On Saturday, Arkansas high school seniors can begin applying for 2017-18 college scholarships through the state’s YOUniversal scholarship management system.
The one-stop system means a single application can determine eligibility for all of the state’s scholarship programs.
To simplify the application process, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) has enhanced the system this year to automatically create a YOUniversal account for every public high school senior in the state. Transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, contact information and other school data will be pre-loaded into each student’s account, making the application process easier, faster and more accurate.
Beginning Saturday, public high school seniors can enter an email address and password to activate their accounts and apply for scholarships. Seniors at private high schools can create accounts and provide their information by logging into the YOUniversal site at www.schlolarships.adhe.edu.
"Every bit of education after high school increases your chances of experiencing success," ADHE Director Maria Markham said. "Thanks to the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship and other financial aid opportunities offered by the state, college is more affordable than ever. I encourage every Arkansas high school senior, regardless of whether or where they’ve decided to attend college, to log in to YOUniversal on Oct. 1 and take a couple minutes to apply for scholarships to any of Arkansas’ great colleges and universities."
Before the ADHE introduced the YOUniversal system, many Arkansas students were unaware of all of the financial aid programs available. Since YOUniversal launched in 2010, the state has awarded all of its available scholarships to high school students entering college.
Most scholarship applications are processed automatically, requiring minimal staff intervention. This enables ADHE to process more applications without adding staff. YOUniversal saves Arkansas an average of $95,000 each year in dramatically reduced staff time and eliminated postage costs. The system has processed approximately 60,000 applications per year over the last four years and awarded financial aid to approximately 200,000 students.
The YOUniversal system was developed in 2010 by ADHE and the Arkansas Information Consortium, LLC, the private-sector partner that has managed the state’s official government portal since 1997 and has developed hundreds of digital government services for the state.