Higher education officials say fewer Arkansas high school students could receive the state's lottery scholarship because of a rule change set to take effect next year.
Beginning in 2014, students must complete the Smart Core college preparatory curriculum to be eligible for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. Previously, students could be eligible for the scholarship without taking the Smart Core classes, provided they had both a 2.5 grade point average and an ACT score of 19 or higher.
When the Legislature approved the lottery law in 2009, lawmakers decided to require the Smart Core curriculum starting with 2014 graduates.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the rule change means about 2,000 fewer high school graduates will be eligible for the scholarship next year, based on projections from the state.