Per all reliable sources, Arkansas is one of the best resources of higher education attainment with cost containment in the country. Given its historically low comparative costs of academic accomplishment, it is no astonishment that Arkansas’ official nickname was the “Land of Opportunity” until 2010.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (“ADHE”) portends a possible end to this long-standing optimistic trend, however. ADHE reports that average tuition rates at two and four-year colleges in the state rose by 5 to 6 percent from 2011 to 2012. While well below the national average tuition hike of 8.3% for that same period, it is nevertheless a noteworthy point for scholars needing to minimize debt yet maximize income potential via curricular pursuits.

Fortunately, many scholarship funds stand in the stead of career-crippling student loan overload. Here are 25 of the best scholarships available to students living or studying in the state of Arkansas.

1. Harper & Mary Boyer Harb Memorial Trust Nursing Scholarship

Maximum amount of these nonrenewable awards is $5,000. Scholarship selection committee members review Nursing scholarship applications that meet the above-listed basic requirements to further evaluate relative personal history, school-related extracurricular activities, academic performance, athletic activities, future educational goals, career objectives, and faculty/staff recommendations. Financial need also has bearing on recipient selection.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Arkansas residency
2) Current full-time enrollment in a St. Vincent Health Systems Nursing program in Little Rock
3) U.S. citizenship

Application Deadline

Open

Contact

Harper & Mary Boyer Harb Memorial Trust Nursing Scholarship
Arkansas Community Foundation
Union Station
1400 W. Markham, Suite 206
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: (501) 372-1116
Fax: (501)-372-1166
[email protected]

2. Dixie Boys Baseball Bernie Varnadore Scholarship Program

Since 1984, Dixie Boys Baseball, Incorporated (“DBBI”) has been broadening the future horizons of bright college-bound male high school seniors by awarding various amounts to defray future tuition.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Current or previous participation in a DBBI-franchised program;
2) A solid background of exceptional academic performance;
3) Be a high school senior; and,
4) Demonstrate significant financial need.

Application Deadline

April 1

Contact

Dixie Boys Baseball Bernie Varnadore Scholarship Program
ATTN: Scholarship Committee
c/o J. Sandy Jones, Commissioner/CEO
Dixie Boys Baseball
Post Office Box 8263
Dothan, Alabama 36304

3. AQHF Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship

Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship awards are available to members of the American Quarter Horse Foundation (“AQHF”) and American Quarter Horse Youth Foundation (“AQHYF”). Besides membership in one of the aforementioned organizations, basic threshold eligibility criteria include:

1) Current enrollment in senior year of high school or an accredited university, college, or vocational training facility
2) A minimum grade-point-average of 2.5
3) Compete in either AQHYA or AQHA-approved horse shows
4) A resident of Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, or Mississippi
5) Complete a financial need analysis

Award amount is $2,000 per academic year for up to four years, conditioned upon satisfactory academic performance and maintenance of the other qualification criteria.

Application Deadline

January 2

Contact

AQHF Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship
Scholarship Office
American Quarter House Association
2601 East Interstate 40
Amarillo, TX 79104
Telephone: (806) 378-5029
E-mail [email protected]

4. Arkansas Hi-Tech Scholarship (“HTS”) Program

The Arkansas HTS Scholarship Program issues awards of $250 per academic semester. Award continuity may extend into the immediately following academic semester in an equal amount.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) A minimum high school grade-point-average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale cumulative for at least seven academic semesters
2) A minimum American College Testing composite score of 19 or minimum combined math and verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test score of 730 or high school ranking within the top ten percent of high school graduation class
3) U.S. citizenship
4) Graduate of or currently in senior year at an Arkansas high school
5) Have confirmed future plans to enroll or be currently enrolled in an approved “highly technical” program at a public post-secondary educational institution in Arkansas

HTS Scholarship awards are renewable on an annual basis for up to four academic years provided the renewal applicant has maintained:

1) Full-time enrollment at the same approved facility at time of initial award receipt or another approved facility
2) Is in good standing at current approved facility
3) Has a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for the immediately preceding semester of award renewal

Application Deadline

July 1

Contact

Arkansas High-Tech Scholarship Program
Department of Career Education
#3 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: 501/682-1701
Fax: 501/682-1509

5. Bird Dog Foundation College Scholarship Essay Contest

Since 1991, the Bird Dog Foundation has sponsored its College Scholarship Essay Contest and applied monetary awards directly toward designated contest winners’ tuition at post-secondary institutions. This annual educational funding competition serves an organizational objective of youth inculcation into wildlife conservation activities, programs, and affiliations. Successful contest participants receive special recognition during a ceremonial scholarship presentation in which Bird Dog exerts special efforts to ensure attendance by honorees’ families, local dignitaries, media, and educators. First Place Award is $1,500 and Second Place Award is $1,000, both of which are nonrenewable.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Currently-enrolled in senior year of high school
2) U.S. citizen
3) Resident of either Arkansas, Mississippi, or Tennessee
4) Plan to enroll in an accredited post-secondary educational institution
5) Non-employees of and non-related to any employee(s) of Bird Dog Foundation, Inc.

Acceptable contest submission essays include:

1) Between 900 and 1,000 written words on a Bird Dog Foundation Suggested Topic
2) Selected theme development of a positive constructive standpoint
3) Incorporate five or more bibliographic sources
4) Express and full written relinquishment of all copyrights to the Bird Dog Foundation, Inc.
5) Comply with MLA College Guidelines

Application Deadline

April 15th

Contact

The Bird Dog Foundation College Scholarship Essay Contest
Michael R. Tuxon Education Fund
505 W Hwy 57
Grand Junction, TN 38039
Phone Number: (731) 764-2058
Fax Number: (731) 764-3004
Email: [email protected]

6. EMU National Scholars Program

EMU National Scholars Program scholarships pay the non-resident portion of recipients’ tuition at a post-secondary educational institution for up to 15 credits per academic semester or 30 credits per academic year. Eastern Michigan University sponsors the scholarship and makes 200 annual awards with an average per-recipient aggregate amount of $13,900.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) First-semester freshman or post-transfer enrollment
2) Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for first-semester freshmen and 3.5 or greater for first-semester transfer students
3) Arkansas residency
4) First-semester undergraduate freshmen recipients must reside on-campus throughout first two award years

Awards are renewable for up to four academic years if the recipient maintains a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Application Deadline

March 1 for first-semester freshmen and May 15 for transfer students

Contact

EMU National Scholars Program
Fran Yates, Account Specialist, Scholarships
Eastern Michigan University
403 Pierce Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197 United States
Phone: 734 487-3442
Fax: 734 487-4281
http://www.emich.edu

7. ADHE Governor’s Scholars Distinguished Scholars Award

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education sponsors this scholarship. Awards of up to $10,000 per academic year are applicable to recipients’ tuition, room, board, and mandatory matriculation fees at any Arkansas institution.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Minimum high school grade point average of 3.5
2) Minimum ACT score of 32 or SAT score of 1410
3) High rank in graduating high school class or a named National Merit or National Achievement Scholar

Application Deadline

February 1 of senior year in high school

Contact

ADHE Governor’s Scholars Distinguished Scholars Award
Philip Axelroth, Financial Aid Program Coordinator
Arkansas Dept. of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: (501) 371-2050
Email: [email protected]

8. David M. Chittenden Chemistry Scholarship

This is a memorial scholarship fund established in honor of the late Dr. David M. Chittenden. During his 33-year career at Arkansas State University, Dr. Chittenden served as Assistant Professor, Chairman, and Dean of the school’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Arkansas Community Foundation sponsors the scholarship and makes annual awards of varying amounts, based on funds availability. All awards are nonrenewable.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Arkansas residency
2) Full-time junior or senior year Chemistry major at Arkansas State University
3) U.S. citizenship
4) Financial need

Academic performance history, extracurricular activities participation, and faculty recommendations have major influence on recipient selection.

Application Deadline

None

Contact

David M. Chittenden Chemistry Scholarship
Barbara Weinstock, Executive Director
Craighead County Community Foundation
407 Union Street
Jonesboro, AR 72401
870-268-8888 (office ) 870-761-1117 (cell)
[email protected]

9. Hatton W. Sumners Law Scholarship

This is one of fourteen merit-based scholarships sponsored and funded by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation (“HSF”). Besides full payment of tuition and fees, annual award amounts include allowances for recipients’ books and living costs.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Full-time enrollment at either Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University or Oklahoma City University School of Law
2) Grade point average ranking within top third of class
3) Demonstrated history of scholastic excellence, leadership potential, and civil responsibility

Recipients are expected to participate actively in activities designed to develop the above qualities and advance worthwhile related causes. Awards are renewable for up to three academic years, provided the recipient maintains an academic status within the upper one-third of their class.

