The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is offering scholarships for any student interested in a conservation career. Applications will be accepted until June 15 for the fall 2021 semester.
Scholarships are available for any Arkansas resident paying in-state tuition with a declared major related to conservation or agriculture. A complete list of approved majors is available HERE.
Scholarships are available for all levels of college students, said Leah Moseley, Scholarship Program coordinator for the AGFC.
“We distribute 25 scholarships to each class from freshman to graduate student,” Moseley said. “So each semester, we’re awarding up to 125 scholarships.”
Moseley said all 25 freshman level scholarships are available for the fall semester, but the number of scholarships available for new applicants varies for the spring semester and for classes beyond the freshman class.
“Each semester we will have scholarships open up because someone did not send in their renewal application, or no longer qualifies for the scholarship because they did not maintain the scholarship’s minimum requirements,” Moseley said. “We may have a dozen scholarships in a particular class open up or only three, it depends on the students who have their scholarship maintaining their status.”
Each scholarship grants $1,000 per semester for freshmen and sophomores, $1,500 per semester for juniors and seniors and $2,000 for graduate students, based on continued eligibility. Each awardee is eligible for up to eight semesters of funding. Applicants must submit a renewal application each semester. Scholarship funds are paid directly to the college or university.
Students must have a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale or better to qualify for the scholarship and must maintain that standard to retain it.
“It’s really one of the easier ones to qualify for, but it is a competitive selection process with a limited number of scholarships available,” Moseley said. “Academic performance still matters a lot.”
The Conservation Scholarship Program uses funds from the sale of conservation license plates to let students reach their potential and create tomorrow’s conservation professionals. The program, now in its 21st year, has awarded more than $7.9 million to Arkansas students.
Sgt. Jason Collier of Fort Smith was one of the first recipients awarded the scholarship, receiving a bachelor of science degree in fisheries and wildlife biology from Arkansas Tech in 2004.
“I will hit my 15th year with the AGFC in June,” Collier said. “I started in fisheries at the Corning hatchery, then transferred to enforcement after two-and-a-half years. I’ve been in enforcement ever since.”
Collier says he received the scholarship all four years he attended college, which helped him in his studies.
“It was $500 when I received it and it covered my books,” Collier said. “It was a good scholarship to have.”
Applications must be completed online by 11:59 p.m. June 15. Successful applicants will be notified by July 15.