Financial Aid Division

Academic Challenge Scholarship

Date Updated:  August 30, 2012

GENERAL INFORMATION

Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those who are applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship, and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.

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 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. 

Continuing Eligibility Criteria for Recipients Awarded Before Fall 2010

Students who were awarded the Academic Challenge Scholarship starting prior to the fall 2010 term must meet the following continuing eligibility requirements to have their scholarships renewed:

  1. Maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA.
  2. Complete 27 semester hours the first academic year and 30 semester hours each year thereafter.

Eligibility Requirements for Students Awarded Starting in Fall 2010

Eligibility requirements for the Academic Challenge Scholarship are based on three student categories: Traditional (Incoming Freshman), Current Achievers, and Nontraditional Students.


Basic Eligibility Criteria:

An applicant must:

  • Be an Arkansas resident (at least 12 months prior to enrollment) and US citizen/lawful permanent resident
  • Be accepted for admission at an approved institution of higher education in a program of study that leads to a baccalaureate degree, associate degree, qualified certificate or a nursing school diploma
  • Not have earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (although there is no maximum income)
  • Not owe a refund on a federal or state student financial aid grant for higher education
  • Not be in default on a federal or state student financial aid loan for higher education
  • Not borrowed in excess of annual federal loan limits
  • Not be incarcerated at the time of application for or during the time the applicant receives the scholarship
  • Complied with the United States Selective Service System requirements for registration
  • Certify to be drug free

Additional Eligibility Criteria for the Traditional Student:

  • Graduate from high school after December 31, 2009 (begins with the 2010 high school graduating class)
  • Enroll full-time each semester (Fall and Spring) - 12 hours the fall semester immediately following high school graduation and 15 hours each semester thereafter
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    1. Graduate from an Arkansas public high school and successfully complete the Smart Core curriculum established by the Arkansas Department of Education; and either
      1. Achieve at least a 2.5 HIGH SCHOOL GPA; or
      2. Achieve a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent.
    2. Applicant who has a disability identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., as it existed on July 1, 2009 and graduates from an Arkansas public high school but did not complete the Smart Core curriculum because the applicant’s individualized education program under § 6-41-217 did not require it, shall achieve at least a 2.5 high school GPA; and either;
      1. Achieve a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent; or
      2. Score proficient or higher on all state-mandated end-of-course assessments, including without limitation, end-of-course assessments on:
        1. Algebra I;
        2. Geometry;
        3. Biology; and
        4. Literacy, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
    3. Graduate from a private or out-of-state or home school high school and achieve a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent

        Continuing Eligibility Criteria

        1. Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA
        2. Complete 27 semester hours the first academic year and 30 semester hours each year thereafter
        3. Complete all remedial courses during the first 30 hours taken after receipt of the scholarship
        4. Be continuously enrolled unless student request for scholarship to be placed on hold (Maximum hold of 2 semesters)
        5. Shall enroll in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree program after attempting the lesser of:
          1. Sixty-six (66) semester hours; or
          2. The completion of an associate degree program, unless the number of hours required to complete the associate degree program exceeds sixty-six (66) semester hours, in which case, the higher number of hours for completion shall be used.
        6. Will be renewed until recipient first:
          1. Earns a Baccalaureate degree
          2. Attempts a total of 130 semester hours in 8 semesters
            NOTE: If the recipient’s undergraduate degree requires additional hours, ADHE in conjunction with the student’s institution, shall determine the maximum period of time for renewal.

        Application Deadline

        Application deadline is June 1 of student’s senior year in high school.

        Additional Eligibility Criteria for the Nontraditional Student:

        • Enroll full-time or part-time each semester (Fall and Spring) - Full-time = 15 hours, Part-time = at least 6 hours
        • Meet one of the following criteria:
          1. Successfully completed at least twelve (12) semester hours of courses granting three (3) or more hours of credit at an approved institution of higher education and
            1. Earned a postsecondary grade point average of 2.5; or
            2. Achieved a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent.
              NOTE: A course granting less than 3 hours of credit can be counted toward the 12 hours if it is related to a credit course required for a degree.
          2. Successfully completed less than twelve (12) semester hours of courses granting three (3) or more hours of credit at an approved institution of higher education and 
            1. Graduated from an Arkansas public high school and achieved a 2.5 high school grade point average; or
            2. Achieved a minimum composite score of nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent.

        Continuing Eligibility Criteria

        1. Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA (will be evaluated at the end of each Spring term)
        2. Complete 15 hours each consecutive semester for full-time and complete at least 6 semester hours for part-time (excluding summer terms)
        3. Be continuously enrolled unless student request for scholarship to be placed on hold (Maximum hold of 2 semesters)
        4. Shall enroll in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree program after attempting the lesser of:
          1. Sixty-six (66) semester hours; or
          2. The completion of an associate degree program, unless the number of hours required to complete the associate degree program exceeds sixty-six (66) semester hours, in which case, the higher number of hours for completion shall be used.
        5. Will be renewed until recipient first:
          1. Earns a Baccalaureate degree
          2. Attempts a total of 130 semester hours in 8 semesters (full time) or up to 16 semesters (part-time)
            NOTE: If the recipient’s undergraduate degree requires additional hours, ADHE in conjunction with the student’s institution, shall determine the maximum period of time for renewal.

        Application Deadline

        Application deadline is June 1.

        Award Amounts

        Year First Awarded 4 Year School 2 Year School
        2010-11 $5000 $2500
        2011-12 $4500 $2250
        2012-13 $4500 $2250
        2013-14 $2000 (1st year) $2000
        2013-14 $3000 (2nd year) $2000
        2013-14 $4000 (3rd year) $2000
        2013-14 $5000 (4th year) $2000

         

        ACT Equivalency Chart

        SAT (combined verbal and math) 900
        ASSET (average of all subscores) 40
        COMPASS (average of all subscores) 64

        For complete program details please visit ADHE Financial Aid Information or contact the ADHE Financial Aid department at the following:

        Arkansas Department of Higher Education
        114 East Capitol Avenue
        Little Rock, AR 72201
        Phone: 1-800-54-STUDY or (501) 371-2050
        Email: finaid@adhe.edu