This week, several members were updated on the current status of the Arkansas lottery. The director of the lottery informed the Lottery Oversight Subcommittee that revenues are on track to be the 2nd or 3rd highest since the lottery’s inception in 2009.
Year to date net proceeds are $6.2 million more than this time last year. This is $5.5 million more than budgeted. For March alone, net proceeds are $1,740,865 more than March 2017. That is a 28.1% increase.
Net proceeds from the lottery fund the Arkansas Academic Challenge which awards more than 30,000 scholarships each year.
This year, excess lottery proceeds will fund the Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship. This scholarship was created in the 2017 Regular Session.
It is available to Arkansas residents who are enrolled in an associate or certificate program in one of the following high demand fields: Industry, Health Care, or Information Technology. The scholarship is funded at the lesser of $800 a semester or the cost the program of study, such as tuition, fees, textbooks, and equipment or other course materials.
Since the lottery began, more than 250,000 Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships have been awarded to students seeking both four and two-year degrees. The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge is June 1.
To be eligible, 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.
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.
Information and applications for scholarships are found at the Department of Higher Education’s website, which is scholarships.adhe.edu.