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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I send ADHE my transcripts?

It is up to you to request that your transcript be sent into the Arkansas Division of Higher Education. Most (but not all) institutions have an online transcript request form on their website or through your student portal at your institution. You can also reach out to your institution’s Registrar/Records department for assistance. Be sure to mark the Arkansas Division of Higher Education and/or finaid@adhe.edu as the transcript recipient on your request form.

Alternatively, if you would like to confirm we receive it and track when we process your transcript, you can upload it to us directly by having the official transcript sent to yourself. Once sent to yourself, you can upload the transcript in your SAMS account by clicking on “Details” for the scholarship in your account where an “Upload” button should appear in the application.

If your institution does not have an electronic transcript delivery option, your official transcript may be mailed to us at:

Arkansas Division of Higher Education
ATTN: Financial Aid Department
101 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 300
Little Rock, AR 72201

What is a SAMS account?

SAMS stands for Scholarship Application Management System. This is the account you created when you first completed the ADHE search and application process. Access it by going to https://sams.adhe.edu/ and logging in under "Returning User."

Financial Aid Home

How do I change my ADHE account information?

Students may log into their ADHE SAMS financial aid account around the clock to update their information. However, information such as your Social Security Number or Date of Birth would have to be updated by contacting our office at finaid@adhe.edu or 501-371-2050.

I can’t log into my account. How can I regain access?

If you remember your email address and password that you used to create your account, you can go to the https://sams.adhe.edu/ and scroll down to log in under returning user, using the email and password with which your account was created. If you do not remember your username or password, click on “Forgot email or password?” below. If you forgot which email address you used, you will be asked some questions to verify your identity, and your email address will be confirmed. If you forgot your password, the system will send you an email with a link to a site where you can create a new one.

Forgot Email or Password

How do I let my parents/guardians (or others) have access to my scholarship information?

Students may fill out a Consent Release Form to release their information to other parties. The form is accessible on their SAMS account through the My Profile page, near the bottom of the page. 

What is the difference between the FAFSA and ADHE’s Scholarship Application Management System (SAMS)?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, for such federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant and student loans. ADHE’s Scholarship Application Management System (SAMS) is the application for State of Arkansas financial aid programs, such as the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship.

Completion of the FAFSA is NOT an application for any of the ADHE programs, nor is completion of the SAMS application the same as completing the FAFSA.

You may be required to complete a FAFSA to complete an ADHE scholarship application, but you also have to apply successfully through SAMS to be offered any of scholarships from ADHE.

How do I get my FAFSA information to ADHE?

ADHE receives FAFSA information for all applicants who list an Arkansas college on their FAFSA. It generally takes about a week from the time you complete the FAFSA until it is received at ADHE.

How do I get my ACT scores to ADHE?

There are a couple different ways to submit your ACT scores to us.

  1. Send the scores directly to us from ACT by using the code 4851.
  2. Upload a screenshot of your scores from your ACT account.
    • The screenshot must be from the desktop version of their website so that it will show your full name in the top right-hand corner of the account. 
    • You will click on “Scores” at the top of your ACT account and then scroll to the score you wish for us to use.
    • Once you’ve taken the screenshot, it can be uploaded to the application in your SAMS account by clicking on Details under the scholarship and then on the upload button in the Additional Supporting Documents section.

How do I know if I applied for the scholarships I am expecting to be eligible for?

After you complete your application through SAMS and submit it successfully, you should receive an automated e-mail from sams.systemalert@ade.arkansas.gov that has the subject line “Thank you for submitting an application” with a list of each scholarship you applied for in submitting that application.  The scholarship will also show in the Active Applications section of your SAMS account when you log in.  If the scholarship you are expecting to be eligible for is not currently showing, you can submit another application as many times as you want by clicking the Apply for Scholarships button in your account to apply/reapply for scholarships.

I applied near the beginning of the application period and still have not heard anything. Why is that?

All files are reviewed and updated as documents are received. Due to heavy volume of documents received, this process may take a significant amount of time. Applicants can always check their status by logging onto their ADHE SAMS financial aid account and looking on the program-specific page.

Does ADHE have the needed documents to complete my application?

All applicants are encouraged to check the status of their ADHE accounts online through the Scholarship Application Management System (SAMS). When an applicant’s account is updated, the change is reflected on the program-specific page of that account.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is submitted to ADHE by the appropriate deadlines. Documents can be uploaded to the application in your SAMS account by clicking on Details under the scholarship and then on the upload button in the Additional Supporting Documents section.

What does my scholarship application status mean?

When you log into your SAMS account, you will notice that your scholarship applications have a current status listed. You can see the meaning of each status at the link below:

Understanding Your Status

I accepted my award. What else do I have to do?

Double-check your ADHE SAMS account to be sure the college you will be attending is the one listed on the account. If your college choice has changed, you can request Transfers directly through the My Profile page. To start this process, the Applicant will select Request Transfer.

Funds are sent to the college you put on your account. ADHE does not know which college you are attending unless you tell us.

I didn’t complete my required hours during the regular school year, or my GPA has fallen below the requirement. How can I get my scholarship back?

You can take summer classes at your own expense to make up deficiencies in grades and/or hours from the prior school year.

When the classes are complete, you are responsible for providing ADHE with your official transcript by October 1.  You can have it sent to yourself to upload it directly to us through your SAMS account, or you can request for the school to have it directly sent to us.

You do not have to take the same classes you took during the regular school year, and you do not have to attend the same college to make up your hours. The hours, however, must be accepted by the college at which you are seeking your degree.

I sent in my transcript; why is my status still saying I am on probation?

