Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

The Arkansas Challenge Scholarship is a prestigious program that provides financial assistance to eligible Arkansas high school graduates pursuing higher education. Established to encourage and support students in their pursuit of post-secondary education, the scholarship program offers a valuable opportunity for students to overcome financial barriers and achieve their academic aspirations.

Arkansas Challenge Scholarship

Scholarships for higher education are offered to residents of Arkansas through the Arkansas Academic Challenge Program. The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, which is mostly funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, is open to students irrespective of their academic standing, including those who have recently graduated from high school, are enrolled in college right now, are enrolling in college for the first time, or are returning to school after a hiatus.

Scholarship Deadline to Apply

Annual Deadline
July 1

Award Amount

4-Year Institutions: $1,000 freshman year; $4,000 sophomore year; $4,000 junior year; and $5,000 senior year. 2 Year Institutions: $1,000 freshman year | $3,000 sophomore year

Who Could apply?

Traditional: Applicants must have an ACT composite score or super score of at least a 19 (or the equivalent of a 19 composite on an equivalent test) if they plan to attend an approved college or university in the academic year that follows their graduation from a public high school, a private or out-of-state high school, or a 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. Then, with a 2.5 cumulative GPA, they must complete at least 27 credit hours in their first academic year and at least 30 credit hours every subsequent academic year.

If a freshman enrols full-time, completes their first academic year with a 2.5 GPA, and completes 27 hours, they may be classified as a traditional student even though they did not apply for or receive the Academic Challenge Scholarship. They are still eligible to apply as Non-Traditional even if they do not have 27 hours by the end of the spring. Adults who have completed some college but do not hold a degree, as well as students who are presently enrolled in college but did not obtain Challenge, are classified as Non-Traditional Students.

Non-Traditional: 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 does not have any 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. 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. They must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and earn the appropriate amount of hours based on if they attended full-time (15+ credit hours) or part-time (less than 15 credit hours) each semester.

Detailed Description

General Information

Important Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of program requirements; rather, it is meant to serve as a broad summary of the program for individuals who are applying for the scholarship or are thinking about applying. Please refer to the program’s rules and regulations for full details.

Students don’t need to reapply every semester or year to keep receiving the scholarship. Every year, following the spring semester, the scholarship is extended 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. If you do not believe you will be able to make the qualifying ACT score or didn’t take the ACT, the Accuplacer test is being offered remotely and can be substituted for the ACT.

Fundamental Qualifications (For Both Conventional and Non-Traditional Students)

A candidate needs to:

  • Be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and a resident of Arkansas for at least 12 months prior to enrollment.
  • Be admitted to a program of study that results in a baccalaureate degree, associate degree, qualifying certificate, or nursing school diploma at an authorized higher education institution.
    not hold a bachelor’s degree before
  • Not have accrued 120 or more semester credits in total earlier.
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); this scholarship is not awarded based on financial need. (Prerequisite: August 1, 2024)
  • Not owing money back on any state or federal student financial aid grants for postsecondary education
  • Not taken out more than the yearly maximum for federal loans
  • Not be imprisoned when applying for the scholarship or while the candidate is receiving it.
  • Have fulfilled the requirements for registration under the US Selective Service System?
    Attest to not using drugs


By giving them much-needed financial support, the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship helps graduates of Arkansas’s high schools pursue higher education. The scholarship program provides opportunities for students who might otherwise have faced major financial barriers by easing the load of educational fees. Students who participate in this program have access to educational opportunities that have the power to influence their future and allow them to make significant contributions to both their local communities and society at large.

In addition to providing financial assistance, the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship honours the potential, commitment, and hard work of worthy students. It is evidence of the state’s dedication to developing a workforce that is knowledgeable and talented and to investing in its kids. If you are an Arkansas high school student with dreams of higher education, seize the opportunity provided by the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship?

  • The Arkansas Challenge Scholarship provides financial assistance to eligible students, helping them cover the cost of tuition and fees at approved colleges, universities, or technical schools within Arkansas. The scholarship amount varies based on the student’s financial need and the availability of funds. It can significantly reduce the financial burden of pursuing higher education.

Can the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship be used for out-of-state colleges or universities?

  • No, the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship is specifically designed to support students attending approved colleges, universities, or technical schools within the state of Arkansas. It cannot be used for out-of-state institutions.

Is the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship renewable?

  • Yes, the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship is renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study or until the recipient earns a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. However, renewal is contingent upon maintaining satisfactory academic progress and meeting specific eligibility requirements.

Are there any post-award obligations for Arkansas Challenge Scholarship recipients?

  • Recipients of the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship have certain obligations, such as maintaining satisfactory academic progress, enrolling full-time, and completing at least 27 credit hours per academic year. Additionally, recipients are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine continued eligibility for the scholarship.

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