Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kit Kacirek

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

M. Wade Derden


Adult, College, Financial Aid, Lottery, Scholarship, higher education investment, under-representation, delayed college enrollment, degree completion


In 2008, Arkansas citizens overwhelmingly supported a referendum to legalize a state-run lottery to support college scholarships. The Arkansas General Assembly passed a law in 2009 that detailed administration and procedures of the lottery, and students first received scholarships (branded as the Academic Challenge Scholarship) in fall 2010. The program was largely modeled after other state-run scholarships with two major exceptions: policy makers intentionally established lower eligibility requirements and included adult students. This study measured the impact of the state lottery funded Academic Challenge Scholarship on adult college choice and completion. Findings included significant demographic and college choice differences between recent high school graduates and adults. For adult students specifically, findings indicated significant differences in college choice and completion by demographic variables of gender, race or ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. These findings contribute to the scarce literature on the impact of state scholarship lotteries on adults, and they have significant implications for policy and future research.