7 Valuable Arkansas Scholarships to Consider

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Paying for higher education can be expensive, and Arkansas scholarships can help you reduce some of your costs.

According to The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), about 53% of students in Arkansas graduate with college debt. If you want to reduce the chance that you need to get Arkansas student loans, you can apply for scholarships. Here are some of the valuable scholarships available in Arkansas:

7 Arkansas scholarships to consider

1. Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship
2. Academic Challenge Scholarship
3. Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarships
4. Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship
5. Military Dependents Scholarship
6. Single Parent Scholarship Fund
7. Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship

1. Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship

  • Best for: High-achieving students
  • Amount: Up to $10,000 per year

This valuable scholarship can be one of the best ways to get money for college in Arkansas for those who meet high GPA and standardized test-scoring criteria. You can get up to $10,000 per year to cover your tuition, room, board and mandatory fees. This can be a good way to reduce your need for Arkansas student loans.

Eligibility

In order to receive this scholarship, you need to have at least a 3.50 GPA, combined with a 32 composite score on the ACT or a 1410 score on the SAT. It’s possible to qualify without meeting the GPA requirement if you’re named a National Merit Finalist or a National Achievement Scholar, although you still have to meet the scoring requirements.

Scholarships are renewed for up to three years as long as you maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA and complete the required number of semester credit hours during the year. You need 27 semester credit hours for the first year and 30 semester credit hours for subsequent years.

2. Academic Challenge Scholarship

  • Best for: Students returning to college
  • Amount: $1,000 to $5,000 per year

This is one of the Arkansas scholarships designed to encourage college attendance, regardless of academic standing. Students can receive $1,000 for their first year of college and then as they continue, they can receive $4,000 for years two and three, and finally get help by receiving $5,000 for the fourth year of college attendance. This scholarship is also available for students attending two-year institutions, offering $1,000 for the first year and $3,000 for the second year.

Even though you can deduct your student loan interest from your Arkansas taxes, it’s better if you can reduce the amount you pay for student loans with a scholarship like this one.

Eligibility

When considering this as one of the scholarships available in Arkansas, you need to know whether you’re qualifying as a traditional or nontraditional student.

This scholarship is especially accessible to nontraditional students. In order to qualify, you need to be an Arkansas resident, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and not have borrowed in excess of federal student loans or be in default. You also need to comply with United States Selective Service System requirements and be certified as drug-free. Nontraditional students must complete 15 credit hours each semester if they attend full time, or six credit hours each semester if they attend part time and maintain a GPA of 2.50 if they want to renew.

Traditional students must score at least a 19 on the ACT and enroll right after graduating from high school. To keep receiving the scholarship, you must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and complete 27 semester credit hours during the first year and 30 semester credit hours after that.

3. Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarships

  • Best for: College juniors and seniors studying agriculture
  • Amount: $3,000

In order to encourage students to study an agriculture-related degree at an Arkansas university, the Arkansas Farm Bureau offers this scholarship.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau also offers other scholarships. However, they are privately funded through different organizations or can be accessed via county offices. They have varying amounts and requirements. When applying for these types of scholarships, it makes sense to look for a lot of different options and put in as many applications to different organizations as possible.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for this Arkansas scholarship, you must be a junior or senior and on your way to a degree related to agriculture. You need to maintain 2.5 GPA and either be an active Arkansas Farm Bureau member or have a parent or grandparent who is an active member.

4. Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship

  • Best for: Students whose parent or spouse are law enforcement officers who were disabled or killed in the line of duty
  • Amount: Cost of tuition, fees and dormitory costs

This falls under the category of universities that offer 100% scholarships, as long as you meet the requirements. While this scholarship doesn’t cover books, food or non-mandatory fees, it’s still very valuable for Arkansas residents who are dependents of law enforcement officers who have been impacted by their work.

Eligibility

To receive one of the most generous Arkansas scholarships, the applicant must be the child (biological, step or adopted) of a law enforcement officer disabled or killed in the line of duty. The spouse of such a law enforcement officer is also eligible for consideration. You must provide the documentation showing the service and you also need to be an Arkansas resident and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Maintaining the scholarship requires that you keep a cumulative 2.0 GPA through school. Additionally, to get assistance with room and board, you must sign up to live on-campus in the dormitory.

5. Military Dependents Scholarship

  • Best for: Dependents of military personnel who meet certain criteria
  • Amount: Tuition, mandatory fees and room and meal plan costs

Rather than awarding this outright, this is one of the scholarships available in Arkansas that cover the gap between what a student might already be entitled to and what remains of school-related costs. Military dependents who qualify can use this scholarship in conjunction with their Dependents Education Assistance benefits. For those who live on campus, this scholarship can also help with room and meal plan costs, making it especially valuable.

Eligibility

To qualify, a student must have a parent declared missing in action, killed in action, a prisoner of war, or 100% permanently and totally disabled. Those whose parents were killed on ordinance delivery are also eligible. This scholarship kicks in to cover the gap after the amount of three months’ of assistance have been deducted from the total of tuition, fees and room and meal plan costs.

Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 and complete at least 24 semester credit hours each year to remain eligible for this scholarship.

6. Single Parent Scholarship Fund

  • Best for: Single parents from low-income households who are returning to school
  • Amount: Varies

This is one of the most targeted Arkansas scholarships, offering single parents financial aid as they return to school in an effort to boost their wages and lift their families out of poverty. The scholarship amount depends on need and on the available funds.

You might be surprised at the different scholarships available based on these types of situations and needs. A good scholarship search tool can help you identify the money you might qualify for.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for help with this scholarship, you must meet the requirements of being a single parent, as set forth by the scholarship fund. You must also meet income criteria, with your household income no more than 250% of the federal poverty level. Finally, you need to complete a FAFSA and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

The scholarship fund administrators will also require you to submit an explanation of your circumstances so that you can show that you plan to use the money to improve your career prospects in a way that leads to lifting your family out of poverty.

7. Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship

  • Best for: Choir students going to college
  • Amount: $1,000 or $500

This is a scholarship designed to help those who have outstanding achievements as vocal students in high school. Recipients actually receive the money directly after their enrollment in college has been verified. Scholarships of $1,000 to first-place students and $500 to second-place students are awarded.

One of the unique aspects of this way to get money for college in Arkansas is that the money is paid directly to the recipient. As a result, this money can be used for just about anything related to college costs. It’s not paid to the school, like many other scholarships are.

Eligibility

To receive this Arkansas scholarship, a student must be enrolled in a choral program during high school and major in music at a four-year school. On top of all this, students are required to audition for the scholarship, submit an application essay and provide three sealed letters of recommendation.

Finally, a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0 is required.

Jolene Latimer contributed to this report.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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