Ark. Gov. signs bill changing lottery scholarships

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law a bill that changes the awards offered to college students through the state's lottery-funded scholarship program.

Under the bill Beebe signed Friday, the program will now have a tiered structure of scholarships for students - starting at $2,000 for a freshman at four year-colleges. It will increase by $1,000 each year, capping out at $5,000 for seniors.

Two year-college students who are enrolled full-time will receive a $2,000 scholarship each year.

The law affects new scholarship recipients who begin college this fall.

Supporters of the changes had said the lottery funding couldn't sustain the current payout of $4,500 per year for university students and $2,250 for community college students. Opponents said the cuts will drastically impede students' ability to afford college.

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