Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship | GS
Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.
Scholarship Deadline to Apply
RequirementsAt least a composite or superscore of 32 on the ACT (1410 SAT) and a 3.5 GPA to apply. FAFSA is required.
Up to $10,000 per academic year for 4 years
Who May Apply:
High school seniors who possess a 32 ACT composite or superscore or 1410 on the SAT while maintaining a 3.5 unweighted, cumulative GPA or the standing of National Merit and National Achievement Finalist.
Note: Non-U.S. Citizens with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or have a parent who has an EAD may apply for the Governor’s Scholars Program (FAFSA will not be required for these students). Please contact our office at 501-371-1064 if this is your situation.
Basic Eligibility Criteria
An applicant must:
- Be a bona fide resident of Arkansas
- Be a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien
- Be a graduating high school senior
- Have a composite score or superscore of 32 on a single ACT OR a combined math and critical reasoning score of 1410 on a single SAT; AND
- Have a 3.5 academic grade point average OR selection as a National Achievement Finalist or National Merit Finalist
- Complete the FAFSA
- Begin attendance in at least 15 credit hours each semester at college/university (only 12 credit hours is required your first semester)
Continuing Eligibility Criteria
- Student must maintain a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale at the end of each academic year
- Student must complete 27 semester credit hours during the first academic year and 30 semester credit hours per year thereafter.
- The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship will pay up to $10,000 per year for tuition, mandatory fees, room and board. Students are eligible to accept both the Academic Challenge and the Governor’s Distinguished Scholars. If a student receives both, the award amounts are listed below for each year they are receiving the scholarships.
- Student receiving both Governor's Distinguished and Academic Challenge per Academic Year at a 4-Year institution:
Academic Challenge Governor's Distinguished Year 1 $1,000 $9,000 Year 2 $4,000 $6,000 Year 3 $4,000 $6,000 Year 4 $5,000 $5,000
- Student receiving both Governor's Distinguished and Academic Challenge per Academic Year at a 2-Year institution until they transfer to a 4-Year institution:
Academic Challenge Governor's Distinguished Year 1 $1,000 $9,000 Year 2 $3,000 $7,000 5th Semester $1,000 $3,500
Graduate School Criteria
Those that graduate from undergrad early have the option to use the remaining semesters for graduate school. There are a few rules that come with this option, listed below:
- Students who graduate early from undergrad have the option to use one or both remaining semester(s) from their Senior year of funding for graduate school. (Max 2 semesters)
- The Graduate school must be based in Arkansas, or an eligible Out-of-State School and Program
- See “Approved Institution” definition in Rules and Regulations.
- Student must be accepted and start the graduate program the semester immediately following their undergraduate graduation (summer semesters not included).
- Students must submit their Graduate School Form and attach their graduate acceptance letter, linked below.
- If a student has an extenuating circumstance or your graduate program doesn’t start immediately following your graduation, they can have their scholarship held up to a year by submitting a hold through their SAMS account.
- Students must complete 30 hours with a 3.25+ GPA the academic year prior to beginning their graduate program in a Fall semester or 15 hours with a 3.25+ GPA if your graduate program begins in a Spring semester following graduating in a Fall semester in the middle of an academic year.
The scholarship amount for graduate school is based on the hours enrolled in. Seniors receive $5,000 a semester, if enrolled in 9 or more hours. Below is a chart of the proration.
- Enrolled in 3-5 hours= 50%
- Enrolled in 6-8 hours= 75%
- Enrolled in 9+ hours=100%
To request your remaining semesters be used for graduate school, please submit your Graduate Acceptance Letter using the link below.
Rules and Regulations APPLY NOW