CONWAY (KATV) - Just three months after the General Assembly voted to change the money amount awarded to students in the State Lottery Scholarship program, a Conway college has decided to make up the difference.
Something had to give. Some background for you: About $133 million was awarded in 2012. More students were qualifying than revenue made. The deficit has been covered by the surplus from when the lottery started, but that money is quickly diminishing.
"It was wonderful that I received that scholarship. It was way more than they offer students right now." Lacie Mayo was awarded $4,500 when she was a Freshmen. She is a student at Central Baptist College (CBC) in Conway.
Starting this fall, incoming college freshman in Arkansas who are awarded the scholarship will get $2,000, sophomores $3,000, juniors $4,000 and seniors $5,000.
Lacie says, "If I only received $2,000, it would have been extremely difficult. I would have gone to a cheaper school that maybe I didn't want to go to."
But CBC President, Terry Kimbrow got unanimous support from the board or trustees to make up the entire $2500 for incoming freshmen who receive the scholarship. Kimbrow says, "We are obviously forgoing that income and it is important for us to keep the promise the state made."
He anticipates the move will help retain students who are weighing their options. "We could possibly have 100 students that qualify." He continues, "All the legislatures are hearing from college presidents, but especially private college presidents because we have 10-percent of the students but we graduate 20-percent. So our graduation rate is much higher and we keep it in their mind."
Mayo is now a senior and works in the admissions office. "It's going to help a lot in enrollment. That's going to be a big help for our recruiters."
Kimbrow says they'll evaluate how successful the decision was and how it financially impacted the college before voting to continue the award. CBC is the fastest growing private college in the state. They're goal is to boost the student body from 850 to 1,000 this fall.
You have until this Saturday, June 1, to apply for the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Click here for the application.