Easy Money vs Big Money

By Arkansas NEXT on Friday, September 25, 2020

Go for both! We can help with the processes and payouts explained here.

Some scholarships require an application, an essay, letters of recommendation and a phenomenal test score while others just ask you to fill out a few boxes. Sometimes, only one or two receive the scholarship, but others award everyone who qualifies. You don’t always know what you’re up against when you’re applying, but it never hurts to throw your name into consideration — even if it’s a long shot.


Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship
No competition!
Deadline: June 1 of student's senior year of high school
Why it’s easy: If you meet the qualifications, you get this scholarship. The funding covers all eligible high school seniors. To qualify, you must earn at least a 19 on the ACT and complete your FAFSA.
What you get: $18,000 distributed over four years

Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship
Perfect if you’re in the right field!
Deadline: Apply 30 days before enlisting in your program.
Why it’s easy: This is a brand new scholarship, and you complete the YOUniversal Scholarship application to apply. You must be an Arkansas high school graduate, and you must be enrolled in a training program for one of the eligible high-demand fields.
What you get: Cost of program up to $800


Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship
High standards to meet!
Deadline: Feb. 1 of student's senior year of high school
Why it’s hard: Up to 375 Arkansas students (if funding allows) are named Governor’s Distinguished Scholars. You must earn at least a 32 on the ACT or the SAT equivalent and maintain a 3.5 GPA to qualify.
What you get: $10,000 annually

National Merit Scholarship
Three levels and a lot of competition!
Deadline: Take the PSAT in the fall of your junior year.
Why it’s hard: The top 50,000 high scorers in the nation are "Commended," and one third of that group are recognized as "Semifinalists." Students will be asked for an application and essay for consideration for "Finalist" level.
What you get: $2,500 a year, but most colleges offer larger scholarships based on this recognition.

Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship
A challenging application!
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2020
Why it’s hard: The application includes a five-page description of your proposed research, letters of recommendation and a budget plan along with several other qualifications. Applicants are judged in eight areas to determine whether or not they receive the fellowship.
What you get: You could receive funds to pursue your undergraduate research project and to present the project at conferences.