'Simple, universal, fair' | Arkansas Blog

'Simple, universal, fair'

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The state's independent colleges adopt Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's mantra for establishing new college scholarships with lottery proceeds.

Arkansas Independent Colleges & Universities Endorse "Simple, Universal and Fair" Scholarship Lottery Program

Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter is gratified to learn that the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities endorses a scholarship program for Arkansas students that is "simple, universal and fair." The Lieutenant Governor supports the Association's goal of "more students going to college, staying in college, and graduating from college."

The 11 member colleges of the AICU (www.arkindcolleges.org) are: Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock Central Baptist College, Conway Crowley's Ridge College, Paragould Harding University, Searcy Hendrix College, Conway John Brown University, Siloam Springs Lyon College, Batesville Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia Philander Smith College, Little Rock University of the Ozarks, Clarksville Williams Baptist College, Walnut Ridge

E. Kearney Dietz, president of the AICU, distributed the following statement by e-mail to Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Johnson; House Speaker Robbie Wills; Dr. Jim Purcell, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and Dr. Dan Ferritor, vice president of Academic Affairs for the University of Arkansas System who also chairs the Higher Education Ad Hoc Committee, which is discussing the lottery scholarships.  The Lieutenant Governor's Office also received the e-mail.

The statement follows:

A STATEMENT BY ARKANSAS' INDEPENDENT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES REGARDING LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIPS

Arkansas' Independent Colleges & Universities (AICU) recognizes the necessity for and the importance of scholarship support for college students. Over 90% of the students who attend AICU schools need financial aid that is provided by the Federal Government, the State Government, and by the institutions they attend.

Students who attend AICU schools are among those who receive the State of Arkansas need-based GO Opportunity grant and the Academic Challenge Scholarship which recognizes both need and merit.  They also receive the Governor's Scholarship and the Governor's Distinguished Scholarship, which are merit-based scholarships. These scholarships are all available to students who choose to attend both public and private colleges and universities.

In the future the Arkansas Lottery will also fund scholarships for students who choose both public and private colleges. The philosophy of Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, who sponsored the lottery for college scholarships, is that the scholarship program be "simple, universal, and fair." We agree. Arkansas' Independent Colleges & Universities join our friends in the ranks of Arkansas' public two-year and four-year institutions in the unified hope that the lottery scholarship program ultimately decided upon by the Arkansas General Assembly will, in fact, be simple and readily understandable by students and their parents. Further, that these new scholarship dollars will result in more students going to college, staying in college, and graduating from college. Our intent and goal is to work with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and, indeed, all of the state's four-year and two-year public institutions, and with the Arkansas General Assembly to plan and ultimately adopt a lottery scholarship program which meets these basic higher education goals for Arkansas.

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