Arkansas Student Grants for College

Funding Your Arkansas Education with Grants

Federal programs support higher education for wide-ranging students, from each of the 50 United States.  Direct Loans, Pell Grants and other incentives administered by the Department of Education are integral resources for low and middle-income applicants, attending colleges and technical schools.  Where large-scale federal initiatives leave-off, individual states step-in with unique assistance for post-secondary education.

The State of Arkansas puts forth grants for higher education. Programs are sometimes subject-specific, providing assistance for those who enter certain educational fields.  Other financial aid targets specific student groups, reserving funding for individuals who qualify based on financial need and other personal characteristics.arkansas grants for college

Competition for state aid is high, due to the limited funds and high college enrollment rates, so it is suggested that application be made as early as possible.  The first step toward securing financial aid for college is to complete the standardized application maintained by the Federal Government.  The Free Application for  Federal Student Aid is used by states to determine what programs are best suited for each applicant.  The FAFSA opens doors to federal grant opportunities, like FSEOG, but it is also a qualifier for Arkansas programs.

Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG)

This grant is available for graduate students who are seeking specialized training in certain medical fields.  When the appropriate educational programs are not present within the State of Arkansas, ARHEG provides support, which allows state residents to pursue educational credentials at out-of-state schools – for in-state tuition rates.

Qualified medical education includes the following areas of study:

Availability of funds determines the number of grants issued annually, according to Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board funding priorities.  It is important to apply as early as possible, and submit FAFSA data according to Arkansas filing deadlines.  The assistance is applied to programs at approved schools, which meet the following standards:

  • Must offer full-time instruction in at least one eligible profession.
  • Must grant a degree that is acceptable to the applicable licensing board
  • Must be party to a written agreement with the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education (SREB), or the ADHE.

SREB Contracts

Grants are administered through participation in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). When a school is part of the SREB contract program, the State pays a set fee, per student, based on the ADHE table below:

Field of Study Projections

  • Dentistry, $15,900 (FY 10-11) $16,400 (FY 11-12) $16,400 (FY 12-13)
  • Optometry, $13,900 (FY 10-11) $14,300 (FY 11-12) $14,300 (FY 12-13)
  • Osteopathic Medicine, $13,500 (FY 10-11) $14,300 (FY 11-12) $14,300 (FY 12-13)
  • Podiatric Medicine, $9,200 (FY 10-11) $9,800 (FY 11-12) $9,800 (FY 12-13)
  • Veterinary Medicine, $24,200 (FY 10-11) $25,000 (FY 11-12) $25,000 (FY 12-13)

The SREB, in return, contracts with each school to reserve a certain number of slots for Arkansas students, and then charges those students “in-state,” tuition prices. University of Tennessee (dentistry), Texas A&M University Health Science Center (dentistry), University of Louisville (dentistry), Northeastern State University (optometry), and Oklahoma State University College (osteopathic medicine) provide exceptions to these administrative rules.

Non-SREB Contracts

Other contracts, made directly with the ADHE, allow for the state to pay the difference between resident tuition and non-resident tuition.

For more information, or application materials, please visit the ADHE website,, or submit requests to:

ARHEG Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
114 East Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201-3818
1-800-54-STUDY or (501) 371-2000

Go! Opportunities Grant

Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant, or Go! Grant, is a financial need-based grant for low income students. It is intended to aid students completing college degree programs, providing $1,000 annually for each qualified full-time applicant and $500 for those who attend college part-time.

Participants are subject to a $4,000 total lifetime benefit, which may not be exceeded. For the purposes of the Go! Grant program, and other Arkansas student aid, full time is at least 12 semester credit hours for the first fall semester, and 15 or more semester credit hours thereafter. Anything less, but at least 6 semester credit hours per semester, is considered part time.

Eligibility for this grant is based on family adjusted gross income, as it is reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The maximum adjusted gross income allowed for participation, for a one member household, is $25,000. This amount increases by $5,000 per person in the household, up to $75,000 maximum. Additional requirements include:

  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Arkansas resident for at least 12 months before application
  • Enrolled at an approved institution of higher education, as defined by the ADHE
  • Enrolled in a program of study that leads to a Bachelor degree
  • Complete FAFSA
  • Certified to be drug-free, and pledged in writing to refrain from using illegal substances, including alcohol for those who are under 21 years of age

To remain eligible,  each grant recipient must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average,  display satisfactory academic progress as defined by the ADHE, and demonstrate continued financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

The deadlines for application are June 1, for assistance applied to fall term tuition, and November 1, for the spring term.

State Teacher Education Program (STEP)

Although this grant does not pay tuition directly, while participants are attending college, it offers significant financial assistance for students with outstanding educational loans.

The ADHE administers this program, within the policies set by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Recipients receive up to $3,000 worth of student loan repayment for each year they complete as teachers in critical teacher-shortage geographic areas or teaching critical shortage subjects.  An additional $1,000 may be earned annually by minority teachers.

To be eligible for this grant, applicants meet the following conditions:

  • Arkansas resident for the 12 months prior to application
  • Citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien
  • Graduated from a teacher education program after April 2004
  • Must have outstanding federal student loans
  • Hold a valid Arkansas teacher’s license
  • Teach full-time at a public school district in Arkansas during the award year
  • Teach in either a geographical or subject matter critical shortage area, as defined by the ADHE

Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP)

This program offers tuition reimbursement for Arkansas teachers and administrators, paying out-of-pocket expenses incurred for up to six college credit hours completed each academic year, not to exceed $3,000. Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Arkansas resident for 12 months prior to the application deadline
  • United States citizen or permanent resident alien
  • Maintain a current teacher and/or administrator license with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education
  • Hold employment as a classroom teacher or administrator in Arkansas, and declare intent to continue such employment in Arkansas
  • Enrolled at an approved institution of higher education in Arkansas
  • Enrolled in college-level courses directly related to employment
  • Have at least a 2.5 grade point average in the coursework funded by the TOP Reimbursement Grant, during the application period


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