Please note that these requests are processed manually after receiving the applicable documentation. Requests to be taken off probation status may take slightly longer than your initial application.

Do I have to reapply for any of the ADHE scholarship or grant programs?

You do not have to reapply for the Academic Challenge Scholarship, the Governor's Scholarships, the Law Enforcement Officers program, the Military Dependents Scholarship, or the Arkansas Health Education Grants. Once you are awarded, those scholarships are renewed automatically, provided you meet the continuing eligibility requirements by the end of spring semester. The colleges let us know who has met those requirements. To see your continuing eligibility requirements, log into your ADHE SAMS financial aid account, go to the program-specific page in your account, and click on “Information Sheet.”

The Higher Education Opportunities Grant (the GO! Grant) is also renewed automatically, but you must complete a new FAFSA each year to show continued need.

Teachers must submit a new application for TOP and STEP each year.

If you are placed on probation for any scholarship, do not remedy the probationary status, and are subsequently dropped from the scholarship, you will have to reapply, if eligible to.

How do I transfer my scholarship to a different College or University?

If you are transferring schools, it is very important that you let us know. In order to request a transfer in your SAMS account, you can log in at https://sams.adhe.edu/, go to the My Profile page and select “Request Transfer.” The deadlines to request a transfer are October 1 for the fall semester and February 1 for the spring semester. Please note that you may only transfer your scholarship to an approved Arkansas institution of higher education. For a list of eligible colleges, click the button below.

Approved Arkansas Colleges

How do I put my scholarship on hold?

You can request a hold through the My Scholarships page of your SAMS account (sams.adhe.edu). Click the "Request Hold" button toward the bottom of the page to access the request form.

The deadlines for hold requests are October 1 for fall holds, and February 1 for spring holds. You can hold your scholarship for up to four semesters for certain reasons.

How many hours do I have to enroll in to receive my Arkansas Academic Challenge?

For Non-Traditional Students:

Students must be enrolled in at least fifteen (15) semester hours to receive the full amount of the award for that semester.  The award amount will be one-half the award amount for students enrolled in six (6) to eight (8) hours.  The award amount will be three-quarters of the award amount for students enrolled in nine (9) to fourteen (14) hours. All hours must be taken at one institution, unless your schools have a consortium agreement for your program.

For Traditional Students:

Students must enroll in at least twelve (12) semester hours the first fall semester immediately following high school graduation, and fifteen (15) semester hours each semester thereafter, as of close of business on the 11th day of classes in a program of study leading to a bachelors or associates degree, or a qualified certificate.  Students who are in the final fourth year of receiving their scholarship can enroll in less than 15 hours, but will receive a prorated amount.  All hours must be taken at one institution unless your schools have a consortium agreement for your program.

How do I request to forfeit my freshman award amount for Arkansas Academic Challenge?

If you are an Arkansas high school senior who has/will earn 27 college credit hours or more prior to beginning college in the Fall (after your senior year), you may be eligible to request an increase in Arkansas Academic Challenge funding from the freshmen level to the sophomore level. By receiving the higher level, you agree to forfeit the first semesters of eligible funding of Arkansas Academic Challenge. Requests to forfeit the freshman award amount are due by July 1. 

Request to Forfeit Freshman Award Amount Form

How do I request to forfeit to my senior award amount for Arkansas Academic Challenge?

If you have completed 87+ college credit hours prior to beginning college in the upcoming Fall or Spring semester, you may be eligible to request an increase in Arkansas Academic Challenge (Lottery) funding to the 4th year level of funding at $2,500 per semester for 2 semesters. Deadline: August 1st for Fall / January 1st for Spring

Request to Forfeit to Senior Award Amount Form

I am a student coming out of high school. Will there be Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship money for me?

If you are eligible, yes, there is sufficient funding at this time for all graduating high school seniors.  Make sure to apply through our website at https://sams.adhe.edu/ or you might not be awarded the scholarship.

What are the criteria for determining priority should there be insufficient funding for all eligible applicants?

For the non-traditional Academic Challenge Scholarship, available funding goes first to returning students. If there are funds remaining, students will be prioritized by proximity to graduation, grade point average, and course of study.

For the GO! Grant, available funding goes first to returning students. If there are funds remaining, students will be prioritized by level of need, with those showing the greatest need having highest priority.

For other programs, please check the program’s Rules and Regulations on this website.

Where can I find the Rules and Regulations that govern ADHE financial aid programs?

For an A-Z list of all of the scholarship programs offered by the State of Arkansas, just click the button below.

Scholarships and Programs

What is Arkansas' policy on stacking my financial aid?

When a student receives a student aid package that includes state aid and the student aid package exceeds the Cost of Attendance and/or Need, the postsecondary institution shall repay state aid in the amount that exceeds the student’s total Cost of Attendance and/or Need.  If state aid is required to be returned, Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship funds are returned first under §6-85-201 et seq.  The Cost of Attendance budget is determined by the postsecondary institution in accordance with federal policies.  The Cost of Attendance budget is determined by the average costs for a student in the program at that institution, so students may be able to contact the Financial Aid Office at your institution to determine if there is a possibility to increase their Cost of Attendance budget if their costs or charges for the program may not fit the average student in that program.

Arkansas Scholarship Stacking Law

Where can I find programs that qualify for the Arkansas Future (ArFuture) Grant or Arkansas Workforce Challenge?

Explore Arkansas Careers can help! Visit Career to find training for your dream job!

Where can I find the 2023-2024 "How to Pay for College" booklet?

The "How to Pay for College: A Guide for Arkansas Student" booklet is published yearly by the Arkansas Student Loan Authority and details the financial aid process and available programs to help your student find aid.

2023-2024 Booklet

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