The State of Arkansas has a number of scholarships and grants available to help students pay for their education. These scholarship programs are designed to help students cover a variety of education-related costs, including tuition, room and board, books, and more.

If you are a resident of the state, you should be sure to check out these programs before enrolling in college or university. You might be eligible for a scholarship that will help you keep your educational costs low!

Before doing anything else in your journey to find financial aid, it’s important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can find more information about how to apply by visiting the Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S. Department of Education. It’s important to note that this is a federal program.

Arkansas Scholarship Programs

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education offers various programs for students pursuing post-secondary school. It’s important to review eligibility requirements for the prizes below because some prizes are centered on merit while others are given to residents of Arkansas who can show financial need. If you wish to be a recipient of any scholarship award, always read the fine print and ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Remember, applying for scholarships takes time, so you want to ensure your application won’t be immediately discarded for overlooking certain requirements.

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship (ACST)

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Program provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing higher education. Funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to students regardless of their academic status, whether 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.

The award amount is as follows: 4 Year Institutions: $1,000 freshman year | $4,000 sophomore year | $4,000 junior year | $5,000 senior year. 2 Year Institutions: $1,000 freshman year | $3,000 sophomore year.

Arkansas Concurrent Challenge (CCS)

Qualified high school students may be eligible to enroll in concurrent courses and be covered by the new Arkansas Concurrent Challenge Scholarship. The Arkansas Concurrent Challenge Scholarship will award eligible high school students $125 per course for up to two concurrent credit courses per semester.

Governor’s Higher Education Transition Scholarship (GHETS)

The Governor’s Higher Education Transition Scholarship Program is open to students who have already been accepted into a transitional program accredited by The Institute for Community Inclusion as Comprehensive Training Programs. The award amount is a maximum of $2,500/eligible semester.

Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship (GS)

The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship is the most academically rigorous scholarship program offered for those graduating seniors scoring either a minimum composite or superscore of 32 on the ACT or 1410 on the SAT and a 3.50 academic grade point average. Those named National Merit Finalists or National Achievement Scholars may qualify without meeting the GPA requirement but must still meet the ACT/SAT requirement. FAFSA is required. The scholarship pays tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board up to $10,000 per year.

Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship (AWC)

The purpose of the scholarship is for workforce training in high-demand areas of healthcare, information technology, and industry. Classes are not limited to credit-bearing programs. Non-credit, workforce-training classes that fit into the three above categories may also qualify. Those eligible for the prize are every person who has graduated from an Arkansas high school, Arkansas home school or GED program, or anyone who has a high school diploma or GED earned from another state and has lived in Arkansas for the last year. Students must enroll in a high demand area of study in the programs of Information Technology, Healthcare, and Industry. The award offers up to $800 per program.

Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship (LEO)

LEO provides a waiver of tuition, fees, and room at any public college, university, or technical institute in Arkansas for dependents and spouses of Arkansas law enforcement officers, some Highway and Transportation Department employees, and other public employees, who were killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The amount of the award varies as the prize waives in-state tuition, mandatory fees, and on-campus room charges.

Military Dependents Scholarship (MDS)

MDS provides a waiver of tuition, fees, room and board at any public or private college, university, or technical institute in Arkansas for dependents and spouses of Arkansans who were killed or missing in action or who were prisoners of war or who are totally and permanently disabled. The amount of the award varies as the prize waives in-state tuition, on-campus room and board, and mandatory fees at eligible Arkansas institutions.

Washington Center Scholarship (WCS)

A program that awards scholarships of up to $6000 to Arkansas students who are accepted to The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars located in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit the website for the Washington Center.

Arkansas Grant Programs

Arkansas Future Grant (ARFUTURE)

Arkansas Future (ArFuture) is the newest state grant program. The purpose of this grant is to increase the education and skills of Arkansas’s workforce in an affordable manner. The grant applies to students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or regional high-demand areas of study. The grant will cover tuition and fees for qualifying certificate and Associate degree programs at Arkansas’ public institutions for eligible students. The grant is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG)

ARHEG provides financial assistance to students seeking professional training in chiropractic medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine to allow them to attend out-of-state institutions. The amount of the grant varies based on major field of study and institution attended by the student.

Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Designed to allow undergraduate students to conduct in-depth research projects in their specific fields of study with the assistance of faculty mentors. Student may compete for additional years but cannot receive more than three years of funding. The amount of the award is a maximum of $4,000.

Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP)

The Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP) offers tuition reimbursement grants to Arkansas teachers and administrators. Teachers and administrators may apply for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses paid for up to six (6) college credit hours completed for each academic year, not to exceed $3000.

Loans and Financial Aid Services for Arkansas Students

For students in need of loans for school, the Arkansas Student Loan Authority is designed to help. The ASLA’s goal is to make higher education more accessible to students through affordable student loan programs and by providing college planning services to Arkansas families.

In addition to ASLA, some loans are available from the State of Arkansas, such as the following:

State Teacher Education Program (STEP)

STEP is a loan repayment program that offers yearly loan repayment grants to current educators teaching in a subject or geographic shortage area in an Arkansas public school. Teachers must reapply each year and are eligible for up to three years. The award amount is $3,000 to $4,000.

Out-Of-State Veterinary Medical Education Loan Repayment Program (OOS)

The Out-of-State Veterinary Medical Education Loan Repayment program will assist with repayment of federal student loans for up to five (5) years for eligible veterinarians that attended Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and practice food supply veterinary medicine within the State of Arkansas.

Find More Scholarships and Grants Now

If you’re looking for more college scholarships and grants, you can use the BridgesEDU Scholarship Finder. It’s free and can help you get started on the road to paying for your education. The scholarship database matches you with thousands of scholarships from all over the country, which you can easily sort through on your dashboard. You can also use our blog as a resource to help you create great scholarship applications. We are constantly adding new resources and content to help you find and win prizes (for example, here’s a list of 10 scholarships to apply for in the month of August). Scholarships are awarded throughout the year, so make sure to check back during the academic year for updates.

Education costs shouldn’t deter you from achieving your dreams. There’s money out there to help, so be sure to apply for it!