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Non-Traditional Student Scholarships

Arkansas Scholarships

Application Deadline: July 1
The Arkansas Academic Challenge (Arkansas 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.
Who qualifies?
In addition to the basic state eligibility requirements, students must enroll full time (15 hours) or part time (6 hours) each semester (fall and spring). Students must also meet one of the following criteria. 
  • If the applicant has not been enrolled in an approved institution of higher education, they must have either:
    • graduated from an Arkansas public high school and achieved a 2.5 grade point average OR
    • graduated from an Arkansas public high school, a private high school, an out-of-state high school, a home school high school, or obtained a high school equivalency diploma approved by the Division of Career and Technical Education and had a minimum composite score of 19 on the ACT (on-site ACT permissible) or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent
  • If the applicant has been enrolled in an approved institution of higher education, they must have earned a post-secondary grade point average of at least 2.5 in completed courses.

Do I have to apply every year?
No. Once you are awarded the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship the award will automatically renew as long as you meet the renewal criteria. The Arkansas Challenge is renewable for up to four years. 

Arkansas Academic Challenge Award Amounts (Four Year College)
Year 1 - $1,000
Year 2 - $4,000
Year 3 - $4,000
Year 4 - $5,000

Continuing Eligibility Criteria
To renew the Non-Traditional Arkansas Challenge, a student must:
  • Maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA
  • Complete 15 semester hours the first academic year if you are a full-time student and complete at least 6 semester hours if you are a part-time student.
  • Be continuously enrolled unless student requests for the scholarship to be placed on hold (maximum of four semesters)
  • Be enrolled in courses that lead toward a baccalaureate degree after:
    • earning an associate degree, OR
    • having fewer than four semesters of funding left

The scholarship will be renewed until recipient first earns a baccalaureate degree,  attempts a total of 120 semester hours, or receives eight (8) semesters of funding, whichever comes first.

*NOTE: If the recipient's undergraduate degree requires additional hours, ADHE, in conjunction with UAFS, will determine the maximum period of time for renewal.

Visit the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) website for additional details about the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship.

Additional Arkansas Department of Higher Education Potential Scholarships

Law Enforcement Officer's Dependent 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. (View Details)

Military Dependents Scholarship (MDS)

MDS provides a waiver of tuition, fees, room, and board at any public college, university, or technical institute in Arkansas for dependents and spouses of Arkansans who were killed or missing in action, were prisoners of war, or are totally and permanently disabled. (View Details)

Single Parent Scholarship Fund

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarships (ASPSF) offers scholarships to low-income single parents who are pursuing post-secondary education that leads to skilled employment. Scholarship funds are administered at the local level. Full-time and part-time scholarships are available. (View Details)

Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP)

TOP offers reimbursement funding Arkansas teachers and administrators who are furthering their education. Teachers and administrators may apply for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Funding covers up to 6 credit hours per academic year, not to exceed $3,000. (View Details)

Washington Center Scholarship

This program awards scholarships of up to $6,000 to Arkansas students who are accepted to the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars located in Washington, D.C. (View Details)

Other Potential Scholarships

Cherokee Nation Higher Education Scholarship

Citizens of the Cherokee Nation actively pursuing a higher education degree may apply to receive educational scholarships payable directly to an accredited college or university. Some scholarships may have restrictions, such as students with multiple tribal lineages may only receive assistance from one tribe. Students must be working toward an Associate of Art or Science, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing ONLY, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degrees. (View Details)

Choctaw Nation College Scholarship

Any member of the Choctaw Nation actively pursuing a higher education degree may apply to receive assistance in the form of a scholarship payable directly to an accredited college or university. Students must be working toward a minimum of an associate degree. Students may receive assistance while working toward one associate degree (maximum six full-time grading periods), one bachelor's degree (maximum 12 full-time grading periods), one masters degree (maximum six full-time grading periods), and one doctorate degree (maximum four full-time grading periods total after all-but-dissertation status) while making forward academic progress. Students seeking to obtain certifications and/or licenses may contact the Choctaw Nation Career Development Program. (View Details)

Sixty Plus Waiver

The Sixty Plus Waiver is a tuition waiver for students who are 60 years of age or older and an Arkansas resident. Students must complete the Sixty Plus Waiver request for each semester they wish to receive the tuition waiver. Click here to learn more.