Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship – Scholarships are available to Arkansans pursuing higher education through the Arkansas Academic Challenge Program.

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to students regardless of their academic standing, whether they are just graduating from high school, presently enrolled in college, registering for the first time in college, or re-enrolling after an extended period away from college. It is financed in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

Who May Apply for the Scholarship

Any student may apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship in one of the two ways listed below.


Students applying for the upcoming must have an ACT composite score or super score of at least a 19 (or the equivalent of a 19 composite on an equivalent test) if they plan to attend an authorized college or university in the academic year after graduating from a public high school, a private or out-of-state high school, or from homeschool.  

To get their grants for that semester, traditional students must take at least 12 credits their first Fall semester after graduating from high school and at least 15 credits each semester after that.  Then, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5, they must acquire a minimum of 27 credits during their first academic year and a minimum of 30 credits each subsequent academic year. 

Freshmen who have finished their first academic year and did not apply for or meet the requirements for the Academic Challenge Scholarship may be categorized as Traditional students if they enrolled as full-time first-time freshmen, completed 27 hours, and maintained a 2.5 GPA.   

They may still apply as Non-Traditional even if they do not have 27 hours by the end of the spring. Students who are currently enrolled at college but did not get Challenge as well as individuals who have taken some college courses but do not have a degree are also considered non-traditional students.



Students can apply whether they have college credit.  If you’ve completed some college-level coursework and have a cumulative college GPA of at least 2.5.  A student with an ACT composite score or super score of at least 19 (or the equivalent of a 19 composite on a comparable test) can be classified as Non-Traditional even if they have no college credits.

 Non-traditional students are still eligible to receive a pro-rated portion of the scholarship for that semester even if they start their studies with fewer semester credits than typical students are required to have. 

In addition, they must keep their cumulative GPA at least 2.5 and accrue the necessary number of hours depending on whether they attended full- or part-time each semester (15 credits or more or less).

Essential Eligibility Criteria (Traditional & Non-Traditional Student)

An applicant must:

  • Having lived in Arkansas for at least a year before enrolling and being a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Obtain acceptance for enrollment in a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, a qualifying certificate, or a nursing school diploma at a college or university that is recognized by the government.
  • Should not possess a baccalaureate degree already
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); your income will not be taken into consideration for this scholarship.
  • Not be required to pay back any state or federal student loans or grants for higher education.
  • Have not taken out more than the annual federal loan limits
  • Not be incarcerated at the time of application for the award or while they are receiving it.
  • Have fulfilled the registration criteria of the United States Selective Service System
  • Declare oneself to be drug-free

Forfeiting Freshman Award Amount Form

  • You may be able to request an upgrade in Arkansas Academic Challenge funding from the freshmen level to the sophomore level if you are an Arkansas high school senior who has earned or will earn at least 27 college credits before starting college in the fall (after your senior year).
  • You consent to give up the initial semesters of Arkansas Academic Challenge funding eligibility in exchange for receiving the higher level.
  • By July 1st, requests to relinquish the amount of the freshman reward must be made.


List of Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

Different categories of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery include;

  • Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship
  • Arkansas Future (ArFuture) Scholarship
  • Arkansas Health Education Grant
  • Arkansas Workforce Challenge
  • Arkansas Concurrent Challenge, etc.

How long does the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship last?

For a total of four years, students pursuing baccalaureate degrees may extend their scholarships for up to three more academic years. For a total of two years, associate degree candidates may extend their scholarships for one more academic year.