Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship 2024

arkansas academic scholarship


The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship (AACS) is a merit-based scholarship program that recognizes and rewards academic excellence among high school seniors in Arkansas. Established in 1997, the scholarship provides financial assistance to eligible students pursuing higher education at Arkansas colleges and universities.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the AACS, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a graduating high school senior in Arkansas.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Score in the top 3% of the ACT or SAT.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Demonstrate financial need (for the Honors Award only).

Scholarship Awards

The AACS offers two levels of awards:

  • Challenge Award: $10,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate study.
  • Honors Award: $25,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Application Process

The application process for the AACS typically opens in the fall of the student’s senior year. Students can apply online through the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) website. The application deadline is usually in early December.

The application requires students to submit the following materials:

  • Official high school transcript
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or Arkansas Application for State Financial Aid (AASFA)
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation

Selection Process

A selection committee reviews all applications and selects recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement (GPA and ACT/SAT scores)
  • Financial need (for the Honors Award only)
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

Renewal Requirements

To renew the AACS, students must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an Arkansas college or university.
  • Submit a renewal application each year.

Benefits of the AACS

The AACS provides numerous benefits to its recipients, including:

  • Financial assistance: The scholarship helps students cover the costs of tuition, fees, and other expenses associated with higher education.
  • Academic recognition: The AACS recognizes and celebrates academic excellence among Arkansas high school seniors.
  • Increased opportunities: The scholarship allows students to pursue their educational goals at top-tier Arkansas institutions.
  • Enhanced career prospects: A college degree from an Arkansas university can lead to increased earning potential and career opportunities.


The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is a prestigious and highly competitive program that rewards academic excellence among Arkansas high school seniors. The scholarship provides significant financial assistance to eligible students, enabling them to pursue higher education and achieve their full potential. By investing in its brightest and most promising students, Arkansas is ensuring a brighter future for the state and its citizens.

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