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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

State of Arkansas House of Representatives

This week, we want to remind you of a quickly approaching deadline for incoming and returning college students. The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is July 1.

The Academic Challenge Program provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. Funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to students just graduating from high school, currently enrolled in college, enrolling in college for the first time, or re-enrolling after a period of time out of college.

In the ten years since its inception, the lottery has raised more than $945 million to help provide more than 542,000 scholarships for college students. More than 92 cents of every dollar of lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas.

Eligibility requirements for Arkansas high school students include a minimum composite score on nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent test.

Students who were originally awarded prior to the 2016-17 school year are awarded at the following rates:

  Four Year College Two Year College

Year 1 $2000 $2000

Year 2 $3000 $2000

Year 3 $4000 –

Year 4 $5000 –

Starting with the 2016-17 school year students are awarded at the following rates:

Year 1 $1000 $1000

Year 2 $4000 $3000

Year 3 $4000 –

Year 4 $5000 –

Eligibility requirements have been modified due to COVID-19. For students who are receiving Arkansas Challenge, if they were on track to have enough hours and earned satisfactory academic progress until March 27, they are automatically eligible for the Fall 2021 Semester.

To apply, visit the Department of Higher Education’s website,, and complete the Arkansas YOUniversal Scholarship Application or download the free YOUniversal app for your smart phone. The online YOUniversal application is your one-stop shop for state and lottery funded financial aid.

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