7 minute read

Arkansas Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Whether you want to be one of the Arkansas State University Jonesboro Red Wolves, a University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Lion, or a University of the Ozarks Eagle, you can find money to help you get there. Arkansas financial aid packages include federal and state grants and loans. If you are looking for scholarships, every Arkansas college and university provides scholarships. Arkansas scholarships are also provided by foundations, organizations, and individuals. It doesn’t matter what your higher education goal is, you can get funding to help you achieve it.

Narrowing Down Your Search for Arkansas Scholarships and Financial Aid

Looking for money for school can be a little daunting if you don’t know where to find it. Here is a list of the four main categories of Arkansas scholarships and financial aid.

  • Arkansas financial aid provided by the federal government
  • Arkansas state financial aid
  • Scholarships provided by Arkansas universities and colleges
  • Scholarships provided by other Arkansas organizations and individuals

Federal Financial Aid for Arkansas Students

The US Department of Education provides grants and low-interest loans for Arkansas students with financial need. To qualify for these financial aid programs, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. When you complete the application, you will be asked to enter the school codes of schools you would like to receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). The financial aid and/or scholarship offices at the schools you list will determine your eligibility depending on yours and your parents’ income. The national deadline for the FAFSA is June 30th the school year in which you will use the financial aid. Students are recommended to file their FAFSA as soon as possible. The FAFSA opens January 1, the year prior.

Arkansas students with financial need may qualify for PELL Grants and other program-related grants. For more information on federal grants, see the stateuniversity.com Guide to Federal Grants. Federal loans are also part of financial aid packages offered to students who need financial assistance. If you are offered federal loans, you may be eligible to borrow straight from the government or you may have the choice of choosing a lender. Your school will have a list of approved lenders.

Arkansas Financial Aid Programs

The state of Arkansas offers a variety of grants and scholarships to its students. Here is a list of them:

Academic Challenge Scholarship
High school graduates who have completed the required courses with an average GPA, have taken the ACT with a minimum score of 15, and have a need for financial assistance may qualify for a $3,500 scholarship per year. Submit your application by June, 1 Central Daylight Time.

Arkansas Health Education Grant
The ARHEG grant provides assistance to health profession students who are studying in out-of-state institutions. Students pursuing careers as dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, veterinarians, optometrists, or osteopathic doctors are eligible to apply. Students must be Arkansas residents and be admitted to a participating institution. Click here for an application.

Governor’s Scholars Program
This Arkansas scholarship is based on scholastic achievement, ACT/SAT test scores, and involvement. The Governor’s Scholarships award up to $4,000 a year and the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarships award up to $10,000. Apply here.

Higher Education Opportunities Grant
This grant is available to students who have financial need and have been an Arkansas resident for a minimum of 12 months. Students must also file a FAFSA to qualify. The awards are $500 for half-time attendance and $1000 for full-time attendance. Click here to apply. The deadline is June 1st Central Daylight Time for the fall and November 1st Central Daylight Time for the spring.

Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
The SURF program was created to help students who are conducting research with a faculty advisor. Go to the ADHE page to download an application.

Minority Masters Fellows Program
Students who are of Hispanic, African American, Asian American, or Native American background are eligible to receive this forgivable loan. Students must be pursuing an advanced degree in education or be in the last year of a 5-year teaching certification program.
Click here for an application.

Minority Teachers Scholar Program
This forgivable loan is offered to junior and senior college students who are about to enter a teacher certification program. Students must be African American, Hispanic, Asian American, or Native American. Click here for an application.

State Teacher Assistance Resource (STAR) Program
The STAR Program offers forgivable loans to students who are seeking teaching certification and loan repayment grants to present teachers who did not get STAR forgivable loans.
Apply online here.

Teacher Opportunity Program
TOP provides forgivable loans to help current teachers who wish to get certification in a subject with low numbers of teachers. TOP Reimbursement Grants are offered to teachers who do not receive TOP loans. Teachers must be nominated by a school district willing to match the offered funds. Click “here”: http://top.adhe.edu/notavail.aspx for the Reimbursement Grant application.

Military Dependents Scholarship Program
This education waiver is offered to students who are dependents or spouses of Arkansas residents who were missing in action, were prisoners of war, or have been killed or disabled. Click here for an application.

Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents Scholarship Program
This waiver was designed to assist children and spouses of Arkansas police officers, Highway and Transportation staff, or public employees who died or attained a lasting disability in action. Click here for an application.

Second Effort Scholarship
Students who achieved the top 10 scores on the GED are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The awards are $1,000 per year.

Workforce Improvement Grant
This annual $2,000 grant is available to students who are 24 years old or older. Students must have financial need and must submit a FAFSA to qualify for this grant. The Workforce Improvement Grant has different deadlines for individual institutions. Check with your school for your deadline.

University and College Scholarships for Arkansas Students

Arkansas universities and colleges offer scholarships that are specific to students who are attending their institution. Whether you are attending the University of Central Arkansas or Hendrix College, you can find a list of scholarships at your financial aid and/or scholarship office.

University- and college-specific scholarships depend on merit, need, involvement, program of study, and special abilities. For example, the University of the Ozarks offers an Art Scholarship to students who have artistic ability. Another example is the University Honors Scholarship offered by Arkansas State University Jonesboro to students who have high ACT scores and are National Merit finalists or semi-finalists. Arkansas merit scholarships may be awarded through your school’s admissions office like it is at Harding University. This means all you have to do is submit your application for admission on time. Other universities, such as the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Central Arkansas, require a separate application for all scholarships.

Scholarships Offered by Arkansas Organizations and Individuals

If you are looking for more scholarships, it will take some extra work on your part. Organizations and individuals in Arkansas offer scholarships for students. Here are just a few of the scholarships out there:

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund
Scholarships are offered to Arkansas single parents who are pursuing education to further their financial independence. The fund is designed to function through county offices. Click here to get information from your county.

Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarship
The Arkansas Farm Bureau offers several scholarships to Farm Bureau members or children of Farm Bureau members. Students must be Arkansas residents pursuing a degree in agriculture. Click here for a Farm Bureau application.

Arkansas Community Foundation
The Arkansas Community Foundation offers many scholarships that are supported by companies, organizations, individuals, and families. Each scholarship has specific requirements.
Click here for a list of scholarships.

Keep in Mind These Three Things While Searching for Arkansas Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Arkansas state scholarships and grants have specific requirements and due dates. Make sure you know what and when they are so you are able to meet them.
  • Some scholarships from Arkansas universities or colleges may require only a scholarship application. Others may require both a FAFSA and a separate scholarship application. Read the requirements carefully.
  • Local and state organizations offer scholarships to Arkansas students. Check with your local organizations to see if you qualify for their scholarships.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles