Arkansas Senate Panel Backs Lowering Lottery-Funded Scholarship Amounts

Mar 4, 2015

An Arkansas Senate panel has endorsed lowering the amount of money incoming college freshmen would receive in from the state's lottery-funded scholarships and changing the program's eligibility requirements.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday advanced a proposal to lower the scholarship amount incoming freshmen would receive from $2,000 to $1,000. The measure by Republican Sen. Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana, however, would increase the amount students receive in the second year from $3,000 to $4,000.

Hickey's proposal would also eliminate the 2.5 minimum grade point average students could use to qualify for the scholarship, instead requiring them to score at least 19 on the ACT. Students can currently qualify using the GPA or ACT requirement.

Hickey says the changes are needed because of the lottery's declining revenue.