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Arkansas lawmakers OK reducing lottery scholarships for freshmen, changing requirements

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to cutting the amount of lottery-funded scholarships freshmen would receive and basing its eligibility solely on standardized testing starting in 2016.

The Senate on Monday voted 27-2 to lower the scholarship amount incoming freshmen receive from $2,000 to $1,000 and increase the amount students receive in the second year from $3,000 to $4,000. The amounts received in later years — $4,000 for juniors and $5,000 for seniors — would remain the same.

The Senate had approved an earlier version of the bill, but it was changed to delay the implementation until the 2016-2017 school year.

The proposal also eliminates the minimum 2.5 grade point average students could use to qualify for the scholarship, instead requiring them to score at least 19 on the ACT.

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