Application Deadline

February 15

Contact

Applications must be submitted directly to the law school of enrollment at either:

Hatton W. Sumners Law Scholarship
Oklahoma City University
School of Law SMU
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Phone: (405) 208-5337
Email: [email protected]

or

Southern Methodist University
Dedman School of Law Admissions Office
P.O. Box 750110
Dallas, TX 75275-0110
Phone: (214) 768-2550
Email: [email protected]

10. NAJA Graduate Scholarship Program

Since 1962, the Native American Journalist Association (“NAJA”) has awarded a cumulative total of about $1 million to nearly 500 recipients. Individual annual award amounts range between $500 and $2,500 and are non-renewable.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Active NAJA member in good standing
2) Native American ethnic origin
3) Enrollment in a Journalism degree program at an approved educational institution

Application Deadline

April 1

Contact

NAJA Graduate Scholarship Program
Pam Silas, NAJA Executive Director
University of Oklahoma
Gaylord College
395 W. Lindsey St.
Norman, OK, 73019-4201
Telephone: (405) 325-1649
Fax: (405) 325-6945
Email: [email protected]

11. Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (“ASPSF”) is a non-profit organization established in 1990 and administered by affiliated county agencies throughout Arkansas. As of July 13, 2013, ASPSF affiliate organizations had awarded a cumulative total of $18,811,152 to 33,458 scholarship recipients.

Criteria for Eligibility

Each ASPSF-affiliated organization establishes its own individual set of qualifications. Although these vary based upon the applicant’s county of residence, applicable ASPSF-established standard eligibility criteria include:

1) Physical residency in Arkansas
2) Economically-disadvantaged single parent with custody of a child(ren) under 18
3) Have not previously earned a four-year bachelor’s or higher degree

Visit http://www.aspsf.org/students_spscholarships.html to review specific county requirements and download a free application.

Application Deadline

Varies by applicant’s county of residence

Contact

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund
Ruthanne Hill, Executive Director
614 East Emma Avenue
Suite 119
Springdale, AR 72764
Ph: (479)927-1402
Fax: (479)927-0755
E-mail: [email protected]

12. Cornerstone Scholarship Charitable Trust

Cornerstone Charitable Scholarship Trust (“CCST”) is a private foundation dedicated to supporting education and charitable activities that target economically disadvantaged African American students.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) U.S. citizen with Arkansas roots
2) Have a high school diploma
3) Between 17 and 25 years old
4) Secondary or post-secondary student
5) Have plans to attend a major vocational school or college
6) Provide written admission acceptance by a major college or vocational school

Application Deadline

June 30 immediately preceding anticipated initial enrollment date

Contact

Cornerstone Charitable Scholarship Trust
c/o Loretta Watson
P.O. Box 8454
Jacksonville, AR 72078
501-835-4222
Visit http://cornerstonecharitablescholarshiptrust.org/Scholarship_Application.pdf to download the free application form.

13. Trinity Foundation Scholarships

Trinity Foundation makes a wide array of awards to recipients at qualifying Arkansas high schools and legal dependents of employees at eligible companies.

Criteria for Eligibility

Must be a graduating high school senior at one of these schools:

1) Little Rock Mills
2) Little Rock Hall
3) Little Rock Central
4) Little Rock Parkview
5) Little Rock Mcclellan
6) Benton High School
7) Pine Bluffs High School
8) Bauxtie High School
9) Watson High School
10) Dollarway High School
11) White Chapel High School
12) White Hall High School

Alternatively,recipients must be the legal dependent of an employee at one of the following:

1) Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company
2) Mcgeorge Contracting Co., Inc.
3) Jeffrey Sand Company
4) Mobley Transport
5) Mobley Construction
6) Cornerstone Farms
7) Cornerstone Farm and Gin Company
8) Cranford Construction
9) Granite Mountain Quarries
10) River Mountain Quarries

Application Deadline

As application deadlines, award amounts, and additional specific eligibility criteria vary widely among individual Trinity Foundation scholarships, interested applicants should consult their high school guidance counselor for an application and/or additional details.

Contact

Trinity Scholarship Foundation
P.O. box 2000
Weaverville, CA 96093

14. AFB Scholarship Foundation

The American Foundation for the Blind (“AFB”) administers the seven scholarships via its Scholarship Foundation branch listed below:

Delta Gamma Memorial Scholarship
• One annual award of up to $1,000 to a recipient enrolled in undergraduate or graduate-level studies in a field related to the education or rehabilitation of the blind

Ferdinand Torres Scholarship
• One annual $3,500 to a full-time undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in any degree program

Gladys C. Anderson Memorial Scholarship
• One annual $1,000 award to a female undergraduate or graduate classical or religious music major

Karen D. Carsel Memorial Scholarship
• One annual award of $500 to a recipient engaged in full-time graduate study of any discipline

Paul W. Ruckes Scholarship
• One award to an undergraduate or graduate Engineering; or Physical, Computer, or Life Science

R. L. Gillette Scholarship
• Two annual awards of $1,000 to female undergraduate music or literature majors

Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarship
• Four annual awards of $2,500 to recipients in undergraduate or graduate programs related to visual impairment education and/or rehabilitation

Criteria for Eligibility

Although specific eligibility criteria vary among individual scholarships, completion of an online essay at AFB’s official website, two supporting recommendation letters, official academic transcripts, and written certification of legal blindness are universal requirements.

