LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- More high school graduates are awarded the lottery-funded scholarships compared to last year.
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education released its data today in front of the Lottery Oversight Committee. About 13,000 high school graduates will be going to college this fall under the Academic Challenge Scholarship.
The Higher Education Department is still studying just how fair these scholarships are awarded.
More than 9,000 are awarded to White Students compared to just under 2,000 Black students representing a fifth of recipients. When looking at students economic background about 32 percent of the recipients were on free or reduced lunch programs.
Interim Higher Education Director Shane Broadway says he expects the number of applicants to go up every year. There is still an issue of students not being able retain their scholarships once they get to college.
"What we found is the 4,000 who lost it, and 3,000 or so lost because they didn't have the 3.0 to maintain or the hours," says Broadway.
Broadway says high school career coaches have been very helpful in bringing up application numbers.
Legislators have said they plan to rework the formula for awarding scholarships. That would take place in hearings leading up to the regular legislative session that starts in January.
The Higher Education Department has shortened the time needed to process most applications. But Broadway noted the agency may again need to hire temporary staff in 2013 if there are major changes to qualifications for scholarship awards.
Continuing Eligibility Criteria
- 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 2 semesters)
- Shall enroll in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree program after attempting the lesser of:
- Sixty-six (66) semester hours; or
- 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.
Will be renewed until recipient first:
- Earns a Baccalaureate degree
- 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.