If you live in Arkansas and plan to go to college there, you may qualify for a scholarship from the state or a private organization. The following programs are a small sample of the opportunities that are available. Note that several scholarship programs ask applicants to prove that they've lived in the state for a period of time before applying. If you don't qualify for these programs because you're a new Arkansas resident, you might want to see if you can apply for any scholarships that are available nationally.
Go! Opportunities Grants, formally called the Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grants, are available from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Low income students are eligible for these grants. Full-time students are eligible to receive $1,000 per year, and part-time students can be awarded $500 per year. Each student's total award is capped at $4,000.
To be eligible for these grants, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. They also need to have lived in Arkansas for a year before submitting the application. In addition, applicants are required to demonstrate financial need. The Department of Higher Education judges financial need based on a student's household income. Students are eligible if their household's adjusted gross income is no more than $25,000 for the first household member plus $5,000 for each additional household member. Students are not eligible if their household's adjusted gross income is more than $75,000. There are a few more requirements for eligibility, and these can be found on the website of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Students who want to receive a grant for the fall semester need to apply by June 1, while students who are applying for the spring semester must turn in their applications by November 1 (Arkansas Department of Higher Education, http://www.adhe.edu/divisions/financialaid/Pages/fa_gogrant.aspx).
The Governor's Scholars Program is another scholarship program offered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit. Students can be awarded either $4,000 a year or up to $10,000 a year, depending on which level of award they are selected for.
Students need to show that they are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens to be eligible for this scholarship program. They also need to have lived in Arkansas for the past six months at the time they apply. Applicants submit their high school grades and college entrance exam scores, and they need to meet minimum criteria in these areas in order to be considered for the scholarships. The deadline for high school seniors to apply is February 1 (Arkansas Department of Higher Education, http://www.adhe.edu/divisions/financialaid/Pages/fa_govscholars.aspx).
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund has awarded post-secondary scholarships to single parents since 1990. Applicants must show financial need, and people who have already earned a degree from a four-year institution are not eligible to apply. The scholarship fund does not award financial aid at the state level. Instead, students apply to the affiliate organization in their Arkansas county. Depending on the county, students may be able to spend their scholarship money on expenses like utilities and childcare, as well as on tuition (Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, http://www.aspsf.org/).