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Ark. Dept. of Higher Ed to Host Free College Financial Aid Workshops

Posted by Alan on May 5, 2011 11:12 AM | Filed in Events |

ptomeeting.pngThe Arkansas Department of Higher Education in conjunction with local school districts, University of Arkansas Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas Community College, and the Northwest Arkansas legislative delegation will host several free financial aid workshops at area high schools May 10-12. Students and parents are invited to attend and learn more about the application process for state scholarships and financial aid.
 
Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m.
Fayetteville High School Auditorium
 
Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m.
Heritage High School Auditorium, Rogers
 
Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Bentonville High School, North Building Lecture Hall
 
Beginning this year the deadline for application for all of the state's 21 financial aid programs will be June 1 for both the fall and spring semesters for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, changes to the Academic Challenge Scholarship - the state's largest financial aid program - will be few but important to know, said ADHE Interim Director Shane Broadway.
 
Award amounts for the Academic Challenge Scholarship will be slightly lower for new recipients - $4,500 for those enrolled at four-year institutions and $2,250 for those attending two-year colleges, as determined by the 88th General Assembly. Students who received the awards last year will continue to receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively, as long as their continuing eligibility requirements are met.
 
Legislation provides for the amounts to be set each year after review by the General Assembly, which takes into account current awards and projections of net revenue from the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship.
 
Last year a total of 31,031 Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarships were awarded, with the largest number going to traditional students who graduated in the previous school year.
 
Each student who graduates from an Arkansas high school in 2011 and meets the eligibility qualifications is guaranteed to receive Academic Challenge Scholarship funds under the current legislation. The remaining dollars are then awarded based on a prioritization process that takes into account students nearest to graduation, GPA and those in critical needs areas, such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
 
Late last month, ADHE unveiled a free smart phone application - the first of its kind with customer service help available via text - for students to use in applying for state financial aid and to check the status of their awards. It was developed by the Information Network of Arkansas, the agency that develops websites and online applications for other state agencies.
 
Those who received the Academic Challenge Scholarship during the 2010-2011 academic year will not have to reapply. Students who applied previously but were not awarded must reapply by June 1. Students must also log in to their account to make any changes to their status, including transferring to another institution.
 
The homepage of the agency's website - www.adhe.edu - should provide answers to most questions and easy access to information, officials said.
 
The ADHE is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the AHECB, approving and reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state's 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.
 
In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $170 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school. For more information, visit www.adhe.edu.