State Programs

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADHE) provides scholarship and grant funds to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. It is simple to apply for each of them through one application. The YOUniversal Scholarship Application allows you to apply for state financial aid opportunities, such as the Academic Challenge (Lottery) Scholarship, the Governor's Distinguished Scholars Program, the Single Parent Scholarship, and more .

Have you heard the term the Lottery Scholarship, the Challenge, the Academic Challenge? 

They all mean the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship.

The Academic Challenge program provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. This program is primarily funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and is available to students regardless of their academic status. This scholarship is awarded incrementally based on the year the award is first received and the student's academic level (see the chart below).

First Awarded Aid Year 4 Year School 2 Year School
2013-2016 $2000 (1st year, Freshman) $2000
2013-2016 $3000 (2nd year, Sophomore) $2000
2013-2016 $4000 (3rd year, Junior) $2000
2013-2016 $5000 (4th year, Senior) $2000
2017-2020 $1000 (1st year, Freshman) $1000
2017-2020 $4000 (2nd year, Sophomore) $3000
2017-2020 $4000 (3rd year, Junior)  
2017-2020 $5000 (4th year, Senior)  
How do I apply if I am an Arkansas resident? 
  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Complete the YOUniversal Application.
    1. Log on to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).
    2. Follow the instructions to complete the YOUniversal application and provide the required documents.
  3. Deadline for the YOUniversal application is June 1st (extended to August 1 for Fall 2020 because of COVID-19) for the following school year.
  4. Renewal eligibility requires ADHE to receive and review annual transcripts of coursework.
    • The University of Arkansas will send a copy of your University of Arkansas transcript to ADHE at the end of the spring semester.
    • Transcripts including summer coursework and coursework from other institutions will need to be sent to ADHE by you.
Governor's Distinguished Scholarship Program

The Governor's Distinguished Scholarship Program provides up to $10,000 annually for graduating high school seniors based on academic achievement, test score, and leadership. The Governor's Distinguished Scholarship is the most academically rigorous scholarship program offered for selected graduating seniors in Arkansas. This scholarship pays tuition, mandatory fees, room and board up to $10,000 per year.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

  • 3.50 grade point average.
  • 32 ACT score or 1410 SAT score (by March prior to first year).

*Those who are named National Merit Finalists or National Achievement Scholars may qualify without meeting the GPA requirement, but must still meet the ACT/SAT requirement.

More Information on ADHE Scholarships and Programs

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Arkansas Academic Challenge Renewal Criteria

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Click on the link above to apply now.