Jesse Evans, Editor | Hempstead Herald

Extensive research shows that obtaining a college degree results in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates. In fact, the median income for young adults with a college degree is 50% higher than those with a high school diploma.

This week, we want to remind you about an important deadline that could have a significant impact for thousands of students preparing for their future.

The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is June 15. The scholarship is funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and provides tuition assistance to students at every Arkansas college, university and two-year technical school – both public and private.

It’s important to understand that the Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to all who qualify. Eligibility requirements are simple: one must be a traditional incoming freshman, a current college student or a non-traditional student; must have a minimum ACT score of 19; must still be in pursuit of one’s first baccalaureate degree; and maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

More than 30,000 scholarships are awarded each fiscal year, including first-time recipients and renewed scholarships.

Scholarships are awarded based on a tiered system. Students enrolled in four-year institutions can receive $1,000 for the first year. Those who stay in school are rewarded thereafter with $4,000 for sophomore and junior years, and $5,000 for the senior year. At two-year institutions and approved nursing schools, students receive $1,000 for the first year and $3,000 for the second. In short, students are incentivized for staying and succeeding in higher education.

To date, more than 235,000 scholarships have been awarded to Arkansas students seeking both four and two-year degrees.

Applications are found at the Department of Higher Education’s website, which is scholarships.adhe.edu.  There one will find a link to the YOUniversal Scholarship Application.  There is also a free app for your phone.

So, remember June 15 – the deadline to apply for the Academic Challenge Scholarship, a great first step toward securing your financial future.

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