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10 Arkansas Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

What’s Covered:


There’s no doubt about it: college is expensive. Sometimes, the price tag is far higher than what you’re able to pay. But there’s some good news — there are plenty of scholarships to help offset the steep cost of your education.


Are you an Arkansas resident? If so, there are numerous scholarships available to help you pay for college. Here are 10 of the best.


10 Arkansas Scholarships


1. Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship


Amount: See chart below

Deadline: July 1

Eligibility: At least 12 months of Arkansas residency; must be accepted by an approved academic program and not already have earned a bachelor’s degree; certified to be drug-free

Application Requirements: Application, FAFSA, ACT or equivalent test (traditional students only)


The Arkansas Academic Challenge Program offers scholarships to students regardless of academic status, whether they are graduating from high school, are currently enrolled in college, or are re-enrolling after a period of time. Criteria for the awards differ depending on whether students are traditional (incoming freshman) or nontraditional. 


Scholarships are given in the following amounts:


4-year institution

2-year institution

Year 1



Year 2



Year 3


$1500 (one semester)

Year 4



2. Bird Dog Foundation Annual College Scholarship Essay Contest


Amount: $2,000, $1,500, or $1,000

Deadline: April 15

Eligibility: High school senior residing in Arkansas, Mississippi, or Tennessee preparing to enter their freshman year of college

Application Requirements: Essay


The Bird Dog Foundation created a Scholarship Fund to promote interest in wildlife conservation, and this scholarship contest furthers that goal, while giving financial aid to college-bound students. 


3. Ralph G. Norman Scholarship


Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 15

Eligibility: Must have a documented learning disability and will be enrolled at a university, two-year community college, or a vocational/technical training program

Application Requirements: Application form, documentation of learning disability, personal statement, transcripts, two letters of recommendation


Sponsored by the Learning Disabilities Association of Arkansas, the annual Ralph G. Norman Scholarship recognizes students with a documented learning disability who are self-advocates committed to pursuing higher academic study or career training, in spite of challenges. They should also participate in school and community activities. Three candidates will be selected.


4. Cornerstone Charitable Scholarship Trust


Amount: N/A

Deadline: March 30

Eligibility: African American high school and post-high school graduates who are under 25; must be economically disadvantaged, have finished high school at the time of application, and be enrolled in or accepted as to an accredited university, college, or vocational school

Application Requirements: Application, transcript, essay 


The Cornerstone Chartable Scholarship Trust honors African American individuals who have roots in the State of Arkansas. As part of their application, students must submit an essay regarding themselves, their achievements, and their career goals. Awards are based on academic standing, financial need, and availability of funds.


5. Single Parent Scholarship Fund


Amount: N/A

Deadline: Priority and late deadlines occur every season the scholarship is offered

Eligibility: Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas, residents who are single parents; must have a high school diploma or GED and have never earned a bachelor’s degree; must have a minimum 2.0 GPA

Application Requirements: Applicant, documentation of circumstances, proof of enrollment, proof of income, SAR, transcripts, proof of marital status


The Single Parent Scholarship Fund was established to help single parents in Arkansas “build a new future for the families.” The award supports part- and full-time single-parent students pursuing associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and certificate programs. The organization also refers applicants to additional services to support them with career preparation.


6. Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 31

Eligibility: Graduating senior from an Arkansas high school who is planning on attending an Arkansas college or junior college

Application Requirements: Essay


The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) wants to honor student-athletes and help them fund their education. ASHOF considers the first 100 essays submitted that address how sports have positively impacted students’ lives, selecting nine scholarship recipients.


7. Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship


Amount: Up to $10,000 per year

Deadline: N/A

Eligibility: Must have a minimum 32 ACT or 1410 SAT and 3.5 GPA or status as a National Achievement Finalist or National Merit Finalist

Application Requirements: Application


Governor’s Distinguished Scholarships are designated for high-achieving Arkansas students. Up to 375 scholarships will be awarded, depending on funding availability, to be used for tuition, mandatory fees, room, and board. Students must enroll in at least 15 semester credit hours (12 freshman year) to receive funds.


8. Arkansas Workforce Challenge


Amount: Up to $800

Deadline: At least 30 days prior to enrollment in an eligible program

Eligibility: Must be a high school graduate or have received high school equivalency; must be accepted into an approved program

Application Requirements: Application


The Workforce Challenge Scholarship was established in 2017 to fund workforce training in healthcare, information technology, and other in-demand sectors. The scholarship may be applied to a number of programs (Explore Arkansas Careers offers a complete overview). 


9. Alice L. Haltom Educational Fund


Amount: N/A

Deadline: May 1

Eligibility: Residents of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas; 3.0 minimum GPA; 

Application Requirements: 200-300 word essay, three letters of recommendation, transcript, degree plan


This award benefits students who are pursuing education to prepare for a career in information and records management. The number of scholarships awarded per year is determined by the Fund Trustees. NB: Requirements and awards have been modified during the pandemic.


10. Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship


Amount: $500-$1,000

Deadline: December 16

Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors who have a minimum 3.0 GPA

Application Requirements: Transcript, 300-word essay, three recommendations


The Arkansas Chamber Singers (ACS) offers this scholarship to high school students who are active in choral music programs across the state. In addition to meeting the above requirements, finalists must perform two selections of contrasting styles before the judges. They must also show acceptance to an accredited four-year college and intend to major in music performance.


Bonus #11: CollegeVine Scholarships


CollegeVine is the no. 1 place to find your dream school — and get help paying for it! We do weekly drawings of prizes of $500+, and you can enter every week. It’s easy to enter — simply sign up for an account, and increase your odds of winning by doing small tasks like creating a school list, inviting friends, and more.


Tips on Applying to Scholarships


1. Maximize institution-based awards.


Scholarships that are offered by the college you’re planning on attending are often substantial and easier to secure than more general ones. You may even automatically win awards based on criteria like your GPA and/or standardized test scores alone. Try to secure these awards before looking to outside agencies and organizations.


2. Go niche and specialized. 


Specialized scholarships — those geared toward students with certain demographics or who have particular talents — tend to be easier to win than those with broader audiences. There are fewer applicants who meet the criteria, so you’re competing against a smaller applicant pool. Try searching for scholarships in your niche.


3. Keep applying, and then apply some more.


The more scholarships you apply for, the better your odds of earning at least one award. Plus, there’s no limit to how many scholarships you can win! (Keep in mind, though, that merit awards may impact your need-based financial aid.)

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.