LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Department of Higher Education unveiled Monday a free smart phone application, the first of its kind with customer service help available via text, for Arkansans to apply for state financial aid and check the status of their awards. The Information Network of Arkansas, the agency that develops websites and online applications for other state agencies, developed it.
“This smart phone application will allow students to complete the YOUniversal financial aid scholarship application from their iPhone, Android, or other device with a browser,” said Shane Broadway, interim director for ADHE, “as easily as they would on our website. They’ll also be able to check their status and accept awards from their handheld.”
Beginning this year the deadline for application for all of the state’s 21 programs will be June 1 for both the fall and spring semesters for the upcoming academic year.
Additionally, changes to the Academic Challenge Scholarship, the state’s largest financial aid program, will be few but important to know, Broadway continued.
Award amounts for the Academic Challenge Scholarship will be slightly lower for new recipients – $4,500 for those enrolled at four-year institutions and $2,250 for those attending two-year colleges, as determined by the 88th General Assembly. Students who received the awards last year will continue to receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively, as long as their continuing eligibility requirements are met.
Legislation provides for the amounts to be set each year after review by the General Assembly, which takes into account current awards and projections of net revenue from the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship.
Last year a total of 31,031 Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarships were awarded, with the largest number going to traditional students who graduated in the previous school year.
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