LITTLE ROCK, Ar – The Arkansas Lottery has set new records in proceeds for scholarships and sales for this year, several college students who have received a scholarship say it’s helped them on the road to their careers.
ASL says it raised a record of more than $114 million in proceeds for the fiscal year of 2023, which ended June 30.
Since 2009, ASL has been raising scholarship proceeds so far they have raised more than $1.2 billion.
University of Central Arkansas senior nursing major Bailey Doss says she was prepared to study long hours while at college but having a financial burden was worrying.
“Whenever I desperately need to pull out the loans I’m like okay am I going to be able to pay this back,” Doss said.
The lottery proceeds help fund several scholarships like the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship.
After getting one of the Challenge Scholarships with the ASL while she was a senior in high school, Doss says she felt like a part of her burden was lifted.
“With the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship as it goes up as you go up a classification, it gets a larger money amount which balances out when you lose other scholarships as you age out of them,” Doss said.
Junior UCA business major Matthew Moix says without the financial help from one of the Challenge Scholarships college life would be harder.
“It gave me assurance through college I wasn’t having to work paycheck to paycheck and it gave me room to breathe while I was in college just to help me as soon as I graduate I will be a step ahead already,” Moix said.
Junior UCA elementary education major Jada Simpson says she is aspiring to be a principal and with the scholarship she received with the help of ASL she’s able to focus on school.
“When I don’t have to worry as much about the money aspect of college I’m able to enjoy my time more and really engage and experience that full college experience,” said Simpson.
Simpson, who is this year’s Miss UCA, says all students should apply for a scholarship.
“You always need to go for it because you never know what could happen. Someone has to win so why can’t it be you,” Simpson said.
To learn more about the Challenge Scholarships you can contact the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.