Tinkering with the lottery | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tinkering with the lottery

Posted By on Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Some Arkansas legislators, having heard the howls of unhappy parents, are set on tinkering with new Arkansas lottery scholarship rules, particularly to make more "non-traditional" students eligible. It turns out, in the mad rush, the state did a reasonable job of getting money into the hands of 26,000 or so students (the explanation and notification process needs work), but 3,900 or so current college students with sufficient GPAs were left out on account of variety of factors, chiefly that they hadn't made 12 hours of progress each semester toward a college degree. They are, thus, not "current achievers," but "non-traditional students."

Hard fact: The students plugging along in fits and starts toward a degree were never as big a focus of the program as new high school graduates. The ideas was to get more of them to go to college. And to get more of them to work hard enough to achieve acceptable grades and on course to speedy graduation. Some consideration had to be given to existing students, out of fairness, and every single current two-year-college student with adequate grades got money. A huge number of four-year students did as well. Inevitably, some were left out, however, as everyone knew would happen.

After a few years, we'll shake out coverage for a good percentage of those who had the misfortune of birth dates too old for full lottery scholarship consideration. The pot available for non-traditional students will be more likely to cover more of the needs in the years ahead as students arrive with scholarships and some lose them for failure to meet standards.

What we don't need to do is talk about raising the GPAs for qualification, as at least one legislator has proposed. This was not supposed to be a merit scholarship program. It was supposed to lift all boats — at least all those with the demonstrated ability through ACT score or GPA to do college work. There are already sufficient concerns that the recipients are heavily weighted toward the better situated economically (a bias that inevitably has racial implications). Legislators need not take steps to insure that this is yet another government program more favorable to those who need it less. It is no surprise, naturally, that a Republican has come up with this idea.


From the ArkTimes store


Comments (44)

Showing 1-44 of 44

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-44 of 44

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • ADEQ denies C&H Hog Farm permit

    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a new permit for the C&H Hog Farms' concentrated animal feeding operation near Mount Judea (Newton County). This is a big and somewhat surprising victory for critics who have viewed C&H's large-scale pig farm and the pig waste it generates as an existential threat to the Buffalo National River.
    • Jan 10, 2018
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation