Educational Foundation

Foundation History

The Arkansas School Boards Association established an Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, to support public education in Arkansas. The foundation established a scholarship program in 1992, and the first scholarships were awarded in 1994.

The Arkansas School Boards Association Educational Foundation Scholarship Program benefits the families of ASBA-affiliated Arkansas school board members. Recipients must attend two-year or four-year institutions of higher education.

Six scholarships are awarded annually, one from each of the state’s four congressional districts; the Marshall Hughes Scholarship, which is named in honor of former Beardsley Public Finance employee Marshall R. Hughes and is awarded to an overall statewide winner; and one at-large named the J.K. Williams Memorial Scholarship in honor of a longtime educator and former ASBA Executive Director. A committee assigned by the ASBA Board of Directors reviews scholarship applications and determines awardees. Awards are made before the fall school term.

Click here to view the Educational Foundation brochure, which includes a donation card.

Scholarship Program

Five Freshman Scholarships will be offered to entering freshmen at two-year or four-year institutions of higher education. The Freshman Scholarship awards are based on a student’s academic record and leadership potential. Each one-time congressional Freshman Scholarship is $2,500, and the Marshall Hughes Scholarship is $5,000.

A one-time $2,500 scholarship, the J.K. Williams Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of former ASBA Executive Director J.K. Williams, is awarded to the board member, or spouse, sons/daughters/grandchildren/legal wards, immediate family members of ASBA-affiliated Arkansas school board members and who are at least a junior in college pursuing a degree in the field of education at an institution of higher education.

The related board member must serve on his/her local school board at some time during the school year in which the scholarship is awarded. The scholarship selection committee will evaluate applications based on:

  • Academic performance

  • Demonstrated leadership

  • Community involvement

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Special talents or unique endeavors

  • Future educational and career plans

Freshman Application submissions must include:

  1. Completed ASBA Educational Foundation Scholarship Application

  2. Two letters of recommendation (one each) from a teacher, administrator, clergy, employer, or a member of the community

  3. Student’s official transcript (seven semesters) with grade point average, class ranking, and college entrance entrance scores included and signed by a school official

  4. An essay of no more than 500 words written by the student expressing goals, future plans, past activities, life/educational influences, and a statement about how the scholarship would help the student to achieve his/her education and goals

  5. Résumé prepared by the student

  6. Recent photo of the student

J.K. Williams Application submissions must include:

  1. Completed ASBA Educational Foundation J.K. Williams Scholarship Application

  2. Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, college advisor, or member of the community

  3. Student’s official college transcript

  4. Essay (500 words or less) written by the student applicant expressing goals, future plans, past activities, life/educational influences, and a statement about how the scholarship would help the student to achieve his/her education and goals

  5. Résumé prepared by the student

  6. Recent photo of the student

The deadline for scholarship applications is March 1 of the student's college entry year, except when March 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case the deadline shifts to the following Monday.

  • Entering freshmen: Apply for the Freshman Scholarship.

    • Criteria and instructions for submitting the Freshman Scholarship application may be accessed HERE.

  • College juniors or higher seeking a degree in education: Apply for the J.K. Williams Scholarship

    • Criteria and instructions for submission of the J.K. Williams Memorial Scholarship may be accessed HERE.