AAC Scholarship Deadline is May 1

By Debbie Wise
AAC Board President

It’s no secret that the cost of a college education has skyrocketed in the last several decades — so much so that college is out of reach for many students. The Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) took a proactive step in 1985 when it established its Scholarship Trust. Through this trust, the AAC awards college financial assistance to the children, stepchildren and grandchildren of Arkansas county and district officials and employees. Since the trust was established, the AAC has awarded more than 300 scholarships totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars.

I encourage you to share this information with anyone in your office who may have a child, stepchild, or grandchild who will be attending college in the fall. The deadline to apply is May 1. You may access the application at or on Pages 33-34 of the Winter 2024 magazine.

Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following criteria: applicants must plan to attend or is already attending college; must have a financial need; must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above and a minimum ACT score of 18; must be or will be a high school graduate in the state of Arkansas; and must be a child, grandchild, adopted child, or stepchild of a current or retired county employee of Arkansas.

The AAC currently awards 12 scholarships of $2,000 each per year. Three of those 12 are memorial scholarships — the Randy Kemp Memorial Scholarship, the Matt Morris Scholarship, and the Jonathan Greer Memorial Scholarship.

Randy Kemp was the first AAC Communications Director, serving from July 2008 until his death in August 2011. The scholarship is funded exclusively by the annual Randy Kemp Golf Tournament.

The Matt Morris scholarship was established following the death in 1999 of Matt Morris, son of former Searcy Mayor David Morris, who is a former AAC employee. Matt was an Arkansas Razorback baseball recruit. The scholarship is funded by donations made in Matt’s name and by the County Judges’ Association. It is awarded each year to an applicant who exemplifies Matt’s character, either through their sports involvement or by helping others.

Jonathan Greer was a staff attorney at the AAC and the liaison to the Quorum Court Association when he tragically passed away. The Arkansas Association of Quorum Courts established this scholarship in Jonathan’s memory to be awarded each year to a deserving student.

Along with the AAC, the following county associations contribute to the scholarship trust annually: The County Judges Association of Arkansas, the Arkansas County Clerks Association, the Arkansas Circuit Clerks Association, the County Collectors Association of Arkansas, the Arkansas County Treasurers Association, the Assessors Association of Arkansas, the Arkansas Association of Quorum Courts and the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association.

The judges, county clerks, circuit clerks, collectors, treasurers, sheriffs, assessors also offer scholarships separate from the AAC scholarship. You can find many of these applications in the Publication Library on the AAC web site. You can find out more about the sheriffs’ scholarship on the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association website.

So, there are many avenues available to help pay for a college education. Again, please share this information with anyone in your courthouse who may have a qualifying dependent and submit those applications by May 1.

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