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GDS Information Sheet



Please read the information included on this information sheet very carefully; it contains information you will need while you are an Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholar. This document will remain available for future reference through your SAMS account with the Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE). You can also print the document if you desire a copy for your personal records.

Notification of your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award will be sent to the institution indicated in your SAMS account in time for your fall registration. Funds will not be sent until after the institution verifies enrollment after the 11th class day (Census) and notifies ADHE of the status. ADHE will then request funds and send them to your institution where they will be disbursed in accordance with your institution’s disbursement policies.

Conditions of your Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award:

1. You or one parent must be a bona fide resident of Arkansas and you must be a U. S. citizen or a permanent resident alien, or other eligible non-citizen.

2. You must attend an eligible institution of higher education in Arkansas, beginning with the fall term immediately following high school graduation. If you decide to transfer to another Arkansas school, log into your SAMS account and change the school you will be attending. You will be sent an e-mail confirming the change. Changes must be accomplished by October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the spring term. Failure to make the transfer by that date will result in the loss of your award for that term.

3. You must enroll in an approved public or private Arkansas institution for twelve (12) semester hours in the first semester and fifteen (15) semester hours every semester thereafter, excluding correspondence courses, to receive the scholarship for that semester. Enrollment will be verified after the 11th class day (Census) and any classes added after that point will not count toward the total hours required. You must be enrolled in the required number of credit hours at one institution each semester; the scholarship will not be divided among multiple campuses in a semester. This requirement pertains to enrollment and receipt of scholarship funds for each semester and is a separate requirement from the requirements for renewal in the following paragraph.

4. Your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award will be awarded for a total of four (4) years provided funding is available, you maintain a minimum 3.25 cumulative college grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and earn a minimum of twenty seven (27) semester hours in your freshman year and thirty (30) semester hours per academic year thereafter. If your hours or cumulative grade point average falls short of the above metrics at the end of the spring semester, you may make up hours and/or GPA in summer school, at your expense, following the spring term to meet the requirement. The academic year for this scholarship consists of fall, spring and summer terms in that order.

5. It is your responsibility to keep your SAMS account current. Such responsibility includes notification of withdrawal from school, change of residence, change of institution, name or address, or any other change that would affect your continued award eligibility. Changes that cannot be made in your account must be submitted to ADHE in writing.

6. You will receive your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award funds from your institution after they have verified that you are enrolled in the required number of credit hours, which will not occur until after the 11th class day (Census). Your award will be $10,000 per year, and will be disbursed in equal disbursements, on a semester basis, in accordance with the disbursement schedule of the institution you are attending.

7. You may transfer to another eligible Arkansas institution provided you update your SAMS account by October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the winter or spring terms.  Failing to do so by the deadline will result in loss of eligibility for these funds for that term. If transferring between fall and spring semesters, you must also submit a transcript from the school you are leaving showing that you have maintained both the required GPA and full-time status.  If you enter a transfer on your SAMS account and subsequently decide not to transfer, you must notify the ADHE Financial Aid Office to have the transfer cancelled.

8. Hold or withdrawal requests from school for up to two years (four semesters) may be allowed, provided you petition the ADHE through our Hold Request Form or by e-mailing and including supporting documentation. This petition must be received by October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the spring term. Failure to notify ADHE of transfer or desire to withdraw, by the appropriate dates, will result in the loss of your award. You will be notified by email to the address on your account when your withdrawal request is processed.

Acceptable hold reasons are as follows:

  • Student’s illness
  • Family member’s illness
  • Death in the family
  • Financial hardship
  • Military training
  • Military deploymentInternship or co-op
  • Humanitarian endeavor
  • Need an additional semester to earn an associate’s degree, or to complete pre-requisites for a specific program

9. Students who complete their baccalaureate degree in less than four (4) academic years may transfer their scholarship to an Arkansas graduate school, or post-graduate programs in dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, podiatry, chiropractic, or osteopathy under agreement with the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education. In no case, may the total award exceed four (4) years of payment.

10. Governor's Distinguished Scholars Award funds must be used for expenses related to your education. Please review the ADHE stacking policy located on the ADHE website at You may be affected by this policy if you are receiving scholarship funds from other sources. Please set the text of the info sheet