Application Deadline

April 30

Contact

AFB Scholarship Foundation
Contact: Tara Annis
Phone: (800) 232-5152
E-Mail: [email protected]
URL: http://www.afb.org/scholarships.asp

15. Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship

The Arkansas Pest Management Association (“APMA”) administers a memorial scholarship fund that awards $500 per semester to a recipient enrolled in a pest management and business program.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Arkansas residency
2) Full-time enrollment in business and pest management educational program
3) Three letters of recommendation
4) Plans for post-graduation employment in the pest management industry for at least two years

Recipients may renew awards for successive academic years and relatives of APMA members receive preferential consideration.

Application Deadline

Contact scholarship sponsor listed below

Contact

Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship
Anne Fuller, Executive Director
1593 Rossi Rd.
Mountain Home, Ark. 72653
Telephone: (870) 425-4122
E-mail: [email protected]

16. Harding University Music Endowed Scholarships

The Harding University Department of Music provides administers eight separate scholarship programs. Of these, one is for freshmen and transfer recipients and seven are for upper class recipients.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Minimum grade point average of 3.0 for freshmen recipients
2) Scholarship audition for freshman applicants
3) Acceptable attendance at music courses and forums for all recipients
4) Minimum level of mandatory ensemble participation for all recipients

Aggregate maximum awards range between $4,000 and $16,000 divided equally among a maximum of eight academic semesters. Specific amount and number of awards for each scholarship program vary from one year to the next, based upon size of applicant pool and current recipients. The higher level a recipients’ personal levels of musical performance and preparation, the greater his or her award amount.

Application Deadline

Vary by specific scholarship fund, contact sponsoring institutional department for more details.

Contact

Harding University Music Endowed Scholarships
Music Department
Harding University
Box 10767
Searcy, AR 72149-0767
501-279-4343 (Office)
501-279-4086 (Fax)
[email protected]

17. Jerry Jones Scholarship for Achievement Fund

The Arkansas Community Foundation sponsors this scholarship fund. Recipients must be full-time students at the Little Rock campus of University of Arkansas College of Business.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Financial need
2) Academic excellence
3) A history of consistent and active participation in community and campus civic activities
4) High aptitude and sincere personal interest in a successful business career

Application Deadline

Contact institutional staff member below for additional specifics about deadline for applying and other related information.

Contact

Jerry Jones Scholarship for Achievement Fund
Stephanie B. Conrad, Private Scholarship Coordinator
Student Services Center – Room 215
2801 South University
Little Rock, AR 72204
Telephone: (501) 683-7819
Fax: (501) 683-7820
E-mail: [email protected]

18. Law Enforcement Officers’ Dependents’ Scholarship

The Arkansas Dept. of Higher Education administers a program that awards recipients at public post-secondary institutions in Arkansas whose spouse or parent(s) were killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty as a law enforcement officer.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Bona fide Arkansas residency
2) U.S. citizenship
3) Spouse or biological, legally adopted, or stepchild of an eligible Arkansas law enforcement official
4) Current enrollment or proof of acceptance for admission at an approved Arkansas state-supported institution

Awards cover full costs of tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and are renewable for up to four academic years, provided the recipient maintains a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Application Deadline

June 1

Contact

Law Enforcement Officers Dependents Scholarship Program
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
Philip Axelroth, Financial Aid Program Coordinator
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: (501)-371-2050
Email: [email protected]

19. Leymer Educational Trust Fund

The Arkansas Community Foundation administers a fund that provides a nonrenewable award of up to $5,000.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Pulaski County, Arkansas residency
2) Full-time enrollment in a graduate program in Arkansas
3) U.S. citizenship

Number of annual awards varies and primary recipient selection factors include academic performance, future career goals, educator financial need recommendation, and participation in community service, athletic, and extracurricular academic activities.

Application Deadline

Contact scholarship sponsor listed below for details about application deadline and additional eligibility requirements.

