For many years, AREF has provided scholarship assistance to graduates of Arlington, Virginia high schools. We currently award a grant of $10,000, disbursed over eight college semesters, to a deserving high school senior who attends high school in Arlington County, Virginia and is a resident of Arlington County, Virginia. The scholarship awardee is selected based on merit, community service activities, and financial need. At any given time four students may be attending college with the help of AREF scholarships. As of 2021, awardees were studying at Columbia University and Virginia Tech. Many of these students are receiving substantial financial aid from their schools and other sources. As of 2021, AREF's $1,250 per semester scholarship award is paid directly to the college attended by the awardee for the awardee’s tuition.
AREF also offers the Arlington Rotary American Challenge Stipend in Memory of Audra Rafter. This award is aimed at fully funding one deserving graduate of the Arlington Community High School (ACHS), an alternative high school, to complete two years of study at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and can be used for discretionary expenses, not just tuition and books. Applicants for the stipend are competitively selected by the staff of ACHS, a fully accredited alternative high school for students, age 16 or older, whose life circumstances have interrupted their schooling. ACHS’s student body includes students who may be English language learners, older school-age and adult students working towards a high school diploma, and students who need a flexible schedule to accommodate work or family obligations. Specializing in credit recovery and dropout prevention, ACHS supports students in their goal of graduating from high school as well as planning for future college and career pathways. Although students are required to complete the same course requirements, credit hours, and SOL assessment as students in other Arlington high schools, the school offers flexibility in the manner and time frame in which students can earn a high school diploma..
We encourage students to fill out the Federal FAFSA Form and consider applying for Pell Grants if eligible. ARC does not reduce a scholarship or stipend when a student receives financial aid from other sources. Pell Grants can be used for discretionary expenses, not just tuition and books.