Find YOUR Perfect Scholarship Match

By Jessie Smith on Monday, October 15, 2018

Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships — if you’re an American high school student, you’ve probably heard this word a million times since preschool and for good reason. Not many of us keep thousands of dollars in our piggy banks to pay those hefty tuitions, and student loans work in a pinch, but they cost you down the road. Luckily, the Arkansas government, different organizations and generous alumni are willing to help out the next generation. You may think your GPA or ACT score will hold you back, but we promise there’s a scholarship (or two or three) out there for you.

This scholarship is for you if…

YOUR GPA ISN’T PERFECT

Did calculus tank your 4.0? While some scholarships demand a stellar GPA, plenty look at other qualifications first. Your extracurricular activities and community involvement make a difference, too.

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship
Deadline: June 1
Requirements: You must complete the FAFSA and earn an ACT score of at least 19.
What You Get: $14,000 distributed over four years

Boaz Family Scholarship
Deadline: March 1
Requirements: This is a University of Arkansas at Little Rock scholarship, and you must be pursuing an undergraduate degree, show financial need and have a GPA between 2.0 and 3.2.
What You Get: Varies


YOU’RE A FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT

If you’re the first in your immediate family to pursue college after high school, then you might find some scholarships specifically for you. Some universities even have programs to help out first-generation students.

Silas Hunt Distinguished Scholarship*
Deadline: Nov. 1
Requirements: This is a University of Arkansas scholarship, and you must show leadership potential. This scholarship is awarded to first-generation college students as well as minorities and underrepresented Arkansas counties.
What You Get: $5,000 or $8,000
*This is just one example of the college-based scholarships you can find in Arkansas. Different universities offer university-sponsored and private scholarships for first-generation and minority students.

Kiwanis Club Scholarships
Deadline: Varies
Requirements: Look up the Kiwanis Club near you and ask them about their scholarship opportunities. Most chapters are looking to help out local students.
What You Get: Varies


YOU’RE NOT GOING THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE

When so many scholarships are aimed at seniors on their way to a four-year university, you might feel a bit alone considering a different path. Luckily, you can find scholarships out there for your unique situation. If these don’t fit your circumstances, you can find financial aid based on your career field or ethnicity.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program
Deadline: Jan. 20
Requirements: You must have completed two years at a community or two-year college and have transferred to a four-year university as well as a GPA of at least 3.5.
What You Get: Up to $40,000 per year

Arkansas Health Education Grant
Deadline: June 15
Requirements: Arkansas doesn’t offer every graduate program out there (like veterinary medicine), so this grant allows for Arkansas students to pursue graduate school outside of the state.
What You Get: Financial assistance with a partnered graduate school

ESA Foundation Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 26
Requirements: You must be a female or minority student pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer and video game arts with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
What You Get: $3,000


YOU’RE A PARTICIPATOR

Maybe you have that itch that throws you into every club imaginable, and if you hold an office in half of them, even better. These scholarships award those with the initiative to get involved, and they recognize the importance of young potential leaders.

Horatio Alger Arkansas Scholarship
Deadline: Oct. 25
Requirements: You must plan on earning a bachelor’s degree, show your household income is less than $55,000, keep at least a 2.0 GPA and exhibit involvement in co-curricular and community service activities.
What You Get: $10,000

Elizabeth G. Redman Republican Party of Arkansas Scholarship Endowment
Deadline: March 1
Requirements: You must be a member of the Republican Party of Arkansas.
What You Get: $1,000


YOU’RE GOING INTO A STEM FIELD

If you’re going into science, technology, engineering or mathematics, you can find plenty of financial aid offerings geared to you.

Arkansas Future Grant
Deadline: July 1
Requirements: You must graduate high school or the equivalent, have lived in Arkansas for the past three years, enroll in a STEM program and complete your FAFSA.
What You Get: The grant will pay for your tuition and any related fees

Arkansas High-Tech Scholarship
Deadline: July 1
Requirements: You must have an ACT score of at least 19 and at least a 2.5 GPA, and you must be enrolled in a technical program.
What You Get: $250 per semester for eight semesters


YOU’RE A STUDENT ATHLETE

Everyone knows you can sign with a school, play through college and get a discount on your bill. However, your years of workouts and practices can also help you even if you don’t get headhunted by a university.

Mandy Coats Memorial Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 1
Requirements: You must complete the application including a few short questions. Preference is given to religious student athletes.
What You Get: Varies

John McCollough Smith Athletic Scholarship Endowment
Deadline: Varies.
Requirements: You must be an athlete graduating from Central High School in Little Rock. Ask your guidance counselor if a scholarship like this exists at your high school!
What You Get: Varies.


YOU DEMONSTRATE FINANCIAL NEED

First, you should fill out the FAFSA. A lot of scholarships require this form, and you might qualify for a Pell grant. When you’re applying for colleges, talk to the financial aid office about their options.

YOUniversal Scholarship Application
Deadline: The application opens Oct. 1, and you want to apply as soon as possible. The deadline varies for different scholarships.
Requirements: Make an account at scholarships.adhe.edu. Once you fill out the application, you can discover which scholarships are available to you.
What You Get: You could be eligible for any number of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education scholarships.

Horatio Alger National Scholarship
Deadline: Oct. 25
Requirements: You must plan on earning a bachelor’s degree, show your household income is less than $55,000, keep at least a 2.0 GPA, and exhibit involvement in co-curricular and community service activities.
What You Get: $25,000

Federal Pell Grant Program
Deadline: June 30
Requirements: You must complete the FAFSA and show financial need.
What You Get: The amount depends on your financial need and college costs.