the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship and have earned or will earn 87 college credit hours or more before your upcoming Fall or Spring semester. However, by accepting the higher level of funding, you agree to forfeit any payments you would have received before the Senior level of funding.
  • August 1st for fall and January 1st for spring are the priority deadlines for requests to forego the senior award amount. Your raise could not be processed until after the semester starts if it is submitted after the priority deadline.
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Graduate School Eligibility Criteria

Early undergraduate graduation allows students to apply their remaining semesters toward graduate study. This choice is subject to the following rules, which are given below:

  • Early undergraduate graduates may apply for graduate school financing for one or both of the remaining semesters of their senior year. (Up to two semesters)
  • Arkansas must serve as the base of the graduate program.
    o Refer to the Rules and Regulations’ definition of “Approved Institution.”
  • The semester after graduating from undergraduate school, except summer semesters, the student must be approved and begin the graduate program.
  • Graduate school forms, which are linked below, must be turned in by students together with their graduate acceptance letter.
Arkansas Challenge Scholarship
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  • Suppose a student has an extenuating circumstance or your graduate program doesn’t start immediately following their graduation. In that case, they can have their scholarship held up to a year by submitting a hold through their SAMS account.
  • Students must complete 30 hours with a 2.5+ GPA the academic year before beginning their graduate program in a Fall semester or 15 hours with a 2.5+ GPA if your graduate program begins in a Spring semester following graduating in a Fall semester in the middle of an academic year.
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The scholarship amount for graduate school is based on the hours enrolled. Equally important, seniors receive $2,500 a semester if enrolled in 9 or more hours. Below is a chart of the proration.

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




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