In 2008, Arkansas voters approved a ballot question legalizing the sale of lottery tickets. The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act established a Commission to oversee the operation of the Lottery in Arkansas and to ensure that the net proceeds would provide scholarships and grants to Arkansas citizens for in-state colleges and universities. Since Lottery sales started in 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has provided more than $759 million for more than 275,000 scholarships to Arkansas students to 51 colleges, universities and technical schools in the state.

Funding from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery supports the Academic Challenge Scholarship, a scholarship program available to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. The scholarship is open 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 deadline to apply is June 15, 2018.

The following information provides a general overview of the scholarship. For complete information please refer to the official website:

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an Arkansas resident (at least 12 months prior to enrollment) and US citizen/lawful permanent resident
  • For High School seniors, the only requirement is a 19 on the ACT or ACT equivalent score (990 on SAT)
  • 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 or be in default on a federal or state student financial aid grant 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

    It is also important to note the following continuing eligibility criteria, once awarded a scholarship:

  • Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA
  • Complete 27 semester hours the first academic year and 30 semester hours each year thereafter
  • Complete all remedial courses during the first 30 hours taken after receipt of the scholarship
  • Be continuously enrolled unless student request for scholarship to be placed on hold (Maximum hold of 4 semesters)

For information on requirements and to apply, you can visit the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s website,, or contact the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Financial Aid department: | (800) 54-STUDY | (501) 371-2050 – Greater Little Rock.