The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery unveiled their plan to help compensate for the $2,500 decrease in lottery-funded scholarships for incoming freshmen. Starting this fall recipients of the scholarship lottery will receive 1 Powerball ticket, with 5 full sets of numbers, per student per semester.
The Academic Challenge Scholarship is awarded by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and funded largely by the lottery. When it started in the 2010-11 school year, the scholarship awarded $5,000 to eligible students attending a four-year college and $2,500 to two-year students. The scholarship has dropped since the introduction.
For the upcoming school year, 2013-14, incoming freshmen will receive only $2,000 with the option to increase that amount by $1,000 each year. That is where the Powerball tickets come in.
“We realize that there are a number of financial hardships facing kids entering college today, our goal with the scholarship was always to remove that burden ,” the director of the Department of Higher Ed tells us. “We are giving kids the true opportunity with this to realize their dreams beyond the 4 years of college. We are also teaching them that with a little luck you can become super rich and never use that over priced education anyway.”
The tickets will be handed out through university business offices at the beginning of the semester. All tickets will be set for the September 14th Powerball drawing. The numbers will be automatically assigned using quick pick feature. For the first four years the scholarship will also include the Power Play option.
“Instead of getting some $2,500 in chump change to use on a education I could be like that dude in Florida who won $580 million,” an incoming freshman to University of Arkansas tells us. “I’ve already got me a few houses picked out to buy. I was planning on dropping out halfway through my sophomore year. I think I will stick around in case it takes me a few years to hit it now.”