From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
If you have children going off to college in the fall, July 1 is an important deadline to remember.
By July 1 you have to submit your application for an Academic Challenge Scholarship, and a host of other scholarships.
The Academic Challenge is funded by the state lottery and every year it helps about 30,000 students qualify pay for tuition and fees.
Students at two-year colleges receive $1,000 their first year and $3,000 in their sophomore year.
Students at four-year universities get $1,000 in their freshman year, $4,000 in their sophomore and junior years and $5,000 in their senior year.
Larger scholarships for upperclassmen is an incentive for students to stay in school and finish their degree.
Traditional students who are graduating from high school qualify for the scholarships if they get an ACT superscore of 19 or higher.
Also, when you enroll in college next fall, you must sign up for at least 12 hours of course work.
After your first semester, you must enroll in a minimum of 15 hours.
In other words, in order to keep the scholarship you have to complete 27 hours your freshman year and 30 hours in each of the following years.
There are numerous other scholarship programs available, and the state Department of Higher Education has a web page where you can learn about all of them.
You can also apply for scholarships on the Higher Education Department web site.
Just search for sams.adhe. That stands for Scholarship Application Management System. ADHE stands for Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
Getting a college degree is a realistic goal for every young person in Arkansas. We have 12 state supported four-year universities and 23 two-year colleges. We also have 16 private universities.
There will be plenty of state funding for scholarships, in spite of a decline this year in lottery ticket sales, caused by higher gasoline prices.
It’s a proven fact that when gas prices go up, lottery ticket sales go down. In spite of higher gasoline and diesel prices, we’ll still have an estimated $90 million for scholarships this year.
About 28,000 students have already been awarded scholarships this year. The Academic Challenge is a great help in paying for college, so don’t let the deadline slip past.
Get your applications in by July 1, enjoy the rest of the summer and get ready for college in the fall.
From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.