Contact

Leymer Educational Trust Fund
Arkansas Community Foundation
Union Station
1400 W. Markham, Suite 206
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-372-1116 (phone)
888-220-2723 (toll free)
501-372-1166 (fax)
[email protected]

20. Little Rock Grain Exchange Scholarship Fund

The Arkansas Community Foundation administers this scholarship fund that makes awards of varying amounts to agricultural or agriculture business majors at Alabama State or Arkansas Tech University.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Freshman or sophomore year enrollment at eligible institution
2) Ranking within upper half of graduating high school class
3) SAT and/or ACT score(s) above state average
4) Demonstrated financial need
5) Minimum grade point average of 3.0 for sophomore applicants

Application Deadline

March 15

Contact

Little Rock Grain Exchange Scholarship
Arkansas Community Foundation
Union Station
1400 W. Markham, Suite 206
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-372-1116 (phone)
888-220-2723 (toll free)
501-372-1166 (fax)
[email protected]

21. Markley Scholarship

This is a memorial scholarship established by in 1983 in honor of former National Association for Campus Activities South Central Region founder Larry Markley. Two recipients receive an award each year that is applicable to tuition, fees, and books.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Strong history of sustained involvement in and contributions to NACA Central Region activities
2) Demonstrated leadership potential in student activities
3) Active involvement in and contributions to student activities and employment
4) Either junior, senior, or graduate student classification at a four-year or sophomore classification at a two-year institution within the NACA Central Region
5) Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5
6) U.S. citizenship

Application Deadline

September 1 for online submission of all required materials

Contact

Markley Scholarship
National Association of Campus Activities
13 Harbison Way
Columbia, SC 29212
Telephone: (803) 732-6222
Email: [email protected]

22. Marvin Vines Scholarship

Arkansas Farm Bureau (“AFB”) endows a memorial scholarship that has been awarding one Arkansas State broadcast major each year since 1980. Marvin Vines was a farm broadcaster who took special interest in the young people of Arkansas; in particular, those who were involved in FFA or 4-H.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Must be a student at ASU, majoring in Radio-TV
2) Must be a junior when applying, and a senior when receiving the award

Application Deadline

February 15

Contact

Marvin Vines Scholarship
Steve Eddington
Arkansas Farm Bureau
P.O. Box 31
Little Rock, AR 72203-0031
Telephone: (501) 228-1383
Email: [email protected]

23. Lone Star Community Scholarships

The Lone Star College Foundation administers the endowment fund that makes specialized awards based on recipient-specific characteristics. Award amounts vary and change annually, depending on funds availability and source(s).

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Current academic caseload of at least six credit hours at or admission acceptance by a Lone Star College System (“LSCS”) educational institution
2) A high school diploma or GED
3) Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0
4) Meet all LSCS-Satisfactory Academic Policy requirements
5) Send scholarship fund donator a thank you letter

Application Deadlines

o Fall Application Deadline – April 1
o Spring Application Deadline – October 1

Contact

Lone Star Community Scholarships
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive,
The Woodlands, TX 77381-4356
Telephone: (281) 290-2700
Application website: https://my.lonestar.edu/psp/porprd/EMPLOYEE/EMPL/c/LSC_SCHAPP.LSC_SCHAPP.GBL

24. Ted & Clara Gentry Scholarship

Established in 1984, this scholarship fund makes $2,000 annual awards to recipients who are dependents of Arkansas public and/or private sewage or waterworks utilities.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Enrollment at a college or trade school during the Fall academic semester immediately after application submission
2) Have a parent or legal guardian employed by a wastewater or water utility in Arkansas

Application deadline

February 28

Contact

Ted & Clara Gentry Scholarship Committee
Dan Dawson
P.O. Box 1319
Searcy, AR 72145
Telephone: (501) 268-2481
Email: [email protected]

25. Arkansas AmeriCorps Future Teacher Initiative

Provided by the Corporation for Community and National Service and managed by the Southeast Arkansas Education Services Cooperative, this program is geared toward part-time employees of an Arkansas public school district who are also enrolled in college to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. Recipients receive tuition assistance up to $2,362 and a living allowance of up to $7,200.

Criteria for Eligibility

1) Be employed part-time by an Arkansas public school district
2) Be earning a bachelor’s degree in education

Application deadline

Varies. Contact the scholarship coordinator directly.

Contact

Jenny Satterlee
(870)367-4825
jenny.s[email protected]

As the exhaustive listing above aptly illustrates, an abundance of educational assistance is available for the taking by ambitious would-be Arkansas scholars willing to make an effort to find it. Unlike searching for a needle in a haystack where the reward is hardly worth the chase, in the Race for Educational Funding, the tassel is truly worth the hassle.