Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- How much? It's a question many high school seniors and their parents ask when it comes to college tuition. For JHS senior Patrick McDaniel, he says he looks at the scholarship lottery as an opportunity for higher education for those who otherwise may not get to go.
"I think it's great for students all around Arkansas and the state," said McDaniel.
In a Q&A session with Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, Patrick and the rest of JHS got their chance to ask how they can take advantage of scholarships the lottery will provide.
Halter says the number one reason Arkansas students don't go to college, or don't stay, is because they can't afford to.
"This is the entire state of Arkansas' way of saying if you work hard, if you play by the rules, if you achieve a 2.5 GPA, or you score a 19 on the ACT, we're going to have money there to help you go to college," said Halter.
Even if the lottery doesn't meet the 100 million dollars in scholarships it's expected to generate, Halter says there will still be money for college that wasn't there before.
"Whether the number is 80 million, 90 million, or 100 million--that's all new net scholarship dollars for Arkansas students," said Halter.
Halter says he hopes people will rally around the goal of getting students who meet the educational requirements into Arkansas colleges no matter their financial limitations.
"If they just play by the rules, work hard, and bear down, the citizens of their state are going to be there for them in the form of financial assistance to go to college and to achieve that higher education and achieve the American dream," said Halter.
For JHS teacher Danny Ewing he says he has high hopes for the Arkansas lottery that begins next Monday.
"For many students, this may be the only opportunity they would have, so I hope this will really be something they'll be able to take advantage of," said Ewing.
Senior Patrick McDaniel says Halter's visit answered a lot of questions just in time.
Halter says Arkansas students should be able to apply for scholarships in January. He says they'll be able to use those funds in the fall of 2010.