Lottery scholarships facing recommended cuts

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Arkansas lottery scholarships are facing big cuts next year.

A legislative panel recommended 4-year students should receive more than a thousand dollars less in 2013.

The{}Arkansas Lottery Commission Legislative Oversight Committee{}is recommending big cuts for scholarship students because there are more students and less money to go around.

"The program is still very viable and I think that's the action that the general assembly took today making sure it maintains that viability," said Shane Broadway, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Speaking before the committee Tuesday morning, Broadway said the extra 1,200 students who accepted scholarships this year were more than expected.

"What we don't know is how many of those students are going to apply and accept the award every year," he said.

The committee recommends new 4-year university students start getting $3,300 next year, down from $4,500 hundred annually this year. Community college students would receive $1,650 compared to the $2,250 in 2012. That's because the lottery scholarship is working with less money, an estimated $5 million less than last year.

"When you're relying on your revenue coming from the sale of lottery tickets," Broadway said, "those things tend to go up and down."

The fluctuating numbers are why Broadway says the cuts were expected to make sure scholarships keep up with demand.

"Don't necessarily count on this being a certain amount," said Broadway. "It will be there, what dollar amount it will be five years from now, I think no one can project."

The legislature is expected to discuss cuts to lottery scholarships when the session meets again in January.{}