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2 in 5 students lose lottery scholarships

More than 2 out of 5 students receiving a lottery scholarship lose that benefit after one year. Now, legislators are looking for the first time at what's happening to students after they get the lottery scholarship.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - More than 2 out of 5 students receiving a lottery scholarship lose that benefit after one year.

Now, legislators are looking for the first time at what's happening to students after they get the lottery scholarship.

First the good news on lotto scholarships: 3 out of 4 students that apply for a scholarship receive one. Keeping it, that's the bad news.

Interim Higher Education director Shane Broadway told the Lottery Oversight Committee on Monday that 41% of scholarships aren't renewed.

"Anytime a student doesn't retain a scholarship it's a concern," Broadway says.

On some campuses, like UALR, the figure is even higher at 46%.

"When you have that huge percentage who are not retaining their scholarships, you want to dig deeper," Broadway says.

And while this new data tells legislators and the department of higher education who is not coming back for year two, it does not tell them why they are not coming back.

"We hope that it will be reduced, but we need to understand everything that goes into that number," state senator Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home) says.

Key says it could be that 2-year students are leaving after 1-year for a vocation. And he said he is hearing some 4-year students aren't taking enough hours per semester to keep the lottery scholarship.

"We need to dig down and find the reasons why," Key says.

Legislators have a lot more data in front of them now, but certainly not all the answers as to why so many students aren't keeping the scholarships they worked so hard to earn.

Any changes legislators make related to lottery scholarships will come during the 2013 session.

Other issues being looked at include increasing the percentage of African-American students receiving lottery scholarships.

And helping some counties increase their percentage of students applying for the scholarship.

 

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