Arkansas House Passes Bill to Change Lottery Scholarship Award Amounts

The bill passed by a vote of 69-21.
Update (Feb. 18):
The Arkansas House of Representatives voted on Monday to pass HB 1295 by a count of 69-21.

The House Rules Committee advanced the bill last Thursday.

Original Story (Feb. 13):

At the Arkansas Legislature, the House Rules Committee today voted to advance a bill calling for changes to the award amount structure for lottery scholarships.

The bill calls for the amounts to be tiered, starting at $2k for freshmen, up to $5k for seniors.

This is the first of several bills seeking to make changes to how students will receive their lottery scholarship money.

The bill advancing today would change the amount of money a student is awarded in lottery scholarship funding, basically a lower amount, to start out with.

Shane Broadway with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education says the award amount and eligibility criteria will have to change, no matter what.

"We've had more students apply and accept the scholarships than anticipated, and the revenue from lottery remains relatively flat," Broadway says.

The current award amounts are $4,500 for a four-year college and $2,250 for a two-year.

The new proposal would provide $2,000 for first-year, incoming freshman, whether it's at a four year or two year college, but as they return, that award amount will increase.

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