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Incoming freshmen Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients up for fall | Schools

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Incoming freshmen Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients up for fall
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Incoming freshmen Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients up for fall

BATESVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Department of Higher Education staff released figures Friday for the 2011 Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients, which numbers about 20 less than the previous year.

“New high school graduates have done a tremendous job of meeting two of three requirements –

completing the Smart Core, making a 19 on the ACT and achieving the 2.5 GPA – required to receive the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship,” said Interim Director Shane Broadway. “We had a total of 11,960 enroll in Arkansas colleges and universities this fall, up 643 from last year.”

Broadway indicated that a number of non-traditional students and current achievers who received excess funding from last spring exited the scholarship program following graduation. This year, no additional dollars are available for non-traditional students as legislated by Act 1180 of 2011, which limits funding to $12 million for that category.

“So although the number of traditional students who received funding was greater than the previous year,” Broadway explained, “the total number of recipients declined slightly from 31,131 to 31,109 to date.”

The number will likely change before the end of the fall semester, he said, and again in the spring semester.

In the academic portion of the meeting, the board approved an off-campus instruction center at Texarkana for the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. General education coursework leading to associate degrees for transfer to bachelor’s degrees will be offered at the Texarkana Center, along with technical certificates and degrees to prepare students to meet Miller County workforce needs.

New programs at in-state institutions were recommended by staff and approved as follows:

  • Arkansas State University – Associate of Science, Graduate Certificate, and Master of Science in Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management
  • Henderson State University – Bachelor of Science in Radiography
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – Master of Physician Assistant Studies
  • University of Central Arkansas – Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The board also approved 22 new degree certifications at previously approved out-of-state or for-profit institutions offering programs in Arkansas, as well as 30 degree recertifications. A complete list is available at www.adhe.edu.

Economic Feasibility of Bond Issue for UCA

In other business, the board approved a request from University of Central Arkansas to issue bonds not to exceed $15.5 million with a term of up to 30 years at an estimated annual interest rate not to exceed 5.5 percent. Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to expand the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center. The revenue funding source will be student fees, which was approved by the student body.

Economic Feasibility of Loan Issue for University of Arkansas at Fort Smith

In other business, the board approved a request from University of Arkansas at Fort Smith for a loan not to exceed $2.2 million with a term of up to 10 years at an estimated annual interest rate of zero percent. Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to fund infrastructure upgrades, including creation of a central energy plant. The revenue funding source will be tuition and fees.

Economic Feasibility of Loan Issue for University of Arkansas Community College at Hope

In other business, the board approved a request from University of Arkansas Community College at Hope for a loan not to exceed $1.1 million with a term of up to 10 years at an estimated annual interest rate not to exceed .2 percent. Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to construct an instruction center in Texarkana. The revenue funding source will be tuition and fees, along with a local tax.

Changes to Financial Aid Rules, Regulations

Based on legislation approved in the spring, the board approved Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship first priority for eligible applicants whose parent was member of the U.S. Armed Forces, an Arkansas resident or was an Arkansas resident upon entering the service, and killed while performing military duty. The board also approved a loan repayment program to University of Mississippi veterinary program graduates who practice food supply veterinary medicine in the state.

 

Additionally, the board approved meetings sites for the upcoming calendar as follows:

Jan. 27, 2012 – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

April 27, 2012 – Northwest Arkansas Community College at Bentonville

July 27, 2012 – South Arkansas Community College at El Dorado

Oct. 26, 2012 – Arkansas State University at Heber Springs

 

Summary of ADHE

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the AHECB, approving and reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.

In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $170 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school. For more information, visit www.adhe.edu.

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