Don’t forget the lottery scholarship deadline July 1st

Did you know you can search on a map of Arkansas to find free and publically assessable Wi-Fi?  The map shows what we in southeast Arkansas already know, that these spots are few and far between.  Still, this may be helpful to you in your work or travels:
Another helpful map available to help find and access food during this pandemic can be found online at:  Specific information on food distributions across the state is available.  Both of these sites are described on the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) website: webpage, as well as information about accessing health resources and also education resources.
As the state has offered more testing and more businesses are re-opening, we saw a huge surge in the numbers of COVID-19 positive cases last week.  Remember that the Arkansas Health Department (ADH) has announced that as many as half of the people that are being tested have shown no symptoms of the virus, so please continue to practice social distancing and wear your mask around others not in your family.  And remember to wash your hands often!  These are all proven methods of reducing the spread of the virus.
With school out, it may be hard to think about college and scholarships, but there is a very important rapidly approaching deadline for incoming and returning college students. The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is July 1.
The Academic Challenge Program provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. Funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to students just graduating from high school, currently enrolled in college, enrolling in college for the first time, or re-enrolling after a period of time out of college.
In the ten years since its inception, the lottery has raised more than $945 million to help provide more than 542,000 scholarships for college students. More than 92 cents of every dollar of lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas.  (Yes, you read that correctly - $945 million dollars in scholarships have been given to college students through the Arkansas Lottery.)
Eligibility requirements for Arkansas high school students include a minimum composite score on nineteen (19) on the ACT or the equivalent score on an ACT equivalent test.
Students who were originally awarded prior to the 2016-17 school year are awarded at the following rates:  Four Year College:  Year 1, $2,000; Year 2, $3,000; Year 3, $4,000; and Year 4, $5,000.  For our Two Year College attendees:  Year 1, $2,000 and Year 2, $2,000.
Students who received their original award beginning with the 2016-17 school year are awarded scholarships at the following rates:  For 4 year colleges-Year 1, $1,000; Year 2, $4,000; Year 3, $4,000 and Year 4, $5,000.  For 2 year college awardees:  Year 1, $1,000 and Year 2, $3,000.
Eligibility requirements have been modified due to COVID-19. For students who are receiving Arkansas Challenge, if they were on track to have enough hours and earned satisfactory academic progress until March 27, they are automatically eligible for the Fall 2021 Semester.
To apply, visit the Department of Higher Education’s website,, and complete the Arkansas YOUniversal Scholarship Application or download the free YOUniversal app for your smart phone. The online YOUniversal application is your one-stop shop for state and lottery funded financial aid.
This week the Joint Education Committee will meet on Monday and Tuesday, and the House Aging, Children, Youth, Military and Legislative Affairs Committee will meet on Wednesday.  I’ll fill you in on these next week.
I was inspired at the peaceful gatherings in Monticello and Crossett last week to protest racial injustice and to seek to make our communities safer and more inclusive in all matters.  Thanks to those that reached out and invited me.  If you have an event or want to get updated on issues from the state government and more, please call me.
Also please let me know if I can assist you with a question or an issue.  You can reach me by phone at (870) 460-0773, by email at, or through my State Representative Facebook page @BurchforAR.  I look forward to hearing from you.




The Advance-Monticellonian

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