Stretching the lottery scholarship dollars

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) -Every time you buy a lottery ticket you are helping to fund scholarships for Arkansas students.

But how far will students be able to stretch those scholarships?

The legislature will officially vote on the amount the lottery scholarships will be when they come back in session.

Preliminary information puts the scholarships at five-thousand per year for a 4-year school.

And 25-hundred for a two-year college. But how far would that money go?

Even though it sounds like a lot of money when you split both amounts in two to cover a whole year it goes fast.

And since the distribution rules aren't locked in yet you have to realize that things can change.

One thing you have to realize is that officially no dollar amount has been set for the scholarships.

Dr. Rick Stripling, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at ASU agrees.

"The legislature actually has to do that and will do that in February. But with some of the projections out there it will be somewhere between 4 and 5 thousand dollars possibly."

Let's highball and go with 5 grand for schools like ASU and 25 hundred for schools like Black River Technical College.

Starting as a freshmen at ASU, and looking at a fifteen hour semester with no room and board.

Tuition costs 2 thousand 445 dollars. Add to that 740 dollars in fees and around 500 estimated costs for books, a semester total of a little over 36 hundred.

Of course if you take classes with real expensive books like say a nursing class the book cost could really jump.

Dividing the 5000 in half to give you 2500 per semester.

Stripling, "Let's say it was 5 thousand, that's the number then it will cover tuition for both Fall and Spring."

That leaves you approximately 1200 per semester still to pay from your pocket or from other sources of financial aid.

At Black River, Dr. Michael Sullen says you can pay  tuition and actually get money back.

Some programs only last a semester if you were able to get the whole 2500 you would have about 835 left over.

Dr. Michael Sullens who is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Black River Technical College says that would be money in your pocket.

"The remainder of the 835 would go to the student to use in any way he saw fit. Whether it's for transportation or shopping a laptop computer. "

But say you go a whole year and it's split into 1250 a semester.

The tuition at Black Rock is a thousand 95 for 15 hours. They do charge a tech fee of 3 dollars per semester hour and estimated books will run you about 570 which means you will have to come up with about 500 from another source of financial aid or out of your pocket.

Dr. Sullens says a two year college is a great way to get your feet wet and still live at home.

"And be able to commute without having to have that extra large expense without having that room and board that they are charging at 4 year institutions."

You need to determine what school offers you what suits your educational and financial needs the best.

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