Ark. higher ed agency taps lotto reserves to cover scholarships

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education says the agency has been forced to temporarily tap some of its $20 million lottery reserve fund to cover its Academic Challenge scholarship obligations.

Director Shane Broadway warned the Legislature's lottery oversight committee that the department could temporarily run out of funds to pay its scholarship obligations within three years under what he calls his worst-case scenario.

The department has spent nearly $113 million on lottery-financed Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarships in the fiscal year that ends June 30, a $20 million dip from the previous year, after the Legislature cut scholarships for some future recipients, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Saturday. The department handed out $59 million in scholarships in the fall semester and $54 million in the spring semester.

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