The University of Arkansas will increase the general scholarship fund by $5 million, a 33% increase in scholarship money, according to a news release. The additional money will increase the general scholarship fund to $20 million in support of recruitment and retention and create more than 1,100 new scholarship awards for the 2020 recruitment cycle.

UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz announced Wednesday (Sept. 11) the commitment for the additional money, which will be paid for from other parts of the university budget. This year, the UA distributed an additional $1 million for scholarships.

"Serving students is part of our land-grant mission," Steinmetz said. "After much analysis on the factors that support recruitment and retention of students, we are in a better position to understand the reasons why students choose to attend the university and stay from the first to the second year. Our focus on increasing retention and graduation rates is key to serving students well. These additional scholarship funds will expand our efforts in doing just that."

The new First-Year Advantage scholarship will be awarded to eligible incoming freshmen starting classes in fall 2020. Advance Arkansas Scholarships, an award created to assist first-generation and low-income students, also will receive a portion of the additional money for scholarships. Link here for more information on these scholarships.

The UA is accepting admission applications for those starting class in 2020. Prospective students should apply by Nov. 1 and complete a scholarship application by Nov. 15 for priority consideration. The scholarship deadline is Feb. 1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available starting Oct. 1 for those enrolling for fall 2020 classes.

"Students who have need will be given top consideration for these new University of Arkansas Advantage Scholarships," said Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions. "Completing the FAFSA by Dec. 1 of the senior year is an important part of the student's college application process. The FAFSA is also required for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship and federal financial aid. We have a team of financial aid counselors who are happy to assist students and their families as they complete the FAFSA. Our office will be sending more information to prospective students and their parents this week."

In support of the UA's land-grant mission, nearly 90% of all general scholarship money goes to Arkansans.

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